Straits of Hell: Like WOT on water

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsStraits of Hell by Taylor Anderson epic fantasy book reviewsStraits of Hell by Taylor Anderson

My reviews for Taylor Anderson’s DESTROYERMEN series are getting shorter and shorter. That’s because, with each book, I have less to say.

Here’s the bottom line: Taylor Anderson has created a wonderful world full of loveable characters. It’s fun just to hang out with them. However, at this point, it feels like that’s all what we’re doing: just hanging out. Sure, there are battles and a bit of personal drama, but it’s all stuff we’ve seen before. In Straits of Hell, book 10, Matthew Reddy and his crew and their allies are once again fighting Don Hernan’s Dominion on one side while they fight the second battle for Grik City on the other. Meanwhile, enemies — including the Japanese — continue to plot and shift alliances. Also, a mysterious new power enters the field. We got a glimpse of them at the end of the last book. Will they be friend or foe?

Long ago I likened the DESTROYERMEN series to Robert Jordan’s WHEEL OF TIME and, as it goes on, the two series become even more similar. By the analogous point in Jordan’s series (book 10, Crossroads of Twilight), the plot had come to a near stand-still. I hate to say this, because I love Taylor’s world and characters, but Straits of Hell is a lot like Crossroads of Twilight, just with ships instead of horses. I want to know what happens to the Destroyermen in the end, but I’m growing weary and thinking about just skipping ahead to the eventual last book.

William Dufris, again, does a fabulous job with the narration in Tantor Audio’s version of Straits of Hell. If it weren’t for his delightful performances, I probably would have already given up on this series. I especially love his interpretations of Silva and Petey. If you’re planning to read DESTROYERMEN, I definitely recommend the audio versions.


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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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2 comments

  1. I always wonder how a writer keeps a series fresh and alive in their own mind — any kind of series; mystery, SFF, paranormal romance, whatever. It’s got to be challenging.

    • I agree. So, if it’s starting to get stale, it needs to end.

      I have a feeling that in such a case the author thinks that ending it will seem like the thing was too easy — in this case, an epic world war. Epic world wars should go on for years, but the problem is that I as a reader don’t want to read a blow-by-blow of the epic world war. That’s boring. Perhaps if the war was in the background and there was a more immediate personal stand-alone story going on in each novel…

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