5.0 out of 5 stars love this book and everything about the series
There has been much criticism of this book and series from other Amazon.com reviewers. I must say I found this book as interesting and riveting as the other books in the series. I definitely hope there is a sequel coming, because this is such a fascinating world to lose yourself in.
Published on May 9 2001
3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, but becoming old
If you have made it all the way to this seventh book you are probably aware of Turtledove's writing style. It can become tedious with constant and useless repetitions about the Earth being too cold for the Lizards, ginger being a drug the lizards like, and Jews being mad at the Nazis. After the first couple of chapters you will become sick of it...but it has been like...
Published on June 11 2004 by Miguel Gonzalez
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good enough, but becoming old,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)If you have made it all the way to this seventh book you are probably aware of Turtledove's writing style. It can become tedious with constant and useless repetitions about the Earth being too cold for the Lizards, ginger being a drug the lizards like, and Jews being mad at the Nazis. After the first couple of chapters you will become sick of it...but it has been like that since the first book.
Luckily this redundance is overshadowed by an intersting plot that develops the changing human (and Lizard) societies. Thus ginger smuggling becomes an important part of the book, but it becomes rather tedious toward the end.
Since the book is very redundant, lots of lines can be skipped, making the reading faster and enjoying the actual plot and not just fluffing. It is pleasant enough and has enough intrigue to keep one reading and if you have read all the other books of the series, you should definetly give Aftershocks a try. Bewarned though that Turtledove's writing has not changed and the story is starting to become old even if it remains intersting.
1.0 out of 5 stars Please, put the series out of its misery!,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)One would think that Turtledove (or the publishing house) would know when enough is enough but no, it just goes on and on until it teeters on its own bulk. I'm not sure where this "V"-like story came from (probably "V") but it was a good idea at the time. By now, though, the writing is past sloppy - it is sterile, totally predictable, almost as if he penned the work while in the doctor's waiting room or stopped at a red light. The idea of deep writing or a sense of wonder or a challenge to the reader (besides getting throught the thing) is laughable.
Once again, it is the utterly impossible and improbable - two distinct features of Turtledove's works - that make for such a poor "conclusion". The first problem is one present from the start: A race capable of crossing interstellar space has to choose sides in WWII in order to gain a foothold. The scientific advance of such aliens would be so dramatic as to render our technology obsolete, PARTICULARLY at WWII levels.
The second feature is one of my pet peeves - despite a complete change in circumstances the same leaders emerge with the same qualities. There is Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, etc...all doing the things they did in the "real" world. And that race of lizards - what gives? They have to be part of a space opera, "Dumb and Dumber". Why should any alien race feel psychologically close to one group of humans over another and why should they require any help? In the end it is just a big mess but never fear - a sequel to the sequel to the sequel will be out soon.
3.0 out of 5 stars Seven Books, No Conclusion,
This review is from: Colonization: Aftershocks (Hardcover)For a 488 page book that seems to be the last of a seven novel series, there is little sense of closure here.
In the mid-1960s, the struggle between the alien Lizards and humans that started in 1942 still goes on in space and on Earth. Nazi Germany is weakened, but not extinguished, in a nuclear exchange with the Lizards. A nuclear armed Soviet Union covertly aids human insurgents in Lizard occuppied China, and America edges closer to all out nuclear war with the Lizards.
As humans begin to adopt alien technology for everything from weaponry to toys and try to establish a permanent, armed presence in space, the hidebound, traditionalist Lizards find themselves changed as well. The addiction to ginger continues to corrode Lizard mores. A pair of them even goes so far as to enter the perversion of marriage.
As human and Lizard warily watch each other and the aliens begin to adopt Earth-style balance of power politics, the ecosystems of each begin to clash, with flora and fauna of the Race's Homeworld outcompeting the native Earth species in desert regions.
The intermingling of two worlds is best symbolized by Kassquit, a human woman raised from birth by the Lizard, and Straha, a defector from the Lizards who finds that the ways of humans -- and especially "snout counting" Americans -- have rubbed off on him. (The identity of Straha's human minder turns out to be one of those delightful unnamed historical cameos Turtledove loves to put in his alternate histories.)
The trouble is Turtledove doesn't settle the central conflict of this series -- how, if possible, human and Lizards can co-exist. He just prolongs it. At novel's end, it is hinted that the Lizards might be able to adapt legal concepts of citizenship from the Roman Empire. However, the Lizards don't seem much closer to conquering Man. To be sure, humans have gotten strong enough that the Lizards are reluctant to start a war. But neither side has decisively won.
Turtledove does wrap up some of the subplots involving ginger smuggling -- and they were getting somewhat tedious at this point in the series. But even there, while the fate of some characters is finally resolved, that of others is left sort of hanging.
The middle of the book is an amalgam of domestic concerns of romance and marriage with Cold War style nuclear brinkmanship between man and alien. The end of the novel is a disappointing repeat of _Worldwar: Striking the Balance_ not only in its ultimate irresolution, but it even involves an incident with the very same nuclear weapon of that novel.
In short, this book seems to be a disappointing conclusion to a promising series.
3.0 out of 5 stars Ginger...It's All About the Ginger,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)I just finished reading this book and I am assuming another installment is on the way. I hope there is, because I just can't wait to see who gets into the ginger smuggling business next time - the herb, not the girl on 'Gilligan's Island'. That seems to be the common thread through the last few books and its getting tiresome. Yes, it is interesting to see its effects on the Lizards but it seems that every other chapter deals with who is smuggling it, and how the Race is going to catch them before they all die in a frenzy of ginger induced mating. Oh, and there is a small matter of the nuclear war between the evil Third Reich and the Race, but the Nazi's asked for it you know, so don't feel sorry for them... Most of the war for the reader is spent on a Lizard ship with Jonathan Yeager as he introduces Kassquit to the joy of sex - like we didn't see that coming during his first visit. I would have liked to seen Molotov (my personal fav)do the wild thing with Kassquit, since neither one of them ever show emotion. And I like the Russie family but enough is enough, 'gevalt' as they would say. The Americans are out in the asteroid belt doing all sorts of secret things that are much more interesting than how many ingrown toenails Dr.Russie treats, but they are treated like a minor side story. Turtledove reaveals the true mission of the 'Lewis and Clark' on the last page and just leaves you hanging. If you have read the other books you have to read this one, especially if you like Penny and Rance, as they have assumed importance in this novel all out of proportion of when they were introduced, and most of it is tiring. Oh, yeah - Sam Yeager is a traitor, no matter what his mealy-mouth excuses were....
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy, Repetitive and getting old,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)Despite the fact that little is resolved in this book and it leaves the never-ending story of alien colonization very open-ended, It's time to retire this series.
While entertaining in the beginning this series has grown old, uninspired and has passed the point of retaining any hope for suspension of disbelief. It ... The numerous contradictions and glaring errors are everywhere. For example around page 310 (HB edition) Pierre Dotourd shows up at his sister's door freed of prison by the Nazi Kahn and a mere 100 pages later he is still referred to as being in jail. A gaping error and aptly representative of the quality of writing in this book.
One other reviewer made the point of comparing this series to a soap opera and it is a quite fitting comparison. The writing is poor, the plot devices paper-thin and the story line has become one ludicrous mess. The same handful of people continue to run across each other over the entire span of the globe in the most unlikely manners. The politics and technology have become ever increasingly asinine in a feeble effort to drive the plot forward. Sorry, while I greatly enjoyed the first few books in this series this will be my last.
If you have not read the worldwar series - I would recommend stopping after the fourth book. If you have read it up to this installment - do yourself a favor and move on to other books.
If you are expecting writing of the caliber of Turtledove's Guns of the South or How Few Remain then you are likely to be disappointed.
3.0 out of 5 stars An ambiguous semi-conclusion.,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)Having enjoyed the "WorldWar" and "Colonization" books on the whole, I would say this installment - maybe the last, maybe not? - is a fairly worthy continuation. The reptilian Race with whom Mankind is sharing the Earth in an alternate 1960s continue to be fascinating characters in their own right, especially with their new ginger-induced discovery of continuous sexuality now maturing into a more human outlook; sexual and emotional awakening are, obviously, among the oldest themes in literature, but Turtledove pulls it off in an engaging fashion.
One other human trait which seems to have rubbed off on the Race, unfortunately, is gross environmental misconduct: originally, THEY cared more than US about the condition of the Earth, being reluctant to simply nuke humanity into submission for fear of rendering Earth useless for colonization. In the latter half of this series, however, they seemed to throw nuclear devices around with abandon - admittedly, after some provocation in kind from the Greater German Reich and the USA. One wonders just how much megatonnage must have been used to defeat Germany in "Down to Earth" (a war treated far too briefly, certainly compared to the alternate World War II!) As much as all the nuclear tests of the real 1960s combined? And there were the German nuclear attacks on the Race. Surely, there would subsequently be enough fallout in the atmosphere to cause thousands of deaths in its own right, especially in Russia? The author might have been better to concentrate on this particular "aftershock" than on drug-smuggling in the newly-liberated France.
The human characters continue to be interesting, for the most part: Sam Yeager, hardly ever seeing direct action, is now at the center of what could determine the fate of the world. The American astronauts in the asteroid belt embody a truly fascinating question of what humans might have achieved in space decades ago, given a big enough incentive (like the arrival of aliens as a rival power here on Earth). And in the belated but determined Chinese revolution, Liu Han - once a meek and sweet-natured peasant - shockingly evolves into a brutual Maoist inquisitor!
Some individuals, however, have clearly outlived their entertainment value. For example, Rance and Penny have become pretty dull, not achieving much beyond backstreet intrigue and routine sex; Pierre and Monique Dutourd seem intended only to represent "Frenchness" for its own sake; and (though I hope this doesn't offend anyone) the Russie family are no more than a mouthpiece for Jewish post-holocaust moralising. If what Mr. Turtledove wants to write is primarily entertainment, perhaps the constant reminders of Nazi war atrocities could be left to real history books. In this fictional timeline, I think the German Reich has been punished more than enough. Aren't millions of nuclear deaths - to say nothing of the undoubtedly countless burned, blinded and crippled Germans - a rather larger holocaust than the concentration camps? If there is another book in the series, please, Mr. Turtledove, give the Jewish issue a rest!
It would be fun to see if Mankind do eventually surpass the Race and come to dominate them on Earth; maybe the ultimate in vengefully satisfying conclusions would be a fleet of Earth starships arriving at Tau Ceti, to return the favour of invasion. At least, one more book in this timeline would be appropriate, perhaps set around 2000 AD - it could tie up the Chinese independence issue, the ecological impact of plants and animals from Home, and the recovery or submission of Germany. Perhaps the most significant outcome of alien colonization could be a self-sustaining human civilization in space. But if such a book is written, it should be without all the dead wood.
4.0 out of 5 stars Empire strikes back "no pun intended",
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)"The Empire Strikes Back" was a great movie that leaves us hanging at the end. I remember almost dying as a kid when I realized that I would have to wait about 3 years (more than 30% of my life at the time) until the next movie.
This book is the same.
I guess we are hooked in for the next one. If you have read up til now, there is no excape. You are probably as addicted as I am <emphatic cough added>.
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting read - but fluffy aftertaste,
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)...
I'll get to the point quickly:
So after you read the book you are left with a pleasent sense of having just finished a good book - but as you ponder it you come to the conclusion that not much progression has occured.
It is time for the author to start concluding the series or if this will become a 300 year epic, to not write books that cover only 2 years of that timeframe.
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Happens,
By A Customer
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)Once you are hooked on a series, they seem to assume that you will buy anything, and this is a good example. This is supposed to be alternative history, but it it instead a sci-fi soap opera. There is no plot, just gossip about characters who are not doing anything of interest.
This could have been handled with a 12 page epilogue at the end of the last book.
One good thing about these tiring series -- they usually are available at the library so you don't have to waste your money on them.
2.0 out of 5 stars New Problems, New Failings,
By A Customer
This review is from: Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)I agree with almost all of the fan reviewers that this series, and Turtledove's ponderous writing, have gotten old. As has been true in many of Turtledove's series, unnecessary exposition and infuriating repetition comprise the narrative's stock in trade.
Unlike many reviewers, I though the pacing was better than usual, with events logically following one another through character vignettes. This improvement is also evident in the Great War series. Having said that, in Aftershocks Turtledove also steps out in a whole new way.
A ham-handedly foreshadowed major event is resolved in this book, in the form of a choice made by one of the major characters. Significant consequences result from that choice. Turtledove presents his character's actions as unequivocally moral; there is no sympathetic dissent. In fact, what was done is highly ambiguous at best, and Turtledove seems simply lazy (see: his editing skills) in refusing to engage what could be a very interesting debate.
No one put a gun to Turtledove's head here. He picked up a hot potato and, genre fiction or not, was obligated to deal with it honestly. He didn't, and that's too bad.
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Aftershocks (Colonization, Book Three) by Harry Turtledove (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 26 2002)
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