on February 19, 2004
Maybe I've read too many alternative histories in the last 40+ years, but this one is too screwy, poorly written and atrociously edited. A second world war within these covers? While the story tries to be a world war, to associate it by name with our own history (and weaponry) does us (and the Japanese) a disservice. I will admit, however, that the death of the Russian revolution and the nazi's as posited is plausible in "real" history, let alone this alternative. But the portrayal of people and place names, people especially... It is obvious who is being portrayed and the silly variations on names showcase apparently, third grade minds. And the alternate America??? It is a caricature of the worst of all the FBI and mobster stories and movies of the last century... I'm sorry I bought this one, even used. BUT, I will not forget this author's name... Possibly one to avoid!!
on February 20, 2003
Knowing the author personally I decided to make a few comments. The Author wrote the book for like minded historical buffs and apologizes for not making the characters stronger and more detailed. He has changed that in subsequent novels. A critical minded person who looks for mistakes could go to any public library and find mistakes in most of the books there. Any grade schooler knows that you double space between sentences. The novel was finalized by a professional secretary using a word processor and was put in book form by the publisher on a word processor.
All geographical names and locations were taken from National Geographics Concise Atlas of the World old and new versions and Funk and Wagnalls. It is common practice in many fiction books to change scenes without preamble and the author does this to show that many different actions are happening at the same time.
The history research was well done and if you follow the story it is an interesting alternative. This is the only WWII alternative history that I have read that the Nazi's paid no part. The author admits that he should have made the book longer and used more detail, the reason he did not was that he was trying to keep the book price down. The amount of pages in the book determines the price.
on September 11, 2002
My first review of this book has been tanked by Amazon for extreme language and what they deemed to be "personal attacks on the author." Having had time to calm down after wasting money and time on this book, I'm ready for a more measured response.
This book reminds me of something that may have been written by a 6th grader with a fairly good understanding of history and rich imagination. The premise of the book is badly under-researched, and the names of geographical locations are horribly mangled. The plot has no continuity, jumping from one scene to another without any bridges; it is a common occurence for the book to have actions that should have been different chapters separated by no more than a period. Grammar and spelling are atrocious, making a reader stumble through sentences and turning the process of reading into slow torture. From now on, I will stay away from self-publishing titles until I had a chance to page through them in a library.
on May 27, 2002
This is the most amateurishly written book I have ever seen. My spouse, a university press editor, opened it at random and began laughing. I will avoid anything from this press in future. I cannot believe that an editor, or even a proof reader, came within a mile of the manuscript. The author even spells "Air Force" as "Airforce" and, sequentially, "Vladivostok" and "Valdivostok" There are even double spaces between sentences; a sure sign of a typewriter orientation, rather than a word processor. There is a tiny germ of writing talent here, which could be nourished by writing classes and an editor. However, my friend Harry Turtledove's short story "Drang Von Osten" does this theme better-and shorter.