5.0 out of 5 stars One minute to midnight
Jake Featherston and his militant Freedom Party finally win power in the Confederacy, and begin their unstoppable push to exact vengeance upon the CSA's blacks and the United States of America. In the meantime, the USA spends precious little time wondering just what to do about Featherston and the former Confederate states now in U.S. hands, not to mention the endless...
Published on May 9 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Awfully repetitive!
I have read all of the "Great War" and all of the "American Empire" AH novels by Harry Turtledove , and I have just about had enough! From the novel "Breakthroughs" until this book , we have only had awfully repetitive cameo glimpses into the mundane lives of many characters who seem to have no redeeming qualities whatever.
In the present...
Published on May 23 2004 by Rodger Raubach
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1.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't even finish it - way too many characters,
This review is from: The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)In this book, Turtledove asks you to follow the stories of:
1) a revolt in Utah
2) a revolt in Texas
3) a revolt in Canada
4) some characters in Quebec
5) an increasingly powerful Confederate ruler and his cronies
6) a black family in Georgia
7) a black family in Iowa
8) a politician in New York
9) some characters in Mexico (now part of the Confederacy)
10) some US sailors in the Pacific
The sad part is, I probably missed some subplots (now that I think about it, there's a Confederate dissident who tried to assasinate the Confederate President).
Mr. Turtledove, it's OK to have multiple characters but this is ridiculous. This novel is all (literally) over the place, and by page 200 (when I stopped reading), none of the stories were converging. Also, it's intellectually lazy to take what happened in Nazi Germany and simply apply it to the South. Why not use your imagination a little and apply a different set of circumstances rather than simply channeling Adolf Hitler through Jake Featherston?
3.0 out of 5 stars Awfully repetitive!,
In the present work , we finally wind up losing some non-essential personae: Nellie Semphroch(Jacobs) , Lucien Galtier , Laura Secord(Moss) , and Sylvia Enos. Some of these characters hung around waaay to long for my taste! We see Colonel Abner Dowling promoted to General officer rank and finally manages to get out of Utah.
Jake Featherston tightens his grip on the Confederacy and emulates real world Germany by the construction of concentration camps, and sets the stage for the upcoming World War II in AH time.
What I liked about the book:
What I disliked about the book:
Overall I liked this installment better than "The Center Cannot Hold". I suppose I will continue the series , since I am "hooked" on the essential thread. Unfortunatly Turtledove seems to have trouble finishing what he starts , as in the Worldwar/Colonization series. I rated this volume 3 stars , but doesn't come close to 4. Still , not a bad read. Certainly beats watching paint dry , anyhow.
5.0 out of 5 stars One minute to midnight,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, Book Three) (Mass Market Paperback)Jake Featherston and his militant Freedom Party finally win power in the Confederacy, and begin their unstoppable push to exact vengeance upon the CSA's blacks and the United States of America. In the meantime, the USA spends precious little time wondering just what to do about Featherston and the former Confederate states now in U.S. hands, not to mention the endless trouble in Utah and Occupied Canada. By the time the United States stand up to look Featherston down, it is too late.
All in all, an enjoyable book, and an excellent conclusion to the American Empire series. Some might complain about the similarities between the Freedom Party and the Nazis, but the connections and contrasts in my opinion make the book more interesting, not lame. It deserves the five stars I gave it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Something is missing,
Does anyone remember some of his earlier characters from this timeline? One of my alltime favorites was the godfearing Irish
His book is an entertaining read; I hope that some of his characters from this series are 'retired' and new ones are brought in. After all, why bother with Canada if nothing is going to really happen in Canada. I can't imagine a full scale insurrection in a sparcely populated place as Canada when the US already has a firm foothold in the area, even if the populous US goes to war. I would love to see more of the happenings from overseas and in keeping with Turtledove's writings, ambassadors would be an excellent way of doing that.
That being said, I'll end up buying the next books in the series because I am a history buff and I still figure Harry for a few surprises and interesting twists along the way. I hope that he doesn't follow the current transparent format of overlaying 1930's Germany onto 1930's CSA and start to deviate from that norm somewhat. Will we see a Kennedy rise to power in the next series to lead the USA on its grand charge to defeat the CSA?
4.0 out of 5 stars WWII Turtledovestyle Is About to Start,
For those who don't know, this series kicked off with HFR, wherein the Confederacy won the Civil War, backed by Britain and France, and that a second War was lost by the USA, setting the stage for an alternate WWI, an alternate Pax Americana, and soon to come, an alternate WWII.
The Victorious Opposition is again burdened by a huge logical flaw. As Pearl Harbor and 9-11 showed, attack America and you will reap a whirlwind. Here, the Japanese bombed Los Angeles and the war ends with a treaty leaving things as if the brief war never happened.
This is just an impossibility, even by the logic of Mr. Turtledove's universe, where a revenge-driven USA has waited decades to get back at the CSA, Britain and France. The idea that any form of America would just be willing to let bygones be bygones for such an action is logically unforgiveable.
However, this sin, although it does taint this book, is a sin of the prior book in the series. Mr. Turtledove's books are always intellectually stimulating, but he does seem to have a blindspot regarding logic, as this problem, actions defying the laws of logic laid down in his own universe, is one that seems to permeate his writing.
Speaking of permeating his writings, the American version of the Holocaust, directed towards African Americans in the CSA, is well underway by this point.
When we last left our characters, Jake Featherstone had won election as President of the CSA, and was well on his way to becoming a Confederate version of Hitler. This book continues this trend, working its way up through the moment of war beginning again.
This is a true transition book, with a lot of characters dying, by various means and for various reasons. Perhaps the reason why this novel is the best of the "American Empire" books is possibly because of anticipation, an unspoiled sense of anticipation.
For we know that the next books will present a new version of WWII. As things stand now, no logical flaws yet have marred the anticipation of how Mr. Turtledove's creativity will render such an epic event.
The problem is that such an event could have only one result: a CSA, British, French, Russian and Japanese defeat. Here, Germany would not have started WWII with a subpar navy: instead, it would have been Britain and France with navies far removed from their level of greatness. By that standard alone, Great Britain would be starved out with ease.
Here, Russia is still under the Tsars. Therefore, no upheaval of the earth-shattering degrees that resulted in the Soviet Union's industrialization, which is what enabled the Soviets to hold back the Germans; plus here Germany had the lands of Poland and Ukraine under their control - much closer to Moscow. France would've had no Maginot line; France, driven by revenge after the Franco-Prussian War in our world, got their clocks cleaned by the Germans in WWI. But for the British Empire's soldiers, the Germans would've been able to outflank the Allies in the opening months of WWI, and WWI might really have been over by Christmas of 1914, with a triumphant Germany. France hasn't won a war in almost 200 years; they wouldn't be able to change that in Turtledove's universe.
Also: USA stole Japanese code secrets during the Washington Naval Treaty talks, which don't seem to have happened in this world.
The Brits got their big breakthrough on the Enigma code via Polish intelligence; here Poland is actually part of Germany.
Lastly, the CSA itself. In our world, the South of that time was well under the population of the rest of the USA. This is a difference which would have been magnified in Turtledove's universe, as immigration never ended (a Red scare was the big justification for ending open immigration). The industrialization difference even with an independent CSA, would still have been much greater than the population difference between the two countries.
The American Empire saga comes to a close, with a new saga waiting in the wings. Where logic will reside in that new series remains to be seen, but you can count on intellectual stimulation.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
4.0 out of 5 stars Strongest of the American Empire trilogy,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars American Empire: VIctorious Opposition,
3.0 out of 5 stars And they go Marching on,
Certainly not with 'How few Remain' no, were I to detail the series which I have forced myself through I would be here well into the darker hours of the evening. No, It suffices to say that Harry Turtledove has merely taken the histories of Germany and France and superimposed them on the Americas. The original books were really quite charming and the series has degraded since then.
Victorious Opposition is the present pinnacle of degridation. To be certain, if you began reading the series you have brought yourself here therough the Great War and American Empire Series and if you've read the rest it is a foregone conclusion that you will take this book upon yourself. It isn't a bad book... it just... lacks any originality or dynamicism that it should have.
It's good Alternate History I suppose, well, actually it isn't really, but it's ever so wearisome at this point. I wish that he would just stop writing this series, because I am shamefully addicted despite the fact that it just isn't any fun.
5.0 out of 5 stars Freedom!..Here We Go!,
As expected, the whole storyline revolves around the imbittered receintly sworn in president of the CSA, Jake Featherston. Taking charge of the impoverished and demoralised country, he soon starts out on a programme of recovery which includes rearming the "Confederate Citrus Company" airplane fleet, a massive tractor building programme (so gaining practise mass producing tanks), conscripting a massive White only labor work force whilst taking revenge on all those who wronged him and the CSA. Taking back what is rightfully CSA property is also a priority and Kentucky is the first to return to CSA.
Basically following the lines of reality 1930's Germany, we follow the fortunes of those supporters of the Freedom Party.
Party stalwart Jefferson Pinkard ends up running a prison camp for political prisoners but soon realises that he has to take on a more challenging task, dealing with the growing numbers of Black prisoners that are arriving in their thousands as Featherston takes his revenge on them. You can see where this storyline is going...
Hipolito Rodriguez starts to enjoy the status of Freedom membership and his family are all going through the motions of Youth Squads and the benefits of belonging, however I can see a little doubt in his mind beginning to grow...watch this space.
Those who have stood against Featherston are also having to come to terms with the new order. Clarence Potter suddenly finds himself a Colonel in his old capacity of intellegence gathering after an unlikely situation that saw him attempting to take Featherston's life but saving it instead.
Anne Collerton gets her just desserts when she rejoins the Freedom Party, Featherston sends her off to France as unofficial ambassidor and keeps her well down the ranks and in her place.
Vice President Willy Knight attepts a Coup on his leader and fails dramatically. He finds himself in Pinkard's prison.
However the best moment of Featherston's revenge spree has to be the final run in with his ultimate advesary and long time reason for his bitterness, Jeb Stuart Jnr. This is one of the best highlights and reading through the sub chapter a couple of times is quite enjoyable.
The plight of the Black man in the CSA is taken up by the weary and lonely Scipio and his family. Reading his plight through this episode, one does have to remind oneself that this is the work of fiction.
In the United States and Canada, we see the end of three big characters that have been part of the scene since the beginning of WW1 (with one starting off in How Few Remain). Nellie Jacobs dies suddenly after cutting herself and getting blood poisoning as a result. She goes still hating men but tries to confess to her family about Bill Reach in her last gasps. She fails.
Sylvia Enos was the supprise death, having been accidentally shot dead by her drunk lover, Ernie who is still a fustrated man, having been injured in a very manly place while being an ambulance driver in Quebec in WW1. He was, of course, rescued by none other than Lucien Gaultier...
The swaggering Quebecouis finishes his life 'on top' however I have always found him rather a boring character. No great loss.
These three characters have their offspring to continue the storyline.
Cincinattis Driver continues to risk life to better his family's situation. His foolish return to Kentucky sees him finish this book stranded in the now CSA state.
The Military men find themselves having to catch up with the world with Abner Dowling, Irving Morrell, Sam Castern and Jonnathan Moss gearing up for the darkening clouds of wars. Moss more so for revenge as his famous wife and baby are killed by a bomb mailed to the by none other than Mary Pomeroy.
Chester Martin starts off the Union movement in California after suffering the conditions of workplace harrasment by the bosses of the huge housing project he is working in.
Flora Blackford is re-elected to congress but she is to little to late as Jake Featherston finally calls on the USA to hand back everything they took from the CSA in WW1. As the world starts falling apart in Europe the enevitable happens. On the morning of June 22 1941, Jake Featherston finally takes revenge on the USA...
All in all a much better conclusion to what was a long drawn out trilogy. The main space to watch in the upcoming WW2 series is what will Japan do.
As I have already asked in previous reviews of Harry Turtledove, a bridging Novel between How Few Remain and American front would really complete this running series of alternate North American history, prehaps this year, in the meantime lets "settle accounts"- roll on April 2004!!!
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The Victorious Opposition (American Empire, Book Three) by Harry Turtledove (Mass Market Paperback - April 27 2004)
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