Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Eighth in the Destroyermen military science fiction fantasy existing in an alternate universe as the World War II crews cope with a different kind of war.
I consider this a bridge story, and it's a game of waiting. Waiting for improvements to weapons, ships, and personnel who need to heal. A dangerous game of waiting as too many are under siege. Anderson really knows how to keep the tension on, although this particular story is not as dramatic as the earlier ones. Mostly, I suspect, due to its bridging qualities as Anderson positions the world, prepping for the big push with new allies and new weapons as they go up against an increasingly superior Grik force and too many unknowns in the Dominion. Be prepared...you will find it most difficult to stop reading!
Herring's attitude is so stupidly superior, especially for a man who has never seen combat let alone had to command. Just about every word out of his mouth is snark, sarcasm, and demeaning. Can you tell I hate him? I do wonder if he's undercover for one of the Alliance's enemies! AND, he's been influencing Adar on a weapon of which Matt disapproves.
Petey, Rebecca's pet, provides comic relief. A good thing as I could use some relief from Herring's superiority! I did enjoy the first meeting between Matt and Herring. Herring is so not prepared for Matt.
"He blinked humility, as he'd learned to do."
Although at the end, I think Anderson had Herring give in too easily. Makes me wonder what he's up to. Me? I wanna take him out back and smack him around. Although, Matt does inadvertently prove his own point.
It's an interesting allusion to how Britain treated its American colonies and the "Honorable" New Britain Company. One and the same, too busy protecting and enriching itself to consider how their actions impact their clients, their country, or their allies.
The merging of the 'Cats and the humans is gorgeous with Adar seeing Letts as a son and 'Cats who are even more inventive than humans. Such a dramatic contrast from the Grik---their healers' title is Chooser of meats. Yuck…!
Whoooaaa, Halik has been greatly influenced by Niwa and is changing all sorts of things about Grik battle. And this is just the start! Look out Kurokawa...hee-heeeee….
I love how thoroughly Anderson takes us into this world. It's not just the appearances, but the attention to detail on manners, cultural mores, the uniforms, the music, the differences and similarities between the species---all with a shared goal. I do have to wonder what inspired Anderson AND what influenced the Dominion religion. It sounds so like a vicious blend of Catholicism and Mayan religions. I am curious as to whether Anderson will ever reveal how the two got so twisted!
For the Alliance, it's a game of waiting and fretful healing. Waiting for improvements to weapons, ships, and healing personnel. A dangerous game of waiting as too many are under siege. And it opens with a baseball game, a game at which the Cats excel! A win which helps offset the spirit of defeat hanging over Walker's crew and the unknown fate of the Hidoiame.
Both Walker and Reddy are healing, frustrated for they are desperate to bring relief to Alden and Safir where they're besieged by the Grik army. And Matt has thought up a dangerous plan which might turn the war or see them all dead. A plan he will have to push through an increasingly belligerent Herring and a fretful Adar.
Meanwhile, Jenks and Second Fleet are chomping at the bit as they prepare to attack the Dominion against unknown odds while Fred and Kari are on the run, the Doms at their heels.
And there's Kurokawa's influence, his knowledge which has provided the Grik with better battleships, zeppelins, weapons. We can only hope the Grik realize what a snake they are sheltering.
Worse, both enemies of the Alliance learn of each other...although the Alliance does have two secret missions in hand: Commander Greg Garrett in one direction and the Corps of Discovery in another.
See my blog post for the full cast of characters.
The cover is a world war on an alternate world with fighter planes diving on destroyers, smoke filling the sky, and gun flashes lighting up the waves. It's grimy and colorful, and you can almost smell the gunpowder.
The title is the war. It's a Storm Surge of battle.