This book is about the naval side of the Okinawa campaign, and focuses on the youngest naval aviators, who caught the final action in the Pacific War. It's interesting, but there isn't a great deal of drama, since the Japanese forces were so overhelmingly outnumbered that the outcome was never in doubt. But what the book does make clear is that no one on the Japanese side seriously disagreed with that appraisal – but they would have considered it beside the point. The point was to underscore that an invasion of the Japanese home islands would have incurred similar rates of losses, and caused the Allies to avoid invading Japan proper due to the enormous cost in lives.
The problem with that is that while it certainly creates drama, that drama is wholly outside the scope of this book. Essentially, the Okinawa campaign, when considered in isolation, which is what this book does, doesn't have a lot of larger significance in the same way that a Midway or a Guadalcanal did (admittedly I have a prejudice for 1942, when the forces were more evenly matched and the outcomes were always in doubt). It was its effect on major strategic decisions that gave it its importance and – again – that is largely outside the scope of the book. Offhand, I can't recall that the book even discussed that, although it did make clear the the island's defense was hardly pointless – it was the single best opportunity Japan had to deter the Allies from invasion of the home islands – something they could do if they chose. And in that light, what otherwise appears to be pointless suicidal sacrifice actually had a extremely significant strategic meaning. That was something I took from the book that I had not fully appreciated previously.
I also took from it that Army Gen. Buckner was not shot surreptitiously by the Marines because he was issuing orders that was putting them in danger. I had actually been told (implicitly) that by a Marine veteran of Okinawa years ago, but this book's detailed reciting of his death by a sniper doesn't leave much room for the argument that it was friendly fire.