Destroyermen: Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson.
I think this came to my attention on a Sci-Fi list the library sends out monthly. It caught my attention based on two plot keywords: parallel reality and World War II. We start with World War I era destroyers USS Walker and USS Mahan on the run from the Japanese in the Pacific. Trying to make it to Bali for a safe port, both ships try to evade the Japanese pursuit by steering into a major squall. When the storm clears, they find a Pacific Ocean teaming with hybrid alligator/shark things that eat pretty much anyone who's fallen overboard from either Us ship and the torpedoed Japanese ship that emerged with them.
While the island of Bali is still there, dinosaurs now roam where civilization once stood. The Mahan and the Walker get separated, with Mahan heading towards Australia. We follow Walker and her crew as they encounter a pitched navel battle between The People (also known as Lemurians or cat-monkeys) and the Grik, (Evolved lizard sapiens). Walker joins the battle on the side of the Lemurians.
And so it begins. While the ensemble cast gets a bit unwieldy, the plot is really enjoyable, and it's fun to figure out if the Grik are more like the Nazis or Japanese in their treatment of POWs.
The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R. Green
For those who've read Green's Nightside series, the tone here is about the same, only our Hero (Edward Drood) is kind of like a cross between Merlin and James Bond.
For those who haven't, the books is a first person narrative of Edward Drood, who more or less has the job of saving the world along with the rest of his family. Of course, the mundane world knows nothing of it.
As the book starts, Edward tells us of his family birthright, a golden circlet around his neck that magically covers his body in golden armor. Said armor provides invulnerability, super strength, and near-invisibility. His family, the Droods, have been protecting the world for untold eons with both supertech and magic. (Thus why we have Edward driving a Bond car with guns and EMP pulses while casting spells right and left.)
After the initial assignment (killing a demon baby in a sealed hospice), Edward is recalled to the family estate. This being Simon R. Green, Edward is a rougeish black sheep in the family, so his return is not a comfortable one. The Matriarch who runs the family business ends up recruiting Edward to return a sacred object to Stonehenge under strict secrecy. Seems there's a traitor in the family selling information out to anyone and everyone. Thus why the outsider is back... hopefully he can ferret out the rat.
Quite readable, even if it does seem like reading Nightside in a different setting.
- Music:"Thunderball"-Tom Jones