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Iron Gray Sea: Destroyermen Hardcover – Jul 3 2012
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"I cannot recommend Taylor Anderson too highly."
— David Weber, author of Out Of The Dark
“Taylor Anderson and his patched-up four-stackers have steamed to the forefront of alternative history.”
— E. E. Knight, author of March in Country
About the Author
Taylor Anderson is a gunmaker and forensic ballistic archaeologist who has been a technical and dialogue consultant for movies and documentaries. He is also a member of the National Historical Honor Society and of the United States Field Artillery Association, which awarded him the Honorable Order of St. Barbara. He has a master’s degree in history and teaches that subject at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, when his time allows. He lives in nearby Granbury with his family.
Top Customer Reviews
The battle scenes are exciting, the "Axis leaders" multi-dimensional,and the ecology of the world adds an extra depth to the entire adventure. The main characters are engaging, human and at times entertaining. A great fun read!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are several threads in parallel, and each receives adequate coverage in this volume. In a few cases the author doesn't spend enough time bringing ideas to conclusions.
The threads, or semi-independent story lines: former IJN Commander, "lord" Sato Okada sails in search of the newly transported/arrived deatroyer Hidoiame, with the repaired freighter Mizuki Maru which has been converted to an armed merchant cruiser or "Q-Ship." Newly minted alliance "Commander" Alan Letts continues direction of new weapons development and improved logistics; Matthew Reddy and his beloved, Lieutenant Sandra Taylor make wedding plans, the alliance goes on the offense in Indi-aa. Of course the Grik and "General of the Sea" Hisashi kurokawa have their plans aided by the crafty General Halik... Not to mention the machinations of the Holy Dominion and other traitorous humans.
I generally love this series, and can't wait for the next volume; I feel that the author tried to cover too much ground in too little space this time, by ever-expanding the scope. That still won't cause me to abandon the Destroyermen! New allies will appear, as well as new or improved weapons. This seemed to be a "stepping stone" in the story line and I look forward to more excitement in the next volume! Still, a very strong 4 stars and recommended.
I've enjoyed this series since I found it based upon an Amazon recommendation based in no small part to E.E. Knight's recommendation. Low and behold, Knight gave a recommendation of Anderson in the inside cover of this book.
I am an avid fan of this series and I will be buying the next book.
Step 2: What went wrong?
This book rambles. I get the feeling that the outline to this book was cooked up with some random dice, a bunch of post-its and too much focus on tying off dead ends. The world is huge and focusing on the East Front, Home Front, West Front, the New British Isles, and on Walker scattered the story too much. If I were to break the book up into the five functional novellas within it, I honestly could have discarded two of them and focused solely on East Front, West Front and Walker, and been much happier with the story. Had Anderson broken this book into two books, one for the East and one for the West, with anecdotes and details of how Walker helped in each theater, I could have enjoyed this story more thoroughly.
I don't feel like I got a good flow and climax in the book. I don't feel like topics were settled or really advanced. I see weaknesses in each story where it leans on the other and I absolutely grumbled at how much action seems to have occurred off stage.
Step 3: What was right?
The characters grew. Adar, our beloved captain, our Uul General, Admiral of the Sea Kurokawa, Reddy's cousin, even to a degree Silva(who I hate) grew in this book. They expanded, they learned from mistakes, they contemplated, but not too much. There was advancement in the story line for every major character and some off screen executions and end of storyline elements that were as abrupt as everyday life really is. Spoilers aside, there were elements of this story that moved, even if we were picking up those pieces like they were candy falling out of a shotgun blasted pinata. Some of the candy has buckshot in it, but there's still something sweet in here.
Step 4: Why a 4? Oh how I was tempted to throw a 3 star review at this book, but let's be honest, on Amazon 3 is the consolation prize you throw something you actually didn't like--I liked the book and I like the series. I want to see more books in this series, 3 stars was right out.
Why not a 5? This book is imperfect and I think the author knows it. I don't think you write for perfection, you write the story you have and you edit to perfection. I think somewhere in the process for this book there was too much shopping list and not enough solid editing choices. The difference between this book and a perfect book? Choices. Choices needed to be made to shorten the scope of what was being covered. Hops needed to be limited. The Game of Thrones is a good book, but Anderson writes better in his previous books. This book seemed to liken to that Ice and Fire scatter shot, ADD thing that makes those books so fulfilling.
Step 5: Why am I disappointed?
This book had a doorway within it that could have lead to greatness. There were huge chunks that could have been left to the reader while other scenes could have had more investment. I like long books and I think at the longest length novel in the series so far(I think I'm right on this) there was a quality that could have been given to these pages to add value. I think there were missed opportunities, but I will buy more books in this series and look again and again for Anderson to make good on his promises, because 9 times out of 10, he keeps them and you come back for more.
Step 6: Buy the book
I pre-ordered. I got my book before the actual publication date, because Amazon is cool like that. Hardbacks cost more than soft covers(paper backs) and even eBooks. You can buy the Hardback when it comes out, you have to wait awhile for the eBook and paperback. This is what you pay for. If you think it's a cheat, you're not paying attention to the process and you're missing your chance to understand it. Patience or more money, those are your options.
This book was worth not waiting. I recommend it in the context of the series and in knowing the series will not be complete without it.
Let me also say that this is a series that my husband, son, and I all enjoy though probably for different reasons. I enjoy the character driven story line and while finding it harder to follow the battles/tactics. Safe to say that my husband and son probably have the opposite experience. One of the things we all agree on is our enjoyment of the "back" manufacturing of various weapons, machinery, and technology.
I enjoy the interaction of the different species and countries and find their commitment to finding balance to be encouraging. Would that we would see the same in our "real" world. On the other hand, all is not perfect and, especially in this latest book, we see the possibility that the Allies will neither agree on where to focus their energy, nor on exactly who is in charge of making those decisions. And then there are the new storylines of potential allies/enemies....
This is a excellent series and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys history, revisionist history, good characters, interesting settings, action epics, etc... Start at the beginning and prepare to be amazed by this series!
Also, many chapters don't even move the story forward; they're just dreary battle scene and endless technical exposition. And now there are not one, not two, but three different villains! It's just too much.
I know I'm in the minority on this one. SF fans today are quite happy to devour bloated multi-volume stories that move forward like a drunken snail. But some of us need a little more discipline in our storytelling.
Yes, there is now a cast to make DeVile dizzy but that's all right as they are all interesting and have a lot to offer the whole storyline, which now covers everywhere from South Africa, to the South pacific all the way to the west coasts of North and South America, with more expansion in the works.
I would have given the newest edition a full five stars but for the fact that it bogs down just a bit in the personal life of the Captain. Also the lack of maps which would have greatly improved the read. Some maps are included but many more are really necessary, unless you have an Ipad handy to Google the geography.
The minor slow parts are more than made up by the battle scenes, especially those at sea.
Al in all a highly recommended series which novices will need to start at the beginning. I look forward o the next chapter, which will be far too long in coming as far as I'm concerned.