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The Final Storm (World War II: 1939-1945 #4)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,054 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
The Final Storm opens a new front in Jeff Shaara’s gripping chronicle of World War II as soldiers, sailors, and marines sacrifice all for one final push toward decisive victory in the fierce maelstrom of the Pacific theater.

As the war in Europe winds down in the wake of the Normandy invasion, the United States has turned its vast military resources toward an all-out effort
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published May 17th 2011 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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World War II Fiction
166th out of 749 books — 1,183 voters
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11th out of 22 books — 4 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 12, 2011 Ben rated it really liked it
As per usual, a generally well-written, well-thought out book about an American war from Mr. Shaara. While I disagree with his assertion at the beginning of the book that he is not trying to promote any point of view or political position, one would be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn't see his book as promoting the view that the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan was an abhorrent necessity that avoided hundreds of thousands of American casualties, and millions of Japanese (a viewp ...more
Steven Peterson
Jan 07, 2012 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jeff Shaara has added another powerful work to his oeuvre. He (and his father) have developed an approach to historical fiction that is quite effective. They juxtapose the actions and thoughts of key characters in an unfolding drama.

This work focuses on the battle for Okinawa. It adopts the perspectives, in a fictional framework, of various characters in the fight for this island. The actors include "grunt," foot soldiers, generals (including the Japanese commander Mitsuru Ushijima), and other k
James Korsmo
This novel, The Final Storm, is a follow-up volume to Shaara's very good trilogy focusing on World War 2 as it developed in Africa and in Europe. Once the victory occurred there, the Allies shifted their full attention to the Pacific, and Shaara does likewise. He doesn't tell the whole story of the Pacific, but instead picks up the story in mid-stream, focusing on the final months of the conflict and the lead-up to the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Like the earlier tril ...more
Jun 14, 2011 David rated it liked it
I have read every one of Jeff Shaara’s historical fiction books, from the Revolutionary War and Civil War to the Mexican American War and the WWII Battles in Europe. As Shaara says in his prologue, he had left off the Pacific Action during WWII. For the first time, I was disappointed with Shaara's book, The Final Storm, as the characters and dialogue seemed to pale compared to his other works. The story begins where the European action ends with the battle of Okinawa. That said, it is still a go ...more
Charles Gluck
Nov 11, 2014 Charles Gluck rated it really liked it
I found this appropriate for leading up to Veterans Day. A very somber and real account of battle and how it affects people.
Fred Forbes
Nov 25, 2012 Fred Forbes rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Jeff's work and have met him at several signings. I think it interesting that he is beginning a series of Civil War books - 3 on the Western theater but manages to cram the entire WW II Pacific War into this one book. Actually, not crammed. Quick summary to start and then a long story on Okinawa finally winding up with the dropping of the atom bombs (which I thought was actually the strongest part of the book). Handled with his characteristic jumping between the viewpoi ...more
Feb 01, 2016 John rated it really liked it
My father was a torpedoman on the destroyer The U.S.S. Terry during WWII. I regret that I don’t remember having one conversation with him about this before he died when I was 14. Even though his service was different than the real men fictionalized in Shaara’s book, nevertheless the book put me IN that period, IN the minds of the men who had to go to war, as my father did too. I read about this book somewhere, and didn’t even know it was the fourth in a series, or that it was written as a fictio ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Steve added it
Shelves: bookreporter
Spring, 1945. With the war in Europe beginning to stagger to a conclusion, attention is turned to the Pacific Theater. The empire of Japan had been overtaking segments of southeast Asia and islands throughout the Pacific since before World War II was officially launched, but the tide was starting to turn. U.S. forces under the command of folks such as Nimitz, Buckner and MacArthur were beginning to drive Japan back toward their homeland, and all that was needed for a proper assault was a secure ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Jim rated it it was amazing
JEFF SHAARA may be the best contemporary writer of military history written as creative nonfiction. I recently finished THE FINAL STORM (ISBN 978-0345497956, trade paperback, $16.00, 480 pages). This is the fourth book in SHAARA's World War II series. The first three books take readers from North Africa to VE Day. THE FINAL STORM moves to the Pacific Theater. The first chapter or two briefly cover the period from 1931 to 1945. The balance of the book covers the campaign on Okinawa and the droppi ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
The fourth and final book in Shaara's WWII series. Epic in scope, unflinchingly brutal, often tragic. As with the other books in the series Shaara switches effortlessly between presidents and privates, the Oval Office and muddy foxholes, the grand sweep of history and the tiny intimacies of rank and file soldiers. Most of the book takes place during the battle for Okinawa, possibly one of the most savage and bloody battles of the entire war -- and that includes Stalingrad. Any doubts that a conv ...more
Sep 08, 2014 James rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
This is the final book in a four book story of World War II. The first three books dealt with the war in Africa and Europe. This one covers the Pacific war. The introduction sets the stage for the main portions of the book by covering the period from Pearl Harbor until the Battle for Okinawa. The next two portions of the book cover the Battle for Okinawa as told from both sides. The last section briefly covers the development of the atomic bomb, and it spends the majority of its time detailing t ...more
Having read the first 3 books of Jeff Shaara's series on World War II, I eagerly anticipated the publication of his 4th volume covering the war in the Pacific. In most ways, it did not disappoint. Drawing on first hand accounts and interviews, records, letters and other historic research, the book is more historic than fiction. Even knowing how the battles turned out, the way Shaara follows select real-life individuals makes the work fascinating, mesmerizing, horrifying. My disappointment was th ...more
Geoffrey Miller
Jul 28, 2011 Geoffrey Miller rated it really liked it
Good book, although it didn't pick up until half way through. I've read most, if not all, of Shaara's work and I liked this the least. It just seemed like he short changed the subject considering the depth in which he covered other conflicts. Despite what this review might seem, I did enjoy the book - I think I have high expectations for his work.
Peter Krol
Jul 09, 2015 Peter Krol rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Very much worth reading, as the end of Shaara's WWII series. It tells of the end of the war against Japan: the battle of Okinawa and the dropping of the nuclear bombs. But it didn't captivate me as the other volumes in the series did. Perhaps it was because I've grown tired of the Axis-commander-who-doesn't-believe-in-his-government device, which made General Ushijima less interesting. Shaara already did that with Rommel and Von Runstedt in the European theater. I would have preferred to see som ...more
Hannes Schneider
Another great offering from Shaara.

Anyone with an interest in history should read this book and all others penned by Shaara. His unique style of historical fiction makes learning history more like living history.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Interesting. Again, I was reading an advanced proof--with all the errors those entail--so I can't speak exactly to the final published edition.

I picked it up from someone who was getting rid of a stack of history books, and didn't realize until later that it was a novel rather than a straight history. But then the author's name caught my eye and I realized I had read some of his father's civil war books. So I went ahead to give it a try.

A very interesting book switching between narrative where w
Dec 29, 2015 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Tremendous if horrifying and disturbing novel that takes the reader on a bloody and demoralising journey across the heavily-defended island of Okinawa - particuarly over the infamous Sugar Loaf Hill - that will be remembered as being the final campaign in the Pacific War. Shortly afterward, of course, comes the twin detonations of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

As with Shaara's previously excellent work, the points of view switch from Admiral Nimitz, to the commanding
Jul 21, 2012 Dale rated it liked it
A bit disappointing.

Jeff Shaara's European Theater World War II trilogy covered America's participation in that theater completely - from before the invasion of North Africa to the occupation of Germany. He did a great job of discussing the grand strategies and showing the view from the trenches.

I really was hoping for the same treatment here. Shaara alludes to problems with his publisher in an introduction, but the reader is left with a truncated version of the war in the Pacific Theater. Shaar
Mar 12, 2012 Rob rated it really liked it
This was a great conclusion to Shaara's series on World War II. It had me on the edge of my seat, even though the outcome of the novel was never really in jeopardy. I love how Shaara writes from the point of view of the participants. He tells their stories instead of telling a story about them. Shaara does a great job of bringing history to life through narrative. Not only did he include the American perspective of the war in the Pacific, but he also took the time to look through the eyes of the ...more
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 dr ...more
Lorin Cary
Aug 30, 2012 Lorin Cary rated it liked it
The final volume in his trilogy about WWII, The Final Storm focuses initially on the battle for Okinawa. There are several protagonists, if you can call them that. Marine Private Clayton Adams provides the eyes as we view the battle, and Shaara vividly portrays it from this ground-level perspective. For me this was the best portion of the book. The horror of the war, the reality of it, came alive here in deadening detail. On occasion we see the campaign though the eyes of Admiral Nimitz and othe ...more
Joel Margolese
Oct 29, 2012 Joel Margolese rated it really liked it
This book is a bit of a misfit from the other three books in the series, yet in many ways its the best one. With only one book to work with, and some sort of trouble with his publisher, Shaara focuses mostly on the brutal battle for Okinawa and with a brief foray in the dropping of the atomic bomb. But the battle scenes are among the best I've read. We get a compelling view of Adams' war. (The actual brother of Jesse Adams profiled in the Europe books). Along with the dread of anticipation and t ...more
Zohar -
May 17, 2011 Zohar - rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
"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
Jun 24, 2011 Suzanne rated it really liked it
"Ushijima knew that the American commanders would be agonizing over their lack of progress, that surely no American general had the stomach for such a high casualty rate. Unlike the Japanese, who fed their people only what the Imperial High Command chose to reveal, he knew that the American newspapers were sure to announce openly the kinds of losses their soldiers were suffering. It is astounding, he thought, that they believe such openness is a positive thing. War is not about truth. it is ab ...more
Jun 13, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Picture yourself on a small island thousands of miles from home. Now picture yourself as a U.S. Marine or any other Soldier or Sailor, and you are facing and relentless enemy in the time of war. That is exactly what will happen to you as you read Jeff Shaara's novel "The Final Storm". As soon as you open this book, you will become completely and thoroughly engrossed in the story.
Shaara has chosen only a few main characters for his novel, but these characters tell the whole story of the war in
Ronald Roseborough
Apr 29, 2011 Ronald Roseborough rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, historical-novel
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 ...more
Apr 14, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Devastating doesn't begin to describe this story of the terror, filth, gore and brutality faced by the Marines attempting to secure the Japanese-held island of Okinawa at the close of World War Two. Jeff Shaara uses several points of view to illustrate the Herculean task the American forces faced fighting the Japanese island by island in the Pacific theater: Admiral Nimitz, General Ushijima, the Japanese commander on Okinawa, and most powerfully for me, Clay Adams, a young Marine. In the final p ...more
Casey Harris
Apr 21, 2011 Casey Harris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I was able to review this book over a month in advance of publication by winning a drawing through Goodreads, so I need to (and want to) thank them and Ballantine, the publisher, for allowing me to receive an advance copy of the book. Jeff Shaara is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and this third novel of his that I've now read is no exception.

Historical fiction has always been kind of a weird genre to me; how accurate can it really be if it's fictionalized? But the best authors of t
Oct 03, 2011 Troy rated it really liked it
Good, but not as engaging as most of Shaara's stuff. Could be that I've recently read enough about the Pacific War that it just seemed (to me) to be a repeat of recent reads. But really, I think it's because of the focus on JUST Okinawa and the atomic bomb - in what actually was a very disjointed way (somewhat justified by the newness of Truman's involvement). It read as an attempt to quickly summarize the final events of the war, lacked some of the character development and insight into players ...more
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The Final Storm 1 10 Mar 02, 2014 01:33PM  
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Jeff Shaara, a descendant of Italian immigrants, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey ("Shaara" was originally spelled "Sciarra"). He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminology. From age 16, Jeff operated a rare coin business, first out of his home, then in a retail store. After moving to Tampa, Jeff became one of the most widely know ...more
More about Jeff Shaara...

Other Books in the Series

World War II: 1939-1945 (4 books)
  • The Rising Tide (World War II: 1939-1945, #1)
  • The Steel Wave (World War II: 1939-1945, #2)
  • No Less Than Victory (World War II: 1939-1945, #3)

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“My job is to … do my job. Lead, for God’s sake. Keep my nose out of places where the machine is working, and stick it in deep where it isn’t.” 0 likes
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