Ring of Fire II Mass Market Paperback – Jan 27 2009
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About the Author
Eric Flint is the author of the New York Times best seller 1634: The Galileo Affair (with Andrew Dennis)—a novel in his top-selling “Ring of Fire” alternate history series. His first novel for Baen, Mother of Demons, was picked by Science Fiction Chronicle as a best novel of the year. His 1632, which launched the ring of Fire series, won widespread critical praise, as from Publishers Weekly, which called him “an SF author of particular note, one who can entertain and edify in equal, and major, measure.” A longtime labor union activist with a Master’s Degree in history, he currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Horse Thieves" by Karen Bergstrahl tells about the conflicts between downtime mercenaries working for Grantville and some uptimers.
"Second Issue?" by Brad Sinor concerns the aftermath of "Here Comes Santa Claus" in RoF I, when the Grantville Times receives a story from a reporter who has stumbled onto the conspiracy.
"Diving Belle" by Gunnar Dahlin & Dave Freer is about a librarian who will do almost anything to get back some stolen books and the effects of her actions upon Stockholm.
"A Gift from the Duchess" by Virginia DeMarce relates the story of the loan of three plague specialists to the disease ridden city of Kronach.
"Lucky at Cards" by Andrew Dennis describes a high stake card game with the brother of the French king.
"A Trip to Amsterdam" by Gorg Huff & Paula Goodlett is a story about high finance and the siege of Amsterdam.
"This'll Be the Day" by Walt Boyles recounts the deeds of Father Friedrich Spee von Langenfeld on the day of his former death.
"Command Performance" by David Carrico illustrates the impact of uptime music on the elite of Magdeburg and Europe.
"Ellis Island" by Russ Rittgers recounts the tribulations of a peasant family immigrating to Grantville.
"Malungu Seed" by Jonathan Cresswell-Jones is about an African Jesuit layman who has an urgent mission in Grantville and elsewhere.
"Trials" by Jay Robison reveals the trials of an Italian artist and a Grantville housewife.
"The Chase" by Iver P. Cooper shows the perils of a teenage crush on a English aristocrat.
"Eddie and the King's Daughter" by K.D. Wentworth tells of the shaky beginning of Eddie's relationship with Anne Cathrine.
"Second Thoughts" by Virginia DeMarce discloses the events leading to marriage between the parents of Noelle Brigitte Murphy.
"The Austro-Hungarian Connection" by Eric Flint is the novella. It describes a very unusual romance between Noelle Brigitte Stull and a Hungarian officer.
Highly recommended for Ring of Fire fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of alternate history and cultural mixing.
-Arthur W. Jordin
Most of the stories are continuations of others in the series and do not stand alone. Paradoxically the best "Ellis Island" does. Eric Flints novella can nearly stand alone the rest vary widely.
If you haven't read at least most of the books in the series including the rather peripheral 1634: The Ram Rebellion (The Assiti Shards) and the 1634: The Bavarian Crisis (The Assiti Shards) as well as many of the Grantville Gazette V and the rest of them (mostly online) these will not make sense; particularly "Second Issue" and a "Trip to Amsterdam".
Most of the stories are 2 star with some 3s and one nearly 4 star (Eric Flint) and one 5 star "Ellis Island" but are dragged down by VD'Ms 2 efforts . While "Gift From a Duchess" has a great premise and solid historical research it is too diffuse with too many characters. Compared to "Lucky At Cards" where Richelieu, Mazarin and a crony embarrass Gaston at a card game (Gaston had been putting around rumors that Mazarin was in debt due to loosing at cards and then Gaston gets cleaned out). Frankly; reading VD'Ms "Second Thoughts" it occurred to me--putting my Editors hat on--that most of the authors, in this series and not just this book, suffer from too many sub plots and could benefit from reading The Cheaters Guide to Writing Erotic Romance For Publication and Profit. Eric can manage a lot of characters and sub plots although he bogs down in "The Austrio Hungarian Connection" but in spite of her ability to make historical characters interesting--If not always to bring them to life and her understanding of the history; V'DM looses her way consistently in the excess characters and sub plots. Almost every story in this antholgy needs to be tightened up. Shorts and novellas are very hard to write and several of the authors (particularly VD'M) suffer from Sam Clemmons problem "I didn't have time to write you a short letter so I wrote a long one...".
Overall a decent read for series heads better skipped buy anyone else.
You should NOT read this book without first having read 1632, 1633, and Ring of Fire, so you shouldn't need a review to decide to read the book; by the time you get this far into the series, you either like the premise or you don't. For myself, I like it!