series (originally planned at four books, with rumors of a possible fifth turning into the three
of the "Colonization"
series) is based on the "What If" of "What if Aliens invaded Earth during WWII and began their own
war of conquest."
It is quite a good series, actually...if you ignore the hoops Harry has to jump through to create a race of aliens advanced enough for interstellar travel, yet not so advanced that they can just walk in and take over. Frankly, I think he's done a good job for the most part in this hoop-leaping.
The characters are interesting, the history is well researched, and all and all, it's a darn good read. All the "Worldwar"
books and the first "Colonization"
one are out in paperback, with the second "Colonization"
in hardcover. To me, the third and fourth books of the "Worldwar"
series are not as good as the first two, but it is still recommended - if with some reservations.
Its sequel series (a bizarre concept, that), "Colonization,"
is not, to my mind, as good. Oh, it starts out pretty good with "Colonization : Second Contact,"
but after that it's just more of the same. More aliens not understanding humans, more problems with ginger, more nuking, more...
...well, more $25 hardcover books to buy.
It's perhaps a sign of how disappointed I was with the series (and Harry's work in general, lately) is that I have not
bought the final volume of the series - "Colonization : Aftershocks"
- even though it's been out for quite some time. Used to be, I'd be down to the bookstore to pick up a new Turtledove pretty much as they were putting it out for the first time. But his quality level has dropped considerably the last couple of years. Hopefully, he'll get back up to where he was - for he has
done some of the best AH out there - but for now he's no longer on my "must buy instantly" list.
"Worldwar: In The Balance"
It's 1942, all of the world is ablaze with war, one where it seems likely that it could go either way...
...and then aliens arrive, and start their own war for Earth.
Now facing a common - and much more advanced - foe, nations at war have to "patch up" their differences and try to fight off an enemy whose weapons look like Science Fiction...
...then they can get back to the real war...
"Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance"
"Worldwar: Tilting the Balance"
Both the aliens and the humans are being pushed closer to the edge of collapse.
The U.S. and German nuclear programs have had success and by the books
end, five human and five alien nukes have been set off - and Tokyo, Seattle,
Chicago, Miami and Rome are now ash, with Pearl Harbor next on the list.
The world's infrastructure is collapsing, and the U.S. is resorting to
cavalry raids against the aliens in the Midwest. However, the aliens are
running out of supplies, moral is down, ginger use is up, and by the end
of the book one of their bases mutinies, which shakes them more than the
human nukes do. The series should end with book four.
When I read the first "Worldwar" book, I was pretty sure it was going to be a trilogy. Unfortunately, this book kinda proves it should have been - but someone said, "Harry, can you do four
It's not that it's bad, not by a long shot. Certainly I found it an interesting read. It's just that by the end of this book, I don't see where things have changed all that much from the end of the second book. The story's just sort of coasting to the final volume and some of the plot lines in it just sort of peter-out.
Still, the first two books were quite good and if the final one matches them, the series will definitely be a keeper.
"Worldwar: Striking the Balance"
In the fourth book of the series the war between
the Race and the Humans is now in it's second year and it is going very
badly for both sides. The Race is running out of its military hardware
(being unable to build more on backwards Earth) and the Humans, while doing
better resupplying their tanks & bullets & whatnot, is becoming
increasingly unable to do the little things - like grow (and transport!)
food. Conflicts are increasing between the various Human governments, and
even the Race is now experiencing mutinies. Humans are nuking the Race
(and your favorite cities) as fast as they can build bombs, and the Race
is being forced to respond in kind, while trying to preserve enough of
the planet that the colonists due in twenty years (100 million of them!)
will have something left to colonize. And the Nazis continue to insist
on acting like Nazis...
It's becoming increasingly obvious to both sides
that neither can win - at least, win, and still have enough of a civilization
left to enjoy it.
Well, the fourth (and supposedly final) book of Turtledove's
series is now out and I rushed over to the bookstore to
get it, having read the other three.
In retrospect, I could've rushed a little slower.
Striking the Balance
isn't a bad
but it isn't nearly as good as the first two books of the series and, quite
frankly, this makes it a bit of a let-down. The main problem is that hardly
any of the situations set up in the first three books actually get solved,
they just sorta peter-out. Okay, I admit Real LifeTM
is like that all the time - this, however, is fiction. And while the best
leave you wishing to know what happens next, they're
supposed to come to some
sort of conclusion.
And there were little errors in logic that just keep
bugging me. Example: for the last three books, the Race has been bemoaning
the fact that it is running out of "seeker heads" (laser guidance
systems) for it's missiles & shells, so by the end of the fourth book,
be pretty much gone. Yet one of the last bits of the
book shows that humans have captured enough of the things that they're
bothering to train people how to use them! SIGH
Rumors abound that Harry is doing a fifth
which may explain why there were so many loose ends, but if so, it's kinda
tacky to change the number of volumes on your readers at the last moment
like this (not as tacky as hiding the fact that a book is the first of
a series until the final chapter, like 1945
did, but tacky none-the-less),
especially if there's no guarantee the fifth (or sixth or seventh...) book
will be written.
(and judging by what I see in Books in Print, Harry's
pretty much, um, "booked" for the next three, four years)
Anywho, if you bought the first three books (like I
did), it's worth buying to complete the set - as I said, it isn't a bad
book, and the series as a whole is right up there in the "good"
category. If you haven't bought any of the books, I'd wait until next year,
and buy the series in paperback (the first three are already out in that
But, if a fifth book does come out, I'll probably buy it..
(and I did...which is why I didn't
by the sixth, seventh, and so on books...)