Into the Storm
by Taylor Anderson
Roc, 2009, 416 pages, Historical Fiction, Sci-fi.
On the run from the vicious and inexorable Japanese advance in Pacific, the crews of two outdated destroyers find themselves in a strange parallel earth where the catlike Lemurians fight the reptilian Grik for the right to existence itself. Captain Matthew Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker have to decide how to proceed in a war where their ships are the most advanced technology in the world.
The first in an ongoing series, Into the Storm introduces a diverse cast of characters and explores how this rough group of sailors and soldiers would adapt to something so incredible world altering. Though a Japanese commander also transported to this new world becomes a recurring antagonist, Anderson takes pains to demonstrate the variety of morals among both the Americans and the Japanese, though the alien species almost exclusively delineates into mammals good, reptiles evil. As the series progresses, both the world exposed to the reader and the plot expand in complexity and scope. Anderson writes spectacular naval and land battle scenes, which are only enhanced by the characters discussions and efforts to integrate advanced technology into primitive society, as well as recreate advanced manufacturing. If that sounds dry in description, rest assured that Anderson makes it dramatic and compelling. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys either science fiction or World War era historical fiction.