Audiobook Review: Rising Tides by Taylor Anderson

9 02 2011

Rising Tides (Destroyermen, Book 5) by Taylor Anderson

Read by William Dufris

Tantor Media

Quick Thoughts: Fans of the series will not be disappointed with this edition, nor with the excellent narration of William Dufris.

Grade: B+

The Destroyermen series by Taylor Anderson isn’t the most original concept. There have been many science fiction series about people displaced from one time, or dimension, to another. You have John Birmingham’s Axis of Time series, William R. Forstchen’s Lost Regiment series, SM Stirling’s Nantucket series, heck, you back in 1918 we have Burroughs’s The Land that Time Forgot. Yet, within this subgenre of science fiction, Taylor Anderson has created an increasingly interesting alternate Earth. Unlike some of the other’s mentioned before, Anderson’s displaced Destroyermen, must not only fight the evil Grik, reptilian-like sentient creatures that use total war to destroy or subjugate other sentient species, but the must face an earth with a drastically different evolutionary and geological history.  These differences lead to a vast array of obstacles, from killer mountain fish, to plants that implant themselves in your wounds to an increasingly active volcano, that our heroes must to overcome. Within this setting, with the help of the Lemur like allies, called the Lemurians, the displaced WWII sailors must fight for their survival, and make a home.

In Rising Tides, the fifth book in the series, we move away from the intense fight with the Grik and focus on the relations with other humans who were brought into this world centuries before. Like a calm before the storm this respite from the brutal Grik war allows The Alliance to gain new friends, but also make new enemies. Rising Tides starts off a bit slow, reintroducing us to the multiple cliffhanging threads left over from Distant Thunders. Yet, once the perils of our multiple parties are reestablished, the pace takes off. Anderson breaks a lot of the formulas he established in the first four books, giving the series a breath of fresh air. While the massive total war battles of the earlier novels are not as prevalent, the action, when it comes, is well done and suspenseful.

William Dufris has a tough job here, with multiple human and not so human characters he could easily get lost in the material. Yet, he pulls it off wonderfully. He doesn’t have just one voice for Lemurians, and one for humans, but truly finds the right variant of speech patterns and accent for every character.  Listening to the productions, I sometimes wonder if the author takes some sort of sick glee in trying to throw the narrator for a loop with a tricky new character voices. So far Dufris is handling whatever Anderson throws at him.  Fans of the series will not be disappointed in this latest edition.

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