Characters Franklin D. Roosevelt, Japan's Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, and many in between witness the unfolding of World War II across the globe, especially Japan's increasing military might and hubris that leads to the historic attack on the Hawaiian Naval base.
Shaara deftly weaves a growing intensity that explodes on the pages as the plan Yamamoto drew up is finally put into place and the assault on Pearl Harbor begins. His descriptions and explanations of the events as they unfold eerily bring to mind the old newsreel footage. His dramatic recreation of the devastation and carnage of the attack is among some of his best work. Not just for his usually studious approach to researching his subjects, but as a storyteller he provides a very easy style that engages readers and compels them forward. And, as is often the case with a Shaara novel, you also end up understanding both sides of a conflict more than you did when you were introduced to it. Taking the time to delve into To Wake the Giant is sure to be a rewarding experience for any who choose to take it up. It is an exceptional work of historical fiction, one that sets you within the frame of all that is to come and leaves you marveling at the end result as the pages fly by. Jeff Shaara continues to perfect his craft and once again delivers a book worthy of attention.
Shaara...dutifully dramatizes the run-up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in a well-researched if overstuffed narrative ... the attack...is depicted in a thrilling you-are-there recreation. But first, the reader must plod through chapters of wooden conversations, most devoid of dramatic punch. Though the period details are convincing, Shaara’s novel adds nothing new or revelatory in its take on a well-known event. Still, diehard fans of military fiction will find much to enjoy.