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on February 6, 2001
I must say Harry Turtledove has brought his Worldwar/Colonization to an exciting and stirring conclusion. His tale of a Second World War interupted by an invasion of reptiles has played out superbly over the course of seven books, and while not every moment has been a gem, the whole experience has been extremely entertaining.
Following the events of Down to Earth, Germany finds itself crippled, and France and Finland have regained independence after two decades of Nazi rule. The USA and the USSR now must deal with the shift in the balance of power. Plus, the mystery of who launched the missiles at the fleet in Second Contact, the mission of the Lewis and Clark, and who Straha's driver is are all resolved. Naturally, not everything is tied up completely, prompting further books.
What is most interesting about this series is how much change has been affected not only on the world, but on the various characters who populate this world. David Goldfarb makes his fortune using Race technology for variour commerical products (caller id being a noteworthy one). Liu Han, originally a peasant, is now firmly entrenched in the Chinese Communist Party. Sam Yeager, the USA's leading authority on the Race finds his life drastically, almost tragically, altered because of a little bit of knowledge he obtains. Wounded veteran Rance Auerbach finds himself embroiled in the ginger trade.
There are some glitches, of course. Certain characters appear more because for variety rather than the stories they tell. V.N. Molotov has nothing really important to do but show the USSR's plot and schemes, but ultimately tells no interesting tales. Monique Dutourd, while an interesting character, really doesn't have anything to do either but be a token French character, though that changes at the end. David Goldfarb too loses some momentum as the novel progresses. While I understand, and applaud, Turtledove's desire to show a wide spectrum of view points and characters, some of these characters could easily have been retired as their individual stories achieved closure.
Now, while Turtledove has stated he has no plans immediately write a sequel to Colonization, certainly he leaves the ending open. Personally, I would enjoy a return to this alternate history at some point, preferally in the form of self-contained novels. But for now, this is enough, and I would rather Turtledove concentrate on his other, very numerous, projects.
In the meantime, I recommend Aftershocks (after reading the previous books). It is a first rate series in its characterization, its plots and themes, and its ability to take a very stale idea (alien invasion) and set it on its head, while taking it to its most logical conclusion.
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on February 3, 2001
Ever since his first WorldWar book, Turtledove has kept SF fans around the world spellbound with his alternate historical epic of reactionary imperialist alien invaders and the cunning humans whose job it is to defeat them- or learn to live with them.
It is now the 1960s, some twenty years since the first round of fighting came to an end. The USA, the USSR, the Third Reich, and other developed nations remain independent, but Africa, Asia, South America, and Australia lie under the "Lizard" yoke. As time passes, the new generation comes to take the aliens more and more for granted. Both races work hard to adapt to the new world order.
But the aliens came to conquer the Earthlings, not to sign treaties with them. The Earthlings, meanwhile, are struggling to fill in the technological gap, turning out increasingly effective instruments of war. The United States reaches out into space, eager to take some of the "high ground" for themselves. And what they do once they get there may well exceed the worst nightmares of either species.
And yet, there may be some hope for peace. Every year, the two races are forced to interact more and more. Slowly but surely, inter-species friendships bloom. Psychologists and sociologists from both sides struggle to understand eachother. In many parts of the occupied world, humans come to coexest peacefully with their alien overlords.
Then, suddenly, everything changes. With Sam Yeager's deadly secret revealed at last, the world is brought once again to the brink of war. Even as Germans and Frenchmen struggle to hold their nations together, the rest of the world threatens to erupt. Today, a war could bring only two possible outcomes: it will leave the whole world under the dominion of the Lizards, or render it useless to both races...
This final installment of the Colonization series is another five-star performance from the Master of Alternate History. As events unfold at an increasingly rapid pace, Turtledove keeps the suspense rate admirably high. As vast webs of violence, intrigue, and deceit spread to every corner of the civilized world, the reader is often left in doubt as to whether a character will live to see the next page.
As in all of his best works, Turtledove manages to tie science, history, technology, romance, intrigue, action, and humor into a single, successful whole. The year is still young, but this is likely to be my choice for best SF novel of 2001.
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on February 7, 2001
As everyone likes to say Turtledove has done it again. This book was definately the best of the three Colonization books. You finally find out who attacked the colonization fleet. Who lit off the ginger rockets over Austailia.The conclusion of the Goldfarb-Roundbush feud. Goldfarb comes up with a new invention at the Widget Works. Rance and Penny come full circle. Gorpett finally gets to use his extensive knowledge of Big Uglies to the Race's advantage. The Lewis & Clarks true mission. Also a lot of cool teamups between the various characters of the series. All though Turtledove says this is the last of the series there is definately more books that need to be written to bring the series to a just and wholesome conclusion.
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on February 6, 2001
I think that this book, the third in the series, is by far the best of the series and this book makes the previous two books better because you can understand why things happened and who did them. I won't go into detail because I don't want to give away a very excting and surprising book. My only problem with this book is not fully closed at the end, but I have a good feeling that Prof. Turtledove is going to write another series in this universe. My guess is that it would take place in the present. I really enjoyed this book and I hope I see more books with The Race in them very soon. Until then I'll be waiting for the American Empire series from my favorite author. I hope you check out this book and enjoy it as much as I do.
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on February 23, 2001
AFTERSHOCKS wraps up the COLONIZATION series pretty well, I think--it certainly answers all the big questions the first two books ask. I was glad to find out what happened to my favorite characters--Sam Yeager and Kassquit especially. Life goes on, like the song says. The 1960's sure look different with Lizards in them.
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on April 19, 2001
In this excelent book, Turteldove continues his altenate history where aliens invaded the Earth during WW II. In this volume not only some questions are answered (who attacked the colonization fleet? What's the real purpos of the "Lewis and Clark"?) but has an ending that promises more to come.
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on May 8, 2001
There has been much criticism of this book and series from other 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.
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on January 30, 2001
Colonization:Aftershocks was the best one yet out of all of them by a long shot. The ending is very surprising, especially when you find out who's gunning for Sam Yeager, and the fate of our planet. Fans of Turltledove will love this latest novel on the Race from space!!!
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on February 13, 2001
What a great book. Just another wonderful one is a whole spectacular series. Turtledove's ability to create a life-like alternate universe never ceases to amaze! Can't wait for the next one!!
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on February 27, 2001
I may be mistaken, but wasn't Kasquit African not Chinese?
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