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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged CD edition (March 16 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400113970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400113972
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 4.1 x 13.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Turtledove's grand tetralogy of an alternate WWII interrupted by an alien invasion draws to a satisfactory conclusion in this follow-up to Upsetting the Balance, and with a few surprises to boot. The Chinese woman Liu Han, for example, is seen climbing the hierarchy of the Chinese Communist Party as it comes under the control of Mao Zedong. Moishe Russie helps negotiate the final armed truce between the alien Lizards and the humans, with the Lizards withdrawing from most human territory in return for being allowed to settle many deserts in anticipation of the arrival of their colonists. (Neither side can survive an indefinitely prolonged nuclear exchange, and the Lizard edge in technology has been rapidly vanishing.) Readers will be happy to see Ludmila Gorbunova and Heinrich Jaeger reunited, and to note their roles in the final disposition of the heroic lunatic Otto Skorzeny. Turtledove's historical scholarship, narrative technique, dry wit and deft characterization distinguish this novel just as they did its predecessors, making it a rousing wrap-up to a monument of alternate history from a master of the genre.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this fourth book and conclusion to the alternate World War II history series (the prior installment was Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance, LJ 12/95), Turtledove mixes historical and fictional characters in a war of combined Axis and Allied forces against invading reptilian aliens. Recommended for collections with the earlier books.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
So, Striking The Balance finally sums up all the lines Turtledove had started in his first book of the Worldwar series.
For those who have already read first three books, the further development is quite predictable. After over two years of fighting all around the world, with its fronts spread too wide, and its lines becoming yet thinner from day to day, with too many cities levelled down to eatrh, and several of them lying in radioactive ruins, the Race stands now before two unpleasant options: either they will have to turn all this world together with all its inhabitants into a radioactive desert unsuitable for colonization, or make peace with Major Forces of this world (USA, Third Reich and USSR) and those who were able to prevent their occupation by Race's forces (Great Britain and Japan) on conditions of status quo. And this means that all these nations with all their Tosenite's ability to pick up and introduce innovations into technologies they develop on basis of what they've stolen from Race, and with all thier aggression, will have time to prepare themselves for a new round of fighting. This very idea alone should make Atvar feel uneasy...
Historisn by profession, Turtledove has a brilliant insight to predict what would have happened if...
What will happen with the main characters of the novel? Will Ludmila Gorbunova and Heinrich Jaeger meet at last? Will Liu Han become a promimemt leader of of Chinese Red Force? Will Reich's terrorist No.1 Otto Scorzeni become "Osama BenLaden" of this alternate world, or will he fail, and only one thing can make him fail - his death? Read the book, it's worth reading.
And finally, a remark from the reader from the other side of "iron curtain", which has finally (and fortunately) fallen.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I selected my title because, of course, this is the book which not only concludes the Worldwar tetralogy, but also sets up the Colonization tetralogy. It does both very, very well, politically, culturally and militarily.
As I said in my review of "In the Balance", I picked the first book up in April, and have read not only it but all FOUR of its sequals (something like 3,000 pages) in the past two months. That's really saying something too, because I work about 12-16 hours a day.
One earlier reviewer complained that the Race wouldn't have developed the technology it brought to Earth because (a) it supposedly never fought such a war on Home (having unified more than 50,000 Earth-years ago) and (b) it had easy walk-overs in both of its prior conquests. This is bunk. As to (b), just as with Earth, the Race is the epitome of caution, and millennia of planning and overkill-weaponry are their hallmark. But as to (a), the books themselves make clear that the Race DID develop such weaponry in warfare on Home, that Home was then unified, and that thereafter all weapons research was halted. In fact, we learn later (in the first book of the second tetralogy) that the Race only has soldiers when it's about to go conquer somebody, that Home is otherwise undefended (except by police), and that the weapons brought to Earth were made by searching through to archives to discover the schematics for the most advanced stuff the Race had ever invented (thousands of years before). That some of this information comes from a later book is no slap at Turtledove, either: the author is by no means required to tell the reader everything up front (duh!), any more than the characters in the book knew all these things at the times in question.
This whole series is a Turtledove home run, and it's sequal-tetralogy is shaping up to be even better. Buy it now.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is as far as I've gotten in the series. I admit that these books often had me immersed and rapidly turning pages, but it's really starting to get repetitive, and I'm tired of the whole setting that's been created. There were some good human and alien characters, and lots of action in spots. It's what I'd call "light reading".
There's something about the lizard technology that doesn't make sense: A species like this wouldn't have this sort of weaponry. Think about it: The other two worlds in their empire that they conquered were primitive, easily-defeated tribal societies. So why would the lizards have tanks and air-to-air missiles? Their home world has been unified since ancient times. Things like tanks are invented due to the circumstances of particular types of warfare. In WWI, there was a need to cross trenches and barbed wire, and the tank was developed in response to this. The lizards never fought a war like this, so how would they have thought of something like this? Same for fighter aircraft.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The other three books in this series were very enjoyable.
This was an end of series book - mandated. The author certainly didn't seem to want the series to end. There's a feeling throughout the book that this war is coming to an end. Gone are the stirring battle stories, the characters now familiar and the Race war weary. Since much of the book is written from the Race's perspective, the reader gets war-weary too.
As for peace, it's withdraw from the US and Soviet Union and bits of Nazi Germany - they have nukes and war with the British (forgetting breaking of Enigma and the first computer) and Japanese who don't. Perhaps the Race would like to receive some more nerve agents like those that kicked them out of Britain? The end just doesn't ring true. The only scene of withdrawal is in the USA.
The last action is preventing Germany exploding a bomb in Breslau.
Most of the British Empire has exchanged ruler, with Eden portrayed as nearly in tears. Does Turtledove have something against the British? Most of the rest of the world is in lizard hands. This book gave no indication that the war to drive the Invaders from Space off Earth, would continue nor how or if the colonisation fleet would be dealt with twenty years on.
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