In this alternate-history novel, the Japanese acquire the atomic bomb first. The Americans desperately try to locate the bomb before the enemy can employ it against an impending US invasion of Japan. This tale primarily centers on Captain John Worth, a veteran photo-reconnaissance pilot. It’s Worth’s mission to find the bomb before it’s too late.
East Wind Returns never stops long enough for the reader to catch their breath. One minute you’re with Captain Worth in his aircraft as he tries to dodge Japanese fighters. The next minute, you’re in a high-level meeting with President Truman as he agonizes over whether or not to drop the atomic bomb. You’re with the Japanese as they prepare their atomic bomb for detonation. Interwoven throughout the action and political intrigue, John Worth manages to fall in love with Major Marge Braden, a beautiful nurse stationed with him on Okinawa.
With this book, Grasso firmly establishes credibility as an alternative-history and action-adventure writer. East Wind Returns vaguely echoes Harry Turtledove’s alternative fiction novels, but unlike Turtledove, Grasso never slows down and never bores the reader. While his research and technicals are impeccable, Grasso doesn’t
bog you down in excessive detail. It’s this pacing that gives East Wind Returns its breakneck speed. Not only does this book move quickly, but it has a high degree of quality in its characters and plot presentation.
Unlike many action writers, Grasso spends time creating believable characters. They are more than just useful props to tell an exciting story. From the main characters to the fictional representations of historic characters, they are vivid but not overdone.
One more thing about this book - Grasso doesn’t glorify war. He isn’t overly gratuitous
with blood and gore. Grasso highlights the human costs of war without being preachy or slowing down the story.
Grasso boldly tells this story in present tense, but a few times he slips into past tense. Given the nature of this historic subject matter, I can’t believe he didn’t do it more.
However, his few tense slips are minor and do not detract from the overall story.
This book has a smattering of situational-appropriate adult language, some mild sexual content, and war-related violence. It is suitable for older teens and up.
This book could have been released by a leading publishing house. It feels professional, from its slick cover art to its almost error-free pages. East Wind Returns surges to
a strong 92 cents out of 99 and is my first “Top Pick” here in the Underground.
99 Cents worth of William Peter Grasso links:
William Peter Grasso's Facebook Page
East Wind Returns Amazon Page