Ten years ago, inhabitants of the twentieth century and the Bronze Age were tossed together by the Event. But as two worlds converge, only one can be the victor in a battle to lead this strange new world.
On the Oceans of Eternity ends cleanly, yet leaves the door open for a number of interesting sequels--and how often can you say that? Like its prequels, On the Oceans of Eternity is big, bloody, and ambitious, but always fast-paced and fascinating. This fun, intelligent series is perfect not only for action-adventure, alternate history, time travel, and military-SF fans but also for epic fantasy readers, for Burroughs and Haggard fans craving a modern update of the lost-civilization novel, and for anyone who loves Patrick O'Brian's sensational sea battles. --Cynthia Ward
Fortunately, thanks to a modern U.S. marine training regime, and to incredible luck, the Nantucketers are impossible to defeat in a battle. Friendly bullets fly true and smash great holes in enemy lines. Enemy gunshot is pathetic, killing a few to give our heros a chance to grieve, but not doing significant military damage. Even Walker's few victories are empty as the Nantucketers sucker him deeper into empty territory.
ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY is the third in S. M. Stirling's alternate history series about the republic of Nantucket. By now, ten years after the 'event,' Nantucket has pretty well melded its 20th century technology with the industrial capabilities of the bronze age world. The scenes set in Nantucket, therefore, lose some of the immediacy and interest that post-event survival tactics held. In ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY, it is the non-Nantucket kingdoms that are most interesting. Isketerol's attempts to balance his people's traditions with the new technology, and Walker's effort to overcome the entire Island's technological advantage with speed and hard work are the highlights of the novel.
Stirling follows alternate history convention by running multiple sub-plots simultaneously--Chief Cofflin in Nantucket, Commodore Marion Alston-Kurlelo and her lover, Swindapa with the Nantucket fleet, Walker, Isketerol, and Ranger Peter Giernas in California. Some of these stories are interesting. Others do little to advance the plot or demonstrate the clash of civilizations that make alternate history so interesting.
I loved ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME--the first book in this series but I think that Stirling would have served himself and his readers better if he'd shortened the sequel to one book instead of two, created more suspense, and really gotten into what technologies made the difference.