Top positive review
A Slightly Overdue But Largely Satisfying Conclusion
Reviewed in the United States on October 11, 2020
After frankly probably going on a few books too long, Anderson finally
brings the "Destroyermen" series into port. We have known from the
excerpts of Courtney Bradford's post-war book that, he, at least survived
the war and that the good guys won. It was just a matter of having too
many balls in the air to get to that end-state, and in this book Anderson
manages that pretty well.
Since Captain Matthew Reddy and his WWI era Asiatic-Fleet destroyer,
the USS Walker, were caught in a freak probability storm while
fighting a hopeless action against a Japanese super-battleship,
they have found themselves on another Earth, one with more or less
familiar topography, but which went down different evolutionary
paths. They have found friends & allies in the lemur-like "Cats",
the Empire of New Britain founded by long-ago by other castaways,
the New United States started by Mexican-War era timelost Americans,
and the Republic of Real People, a south african based multi-species
The alliance has been fighting first and foremost against the
dinosaur descended Griks. What force can be spared from that faces
The Holy Dominion, an unholy merger of the worst of Aztec totalitarianism
and corrupted Catholicism with, and in the background, there is
always lurking the fascist League of Tripoli.
Having, in the last book, finally brought an end, more or less, to
the Grik war (without having to commit a genocide) the full force
of the alliance can now be brought to bear on the Dominion and their
League backers. Against those forces, we have our usual cast of characters,
much thinned over 15 books of losses and often on their last emotional leg.
Who will live, and who will die? I'll have to say I was surprised in a
couple of cases. Justice is meted appropriately if imperfectly, and
it appears that some of the cancer may metastasize, but for now the
survivors may have a bit of rest. (That's not a big spoiler, this is
not the kind of series that carries on 15 books and then the good guys lose).
The only complaint I would make (aside from maybe having wrapped
things up in a few less books) is that Anderson teases inter-species
romance, but always backs away (despite having inter-species families
with war orphan adopted kids), starting with de Silva's maybe-yes/maybe-no
throuple, and then Tabby's infatuation, but most perplexingly here
with aviators Fred & Kari. Those two are clearly a couple but
Anderson seems unwilling to go there.
That aside, it's been a good ride, and if Anderson returns to the setting,
I'll be along.