Top critical review
Not As Good As Some Of Conroy's Earlier Works
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2013
In "Rising Sun", alternative history author Robert Conroy theorizes what might have happened if the Japanese had won the Battle of Midway.
Indeed, this is the plot for "Rising Sun". Instead of a huge victory, the American navy has suffered a terrible defeat at Midway. Instead of losing one carrier, the Americans lost three, and now Hawaii and the West Coast is wide open to attack.
Attack is exactly what the Japanese do. Soon, the Panama Canal has been sabotaged, Alaska has been invaded, and West Coast cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego have been shelled. With only one carrier left afloat, the American Navy is practically powerless to stop the Japanese. Despite these defeats, the Americans are determined to fight back, and a plan is drawn up that will hopefully lead to the ambush and destruction of the Japanese fleet, but will it work?
I've read Conroy's earlier works "1942" and "1945" and I enjoyed both very much. "Rising Sun" is not on the same level, in my opinion. There are many characters in "Rising Sun", so it's somewhat difficult to keep track of who is doing what. Further, many of the actions are extremely predictable, so there is no real element of surprise. Some events are somewhat far-fetched, such as the miracle torpedo hit on the Japanese battleship Yamato, which is strangely similar to the one that damaged the German battleship Bismarck.
Overall, I thought the story line was interesting; I just thought the eventual outcome was too predictable.