Thursday, July 26, 2018

Book Review: Taylor Anderson’s Devil’s Due

Taylor Anderson’s Devil’s Due is the latest instalment in his by-now 13-volume (including the forthcoming River of Bones) Destroyermen series. (Note this is a review of the paperback edition.)

In case you are not familiar with the Destroyermen series, it is about the crew of an aging “Four-stacker” American destroyer, the USS Walker, that along with a few other friends and enemies, have somehow crossed over an alternate world at the onset of the Second World War in the Pacific.

Devil’s Due, as is the rest of the series, is a slow reveal, showcasing more Anderson’s world-building talents that have underpinned the series. It adds new details about new a new enemy, the fascist League of Tripoli and an ally, the New United States.  I must say I’ve grown to be a big fan of Taylor’s world-building skills, which is something that all serious fiction writers – no matter what subject or genre – need to learn.

One of the highlights of the series is the character arcs that run throughout the novels and the development of both protagonists and antagonists undergo - warning, spoilers ahead!  Long-time readers of the series know that it’s Anderson’s habit of knocking off several major characters per novel, and Devil’s Due is no exception with some very major, major developments in this regard.

I admit I am a continuing fan of the series. Author Anderson maintains the same steady narrative drumbeat he established in the first book of the series, Into the Storm and continues with his latest effort. The result is a fun, engaging ride, with characters you find yourself caring for.

Highly recommended for all the right reasons.

What's Next?

I have a few things that I plan to bring to you over the next while. First, I will review Philip K. Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth, which was discovered and published only 
after his death. Second, I will follow up with a new novel (in trade paperback) by the ever-talented and thought-provoking S.M. Stirling, Black Chamber, which is set in an alternate First World War.  Third, I am also looking forward to reviewing Mecha Samurai Empire, a novel by Peter Tieryas, set in the same alternate universe as his earlier United States of Japan, which I reviewed earlier in this space.

In the meantime, you can help out a poor unemployed writer by purchasing Elvis Saves JFK! for just 99 cents and War Plan Crimson, A Novel of Alternate History, for $2.99 and now The Key to My Heart, also $2.99 (all are free to preview). All books -- which are already on Smashword's premium distribution list -- are also available through such fine on-line retailers such as Sony, Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble and Apple's iTunes Store.  Thanks.

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