An interesting look at parallel societies - how the world could have turned out, had history taken a different turn. Very quick and enjoyable read.
I'd always heard of Turtledove as a good writer of alternate history, but hadn't read anything by him until this book, which I picked up at random. Although nothing on the cover marks this as a YA novel, it definitely is - moreover, it's a YA novel written in an infuriatingly condescending, didactic style which assumes the reader knows nothing of the most basic concepts of history, and is incapable of looking things up or even understanding anything that isn't stated in simple, short words. Reading it, I felt like I had been stuck in some kind of remedial class!
The premise is that, in the near future, travel into alternate worlds has been discovered, and is being used for commerce - products are brought from the "alternates" by merchants who pose as local people. Due to a technical glitch (?) two teenage siblings are stranded without their merchant parents in a medieval-style Eastern European country (which, for some reason, hasn't progressed or changed since the days of the Roman Empire). and have to get through the situation on their own. Unfortunately, there's not really all that much to "get through." Some bureaucrats ask some questions, there's some suspicion - but nothing really happens. The two teenagers act and think in a ridiculously immature manner, and there wasn't really much of anything interesting or different about the world that they're stuck in.
Not at all recommended.
The Crosstime Traffic series seems to be written for young teenagers. The "heros" are kids, the situations are quite simplified from what Turtledove is capable of writing, and the books are short. Nevertheless, they have an interesting concept: travel between parallel "timelines" where the travelers are exporting goods (foodstuffs, etc) from the parallel or alternate timeline to the home timeline. At the same time the agents doing this exporting are supposed to not reveal their true origins...and this causes problems when the locals are inquisitive or imaginative than they are supposed to be.
Not to quote the synopsis posted on book cover, but two teens and their parents spend time in alternate Roman Empire. circumstances put the teens in charge of themselves while parents return to their reality timeline for a medical emergency.
I'll cut to the chase here. the teens are so rabidly anti fur they practically throw up when they see it. they are also anti-slavery in a world where everyone who can own, does.
I read it and didn't dislike it, but it seemed adolescent Heinlein, with a strong gospel thrown in. I guess if I tried real hard I could envision SW California being this way, but the fact is they had to overcome their phobias in order to avoid some of the suspicion that came their way.
Great read----being passed on to my son
Interesting alternate history involving a never-fallen Roman Empire. I like these books, but I am not the avid fan of this author that others tend to be. Worth the read, though.
Not as good as some of his other books but still a good read.
Great intro for young readers interested in alternative history
It is a fun book to read an provides an interesting view of how life would have been in the past.
Isn't alternate history wonderful?