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Crusade: Destroyermen, Book II by Taylor Anderson
Cover Artist: Studio Liddel
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Roc Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451462305
Date: 07 October 2008 List Price $23.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The extinct rule this world, and humans are an aberration. A pair of outdated U.S. destroyers may be the difference in the battle between the Lemurians and the Grik. As expected they are not the only ships to make it through the storm. The Japanese cruiser Amagi also came through the storm.

A new perspective is added to this second novel. The Japanese aboard the Amagi are given several interludes. Their experience is different from the crews of theMahon and Walker. They end up in a fierce battle with the Grik. Their prowess earns the conditional respect of the predator race. Although they needed the Grik's help to repair and survive, not everyone aboard is enamored of their new allies.

Meanwhile the surviving crews of the Mahon and Walker are looking for additional allies to aid in their coming battles with the Grik. They are preparing for a grand crusade against this relentless foe. Unfortunately, their potential allies are too concerned with their own goals. A battle before the walls of one of these allies nearly brings the end of their plans. As they finally begin to move against their enemy, they realize that their enemy's numbers are even greater than feared and that the Amagi is now working with the Grik.

The Destroyermen series is an action adventure series set on an alternate earth where the big kill events never occurred. The oceans are much more Darwinian as only the strong survive. On land similar battles occur. The Grik are the ultimate hunters in this world. Their culture views all other creatures as predators or prey. A prey may be worthy, but this designation is not a protection to such races. At some point even allies must become prey. I believe this is what will bring the end to the Japanese alliance in future books.

The plot of the series has been straightforward to this point. Don't expect major surprises. The tale is straightforward; the enjoyment comes from the setting and descriptions of the new world. As the series continues, expect to see a reconciliation between the US and Japanese. Also expect a trip east towards the North American Continent where the British survivors went after sharing knowledge with the Lemurians.

Readers need to start with the first book in this series Destroyermen: Into the Storm. Too many details would be missed otherwise. There are many situations that develop in a similar manner to those in Eric Flint's Time Spike. A cautionary note: Don't expect the characters to view the world as we do today. The character attitudes are meant to reflect those of the world in 1941. One way that this plays out is the attitude of the Americans towards the Nazis as compared to the Japanese. At that time, the extent of Nazi depredations was unknown.

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