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The Final Storm: A Novel of the War in the Pacific

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Light At the End of the Storm

This story of the last two years of the war in the Pacific is embodied in the brutal struggle for Okinawa and the fateful use of the two atomic bombs to end the war with Japan. The voices in this historical novel are representative of those who were there. The commander...
This story of the last two years of the war in the Pacific is embodied in the brutal struggle for Okinawa and the fateful use of the two atomic bombs to end the war with Japan. The voices in this historical novel are representative of those who were there. The commanders on both sides as well as the average fighting men are represented by major characters in the book. The strongest story follows Marine Private Clay Adams through the horrific fighting on Okinawa. As in any book of history, it is not the final outcome that fascinates us, but the journey taken by so many to reach that point. The book follows the facts while providing personal touches through narration and dialog. The facts can be at once brutal and fascinating, mysterious and very enlightening, especially to a generation once removed from the world enveloping violence and the immediacy of living day to day. Looking into the past can at times make us sad. Do we really want to see how our parents generation had to live? Do we truly want to face what they had to face? Do we have the strength, let alone the wisdom to understand and learn from them. We think we want to know what life was like for them, who they were, what they experienced. But we must be aware that the past is often a Pandora's box with some very dark corners. When the truth is out in the light, the good and the bad, the pleasures and the unimaginable pain, the wonder and all the horrors may come with it. This is an excellent book for those who are looking for a realistic novel of the brutal war in the Pacific. Provided for review by the well read folks at Library Thing.

posted by Ronrose on April 29, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Jeff Shaara Fans should skip this book.

Jeff Shaara flopped on this book. He wasted to much of the book on mindless drivle about the people. you would think he could read their mind. Usually his interaction with the characters creates a bond with then going through their experiences. This book exchanges facts...
Jeff Shaara flopped on this book. He wasted to much of the book on mindless drivle about the people. you would think he could read their mind. Usually his interaction with the characters creates a bond with then going through their experiences. This book exchanges facts for fiction. He expounds on the first Atomic bomb mission and says almost nothing about the second or the fact that 1 plane was present at both bombings. i just hope Shaara's next book is more like his others.

posted by 5888186 on June 25, 2011

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Light At the End of the Storm

    This story of the last two years of the war in the Pacific is embodied in the brutal struggle for Okinawa and the fateful use of the two atomic bombs to end the war with Japan. The voices in this historical novel are representative of those who were there. The commanders on both sides as well as the average fighting men are represented by major characters in the book. The strongest story follows Marine Private Clay Adams through the horrific fighting on Okinawa. As in any book of history, it is not the final outcome that fascinates us, but the journey taken by so many to reach that point. The book follows the facts while providing personal touches through narration and dialog. The facts can be at once brutal and fascinating, mysterious and very enlightening, especially to a generation once removed from the world enveloping violence and the immediacy of living day to day. Looking into the past can at times make us sad. Do we really want to see how our parents generation had to live? Do we truly want to face what they had to face? Do we have the strength, let alone the wisdom to understand and learn from them. We think we want to know what life was like for them, who they were, what they experienced. But we must be aware that the past is often a Pandora's box with some very dark corners. When the truth is out in the light, the good and the bad, the pleasures and the unimaginable pain, the wonder and all the horrors may come with it. This is an excellent book for those who are looking for a realistic novel of the brutal war in the Pacific. Provided for review by the well read folks at Library Thing.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    The stories enmeshed in this book grabbed me from the first chapter. Shaara writes with such clarity that I was extremely emotionally involved with the story. Very few of us will ever understand how horrific this war was, but Shaara's story-telling abilities opened a window for me. There were so many moments when I felt I was actually there.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WWII, and also to anyone who has difficulty accepting the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reading about the battle of Okinawa from both the Japanese and America perspective should settle any doubts.

    I received this ARC from Goodreads' First Reads program, and was not required to give a positive review.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another powerful work by Jeff Shaara

    The final storm is the fourth book by Mr. Shaara dealing with the Second World War. It traces the end of the war in the pacific and the post war path of the major players. It covers the invasion of Okinawa as seen from several viewpoints. The American side is represented by a front line Marine rifleman and by the operational commander Admiral Nimitz. The Japanese side is portrayed by General Mitsuru Ushijima who commanded the defending forces on the island. The description of the ground combat is brutal and explicit. The fighting on Okinawa resulted in the largest number of killed and wounded in the Pacific Theater. Japan lost over 100,000 troops with very few being captured and the US had more than 50,000 killed or wounded. In the mist of this horrible fighting thousands of local civilians were killed or committed suicide in the belief that they would be killed by the invading US forces. The final section of the novel deals with the deployment and use of two nuclear weapons against cities in Japan. This is seen from the viewpoint of President Truman and Colonel Paul Tibbets. Truman had only learned of the devise after the death of President Roosevelt and his sudden succession to the presidency on April 12, 1945. Colonel Tibbets was the commander of the 509th Composite Group and flew the Enola Gay, the aircraft that delivered the first weapon to the city of Hiroshima. Mr. Shaara again writes a compelling work based on careful research. However, as he is careful to note, this is a novel of the war in the pacific. He tries to show us what the thoughts and feelings of the people involved might have been. I think he succeeds in full measure and recommend this book wholeheartedly.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2011

    Jeff Shaara Fans should skip this book.

    Jeff Shaara flopped on this book. He wasted to much of the book on mindless drivle about the people. you would think he could read their mind. Usually his interaction with the characters creates a bond with then going through their experiences. This book exchanges facts for fiction. He expounds on the first Atomic bomb mission and says almost nothing about the second or the fact that 1 plane was present at both bombings. i just hope Shaara's next book is more like his others.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 11, 2014

    A good telling of a necessary story. Has all the lessons of a &q

    A good telling of a necessary story.
    Has all the lessons of a "lest we forget" within a storyline that kept the pages turning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    SUPER READ

    Tremendous read! Great historical fiction. I loved how it brought the emotion of both sides of the war together and how we fought two different enemies in two different ways. It was great to have the story told through the eyes of the participants. It gives a different perspective on what happened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

    Not as good as his other books

    Unlike previous books, this one starts in the middle of a war. I think I would have liked it better if he had treated it like his others works...three books that segment the story/war. Some of the material in this book talks about events in others battles that reader has no background . But, like all his books ,it is well written with good integration with historical characters and fictional characters. It is a good read......

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  • Posted August 4, 2012

    Excellent. Graphic.

    Last of an outstanding four book series. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted July 26, 2012

    Absolutely love this book and author

    Once again Jeff Shaara has made history an easy read. Anyone interested in World War II in the Pacific would find this a wonderful way to get to know not only key individuals in the war, but also the "every man". As a child of a WW II veteran from the Pacific theatre, I find there is so much more about the Eurpean conflict during the war and this is a WONDERFUL change for me. As with all the books written by this author, in the forward he makes you aware that his books are based on fact while all the while using some fiction in the sense of the person's is through letters, diaries, etc. I am not a fan of history in the sense of fact after fact and battle statistics, but I have enjoyed each and every book in this series. I am a big fan of this author and would recommend this and all of his books for book club discussions and those who enjoy history, biographies and reading.

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  • Posted February 8, 2012

    Not as good as expected.

    Compared to his other three books dealing with WWII in Europe, this is a let down. If you have ever read other first hand accounts of the battle in the Pacific, this will disappoint you. If this is your first introduction to the subject, it is an ok book. I think it is difficult to take a subject as extensive as the battle of the Pacific and condense it into one book. I do think the viewpoint of the Japanese is done well.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    A mixed bag, but worth reading

    If you can survive the pointless and boring first two hundred pages, Jeff finally gets around to telling another great, spellbinding story. Anyone who argues that the United States should not have used such a lethal weapon as the atomic bomb on Japan needs to read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    He does it again

    Awsome detail,he makes you feel like your in the fox holes with the guys. Couldn't put it down

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    excellent telling of the end stages of WWII in the Pacific, you feel as though you are in the leaders shoes,

    When I approached the reading of this book I was afraid it would contain so many boring facts and figures, but to my delight, ¿The Final Storm¿ is not bogged down by anything. It is a great story that begins on February 21, 1945 as WWII is concentrated on the battle for Japan and all the islands that nation controlled. The author tells this excellently written book through the eyes of many involved in the war on land, sea, and in the air, both Allies and Japanese views with no holds barred. From the attackers themselves on both sides to those living on Japanese controlled territories, be they civilians, military, or prisoners of war. The Japanese gave no mercy to prisoners of war as well as their own citizens, not caring where they were contained ion or near dangerous battle locations. Japanese submariners had dwindled to few by this time of the war but those few left had to be watched as they tried to torpedo and sink any of the ships bringing supplies, food, ammunition, and fighting men to where they were needed. American submarine commanders were working hard to clear the area of any Japanese ships so the allied ships could deliver those much needed men and supplies. Allied airplanes also were very active as they cleared the seas and the air of Japanese opposition. Many leaders who were known at the time had their shared duties explained to the reader. Men of both sides of the war give the reader the story of the war as they saw it and lived it. You feel as though you are living the war through the actions and lives of admirals, officers, presidents, prime ministers, military and civilian doctors, field marshals, non-commissioned officers, pilots, families of all of them, whether they were Japanese, Americans, or other nations involved in the war. You slosh through the jungles, fly in the airplanes, fighter planes or bombers, try to stay alive as a P.O.W., avoiding capture when possible knowing torture was ahead if the Japanese did capture you, travel in the ships whether part of a crew, men traveling to go to war, or commanding the ship trying to avoid attack and being sunk. The brutal demanding battle for the various Japanese islands took time, never knowing what resistance you would face. On many of those islands the Japanese defenders had built systems of caves so all the bombing or shelling from the off shore ships would not kill or wound most of them. You live the experience of attacking those islands never knowing if there was a Jap hiding in plain site that would kill you before you knew his existence. Grenades, machine guns, rifles, flame throwers, B.A.R.¿s (a very heavy rifle), bayonets, handguns, and hand-to-hand combat in some situations, or anything that could be used as a weapon against each other. Tanks also were a strong weapon for and against both sides. The weather many times determined which weapons could be used. You must read this book to get the full feeling that I got while reading it. The battles continued even as the Japanese appeared defeated since they would just not stop. They fought to the death. The action that finally stopped the war was the use of the atomic bomb. You also live through those decisions through the many leaders that determined whether to use that killing weapon or continue fighting by landing huge amounts of men on the Japanese shore where both sides would have lost possibly millions more lives. A great book. Don¿t miss reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Shaara is good.

    I love his work. I would give this five stars but he did drag a bit in the beginning. However, once he got going....

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  • Posted November 3, 2011

    Excellent

    As usual Shaara gives an excellent account of the final days of the Pacific war. His in the trenches style brings much realism to the reader.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Add this one to your collection.

    This is just another classic in the series by Jeff Shaara. I have read all of them and think I have been endowed with a greater understanding of some of the (real)history of these United States.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent Novel of History

    Jeff Shaara's recent novel The Final Storm (A Novel of the War in The Pacific) is more then just an Historical Novel, it is a Novel of History. A Novel of History being a story that centers around a real event that might include real life characters. While I haven't read the first three books of this series of World War II, I found this the final book in the series, to provide an immersing understanding of these world changing events. This book tells the story of the taking of Okinawa and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Japan. Mr. Shaara does this wonderfully by giving the reader several vantage points of these historical moments. For example, he takes you into the minds and hearts of the commanders and leaders who must wrestle with the most difficult of decisions in conducting the war. His story also allows you to feel and touch the horrendous moments of a US Marine engaged in combat. Several haunting scenes crafted by the narrative will stay with me forever. A engaging story with memorable characters, that touched me and increased my appreciation, of all who have made incredible sacrifices in the defense of their country. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history, especially military history.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mov­ing and Riv­et­ing,

    "The Final Storm: A Novel of the War in the Pacific" by Jeff Shaara is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion novel which focuses on America's war in the Pacific instead of Europe. Mr. Shaara points out that he didn't intend to write this book but got many let­ters for fans and WWII vet­er­ans who fought there. Good for us! The book fol­lows the bat­tle of Oki­nawa through the eyes of the grunts on the ground and the com­man­ders of both the Amer­i­can and Japan­ese forces. The last part of the book fol­lows the days lead­ing to drop­ping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima mostly through the eyes of Pres­i­dent Tru­man and pilot Paul Tibbets. "The Final Storm: A Novel of the War in the Pacific" by Jeff Shaara picks up where his World War II tril­ogy ended. The war in Europe is all but over; how­ever Japan is stub­born as ever despite mas­sive loses. True to form, each chap­ter in the book intro­duces the war from a per­spec­tive of a his­tor­i­cal fig­ure. Most of the story is told through the eyes of Marine pri­vate Clay Adams and his fight on Oki­nawa. The bat­tle is also told through the eyes of Japan­ese gen­eral Mit­suru Ushi­jima, com­man­der of the forces on Oki­nawa. Both men are true sol­diers who will do their duty or die try­ing to. The last sec­tion of the book focuses on the atomic bomb, mostly seen through the eyes of Pres­i­dent Tru­man and pilot Paul Tib­bets. Mr. Shaara tries to bring in a few oppos­ing points of view to the bomb, how­ever he makes his posi­tion per­fectly clear: the bomb helped save Amer­i­can lives, Japan­ese lives and ended World War II. By con­trast­ing the hor­rors of fac­ing the sol­diers on Oki­nawa and mak­ing sure the reader under­stands that the Amer­i­can sol­diers will face these same hor­rors in every ham­let in Japan. This is a mov­ing and riv­et­ing book - one of Shaara's best (and I thought most of them were very good). Mr. Shaara man­ages to show how oth­er­wise decent peo­ple some­times descended to atro­cious acts when faced with the hor­rors of war. A les­son we are still learn­ing today. As is done in all his books, the "After­ward" sec­tion is inter­est­ing and enlight­en­ing, let­ting the reader know what hap­pened with those indi­vid­u­als they just read about after the war. It is impor­tant to remem­ber that Mr. Shaara uses real peo­ple, even those we have never heard about, how­ever are the back­bone of our country.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

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