In Taylor Anderson’s acclaimed Destroyermen series, a parallel
universe adds an extraordinary layer to the drama of World War II.Now, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Reddy, the crew of USS Walker, and their allies battle an ever-growing host of enemies across the globe in a desperate battle for freedom … War
has engulfed the—other earth. With every hard-won victory and painful
defeat, Matt Reddy and the Allies encounter more friends—and even more
diabolical enemies. Even, at last, in the arms of the woman he loves,
there is little peace for Reddy. The vast sea, and the scope of the
conflict, have trapped him too far away to help on either front, but
that doesn’t mean he and Walker can rest. Cutting short his “honeymoon,”
Reddy sails off in pursuit of Hidoiame , a rogue Japanese destroyer
that is wreaking havoc in Allied seas. Now that Walker is armed with the
latest “new” technology, he hopes his battle-tested four-stacker has an
even chance in a straight-up fight against the bigger ship—and he means
to take her on. Elsewhere, the long-awaited invasion of Grik “Indiaa”
has begun, and the Human-Lemurian Alliance is pushing back against the
twisted might of the Dominion. The diplomatic waters seethe with
treachery and a final, terrible plot explodes in the Empire of New
Britain Isles. Worse, the savage Grik have also mastered “new”
technologies and strategies. Their fleet of monstrous ironclads—and an
army two years in the making—are finally massing to strike...
Destroyermen: Iron Gray Sea by Taylor Anderson is the latest installment in a series that proposes an alternative history for World War II. The book is richly imagined, with the sort of detail and authority that Anderson has brought to all of his work.
As a gunmaker as well as a forensic ballistic archaeologist, Anderson speaks from a position of knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter that makes the story not only authentic, but also far more exciting.
Anyone looking to jump into a series like this should start at the beginning, given that this is nowhere near the first book, and a great deal has happened. For anyone having trouble keeping track of exactly who is doing what, Anderson decided to include a character list, which some may find handy to refer back to as they read.
With such a vast canvas to cover, Anderson has several story lines that run parallel to each other. He pays equal attention to all of them, which gives the reader the perspective of not only the nominal 'hero' of the piece, but also opposing viewpoints. This is a wise choice, as there are always more to a war than 'good guys and bad guys,' as Iron Gray Sea proves.
Among these threads are the former IJN Command, or "Lord" Sato Okada's search for the destroyer Hidoiame.
Matthew Reddy and his sweetheart Lieutenant Sandra Taylor have plans of a matrimonial nature, and the now Commander Alan Letts continues to tinker with the development of new weapons.
In the meantime, the alliance attempts to launch an offensive attack in the Indi-aa, all the while the 'other side' plots their own attacks. Among them are the "General of the Sea" Hisashi Kurokawa, and the Grik, who find assistance from General Halik. And all the while, the Holy Domininion plot and scheme, and numerous other traitors add their plans to the mix.
There were only several places in which Anderson didn't quite carry off the book, and those were in the wrapping up of several threads, as well as the fact that it felt as if he was perhaps trying to cram too much into this volume. Aside from those quibbles, the book is a robust read, with interesting characters, and a plot that will keep one turning pages to find out what happens next.