In the Balance - Worldwar, Bk 1 Author:Harry Turtledove From Pearl Harbor to panzers rolling through Paris to the Siege of Leningrad and the Battle of Midway, war seethed across the planet as the flames of destruction rose higher and hotter. And then, suddenly, the real enemy came. The invaders seemed unstoppable, their technology far beyond human reach. And never before had men been more divided. Fo... more »r Jew to unite with Nazi, American with Japanese, and Russian with German was unthinkable. But the alternative was even worse. As the fate of the world hung in the balance, slowly, painfully, humankind took up the shocking challenge.« less
Daniel R. reviewed In the Balance (Worldwar, Bk 1) on
First for the good. The author has a real feeling for the human characters and in particular the leaders in the book. He also has detailed knowledge of the machines and tactics of WW2. At is base is the question "What if the great empires of the world united against a common foe" and it brings up many interesting situations.
Now for the bad. The aliens are uninspired and uninteresting. Their technology seems analogous to 1970's US tech and I find it hard to believe that any culture mastering interstellar travel would slug it out on the ground with rifles and tanks.
There are sooooo many plot lines and only a few are interesting. I think the author knows this as he begins killing off some of his characters in the second book. I found myself skipping 15 pages at a time to get to a better story line.... and missing nothing in the process. Believe me, you read Turtledove for his plot not for the themes.
This is the first novel in a very long and fascinating series and it starts out with a bang. Turledove has carved his own niche mixing both human vs Aliens and alternate history. Every thing makes sense, it's hard not to believe it is not real. The man has done his research but what else would expect from a History prof.