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Topic: Harry Turtledove - Worldwar and Colonization series

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Subject: Harry Turtledove - Worldwar and Colonization series
Date Posted: 5/24/2008 10:55 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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  1. Worldwar; In The Balance (1993)
  2. Worldwar; Tilting the Balance (1995)
  3. Worldwar; Upsetting the Balance (1996)
  4. Worldwar; Striking the Balance (1996)
  5. Colonization: Second Contact (1999)
  6. Colonization: Down to Earth (2000)
  7. Colonization: Aftershocks (2001)

I've just finished the first two of this series.  I'm committed to reading at least two more because they were a birthday gift.  Beyond that, well, we'll see...

I wish books like these came with warning labels: "Warning, this book is part of a seven volume series, in which the author starts out with one interesting concept, but then stretches it beyond all belief." I mean, I was already hooked on Turtledove's eleven volume alternate civil war series (which is truly better), and now this too!  There, now I got that off my chest.

So, that one interesting concept is that hostile aliens invade the Earth right in the middle of World War II. Former enemies are forced to band together against the evil Lizards. And the part of me that always cheers for the underdog and for a united humanity is captured by that. But these aliens, while technologically superior to 1940s Earth, are actually not as smart as humans. And that technological superiority is really only about 10 or 20 years ahead of Earth. As a result, the conflict grinds to an unresolvable impasse, perfect for stringing the reader along through more and more books. The individual characters, located at various spots around the globe, are what really drive this story - but I need more than that.  

As a big fan of alternate history, and even of Harry Turtledove's alternate civil war series, I was disappointed with the shallowness of this.  Anyone else have a similar reaction?

Last Edited on: 5/24/08 11:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2007
Posts: 49
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I thought the series started out well and slowly ground to a halt.  I think the "Colonization" books really killed the series.  I read the first six books as they came out but never read book seven.  I recently picked it up but could not get into it.  The is also an eigth book titled "Homebound" or something like that.


I had a similar problem with the alt Civil War series.  It started out good but each book was worse then the one before.  Damned if I know why I kept reading but the last book was an improvment and I'm sure I'll read the next one. 

Date Posted: 5/29/2008 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2006
Posts: 197
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I completely agree. The Colonization books are where I just gave up on the series. They actually made me wary of reading any more of his books, until I got hooked on him again with his YA series. That one's much less unwieldly, probably since he's writing for a younger audience.

Subject: alternate civil war series
Date Posted: 5/29/2008 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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  1. How Few Remain
  2. The Great War: American Front
  3. The Great War: Walk In Hell
  4. The Great War: Breakthroughs
  5. American Empire: Blood and Iron
  6. American Empire: The Center Cannot Hold
  7. American Empire: The Victorious Opposition
  8. Settling Accounts: Return Engagement
  9. Settling Accounts: Drive to the East
  10. Settling Accounts: The Grapple
  11. Settling Accounts: In At The Death

I'm currently ready to start the Settling Accounts sequence (which parallels WW2), so please nobody tell me how it ends.  But I wanted to say that I am enjoying this series quite a bit more than the Worldwar/Colonization series.  I especially appreciated the American Empire sequence, set between the wars, as it examines issues of race, politics, and revenge, in a way that helped me understand how fascism could have happened here, as it did it Europe.

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2007
Posts: 47
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I agree the colonization books were alot slower, but if you havent read the last book of this series "Homeward Bound", I'd recommend picking it up after the first four.