Sunday, March 7, 2021

Book Review: Winds of Wrath, by Taylor Anderson

Well, it had to come, didn’t it? In this post, I'll be looking at the 15th and final instalment of Taylor Anderson’s Destroyermen series, Winds of Wrath.  For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Destroyermen follows the adventures of captain Matthew Reddy and the crew of the USS Walker, an elderly American destroyer thrust from the Second World War in the Pacific to a parallel world where they are suddenly fighting a different but just as deadly war.

Note: Spoilers Ahead:

Winds of Wrath finds the ancient enemy of Reddy's Lemurian allies, the Grik, has been all but defeated in Africa. However, one holdout Grik general, Esshk,  remains with his army, and he has a lot of fight left in him.  

Much of the action has shifted west to the Caribbean and the showdown with the fascist League of Tripoli and their allies, the Holy Dominion. On the land, General Shinya's Allied army is driving towards the Dominion’s capital of New Granada. Meanwhile, the hastily-assembled Allied fleet under Reddy is about to meet the League’s task force of modern battleships, cruisers, and destroyers.

The ensuing action on land, sea, and air is fast and furious. Author Taylor packs a lot of action into this, the final volume, and is perhaps his work as a storyteller here is among his best as he puts it on display as he invites us to become almost an active participant.  It’s Taylor’s habit to knock off a couple of main characters in each book; expect a lot more of that here. And be warned: there are a couple of shocks coming. This is especially hard because the author spent the series developing their character arcs and we've become invested with them, so when it happens – umph!

I also like how Anderson has engaged in a bit more world-building here, which frankly, I wish he would’ve done earlier.  We find, for example, that this world in the grips of an ice age, which is behind the League’s drive for Lebensraum.

Like all good things, the series has to end, as Taylor points out in his afterward. I understand that there may be some dissatisfaction with how the book and series ended. Honestly, without giving away the ending, I think is this ending the most logical outcome, given the weight of forces deployed against the Allies. I can’t really imagine Reddy and company charging into the Mediterranean for one final war of liberation. It just isn’t possible and wouldn’t ring true from a storytelling standpoint. That being said, can we expect further adventures in this world?  We just might, according to Taylor. 

I hope so.  Winds of Wrath is an enjoyable, fitting conclusion to the Destroyermen series. Highly Recommended.

What’s Next?

I apologize for missing the last month. I’m currently watching the second season of For All Mankind, now airing on Apple TV+. It picks up a decade after the first season with a fully established Jamestown lunar colony, Ronald Reagan in the White House four years early, and Cold War tensions at an all-time high. 

 I am loving it and will have a more in-depth review for you later.

In the meantime, you can purchase 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.  

Take care of yourselves.