Hugh Bicheno's book on Midway is the first new offering in this field since the excellent (but unfortunately less well-known) "Glorious Page in our History" was published in 1990. I should mention that I'm the maintainer of a large Web site on the Imperial Japanese Navy...and I am also currently working on a new book of the Battle of Midway myself which will focus on the Japanese account of the battle. So I have a high degree of interest in what Bicheno had to say.
There are some strong points to the book, including:
Social Coverage: I was pleased (and chagrined) to see that Bicheno had covered the social aspect of the navies, something I plan to do myself. I thought he did a good job of that.
Good tabular data: Bicheno presents good order of battle data, as well as some good tabular data on the individual air strikes of the morning. It's by no means complete, but it's much better than what you'll find in books like Prange's "Miracle at Midway."
Visual Presentation: The book is lovely to look at; lots of photos (albeit all the same ones we've all seen in Midway books before--there is a shortage of photographs for this battle), and well illustrated with colorful maps. Nicely done. However, this leads us to some of the...
Less Strong Points:
Some of the Illustrations are misleading. For instance, the map on page 128, showing various attacks on the Japanese carrier formation between 0700-0820 goes into great detail regarding the individual placement of Japanese vessels, the *entirety* of which is completely wrong. The four carriers are misplaced relative to their known divisional alignments. Furthermore, the outlying escort vessels are badly represented as well, with those few destroyers that we can be reasonably sure were close to the carriers (since they were plane-guard escorts) shown out on the perimeter. In other words, for this map at least Bicheno simply took a wild guess and drew some pretty pictures. But the picture is utterly wrong.
Nothing Much New. The author is using secondary sources, and not surprisingly hasn't dug up much new to say about the battle in a concrete sense. That's a pity, because there *are* new things to relate on the battle, had the author done a little more digging. He could have, for instance, read both Dallas Isom's 2000, and my own 2001 articles in the U.S. Naval War College Review about what was occurring with regards to Japanese recon, re-arming, and fighter operations during the battle, some of which is quite important. So, while it's a good read, you can get essentially the same account from Lord, Prange, or Cressman's works. But the pictures, again, are prettier in this one.
Hope this is of some use to people.