The science fiction aspect of this book is so silly, honestly, I felt like I was listening to a sci-fi alternative history thriller written in the 1950’s. And the characters are so under-developed, it’s amazing how little you get to know the characters in a book so long. Sorry Ian, this is my first and my last.
If you love science fiction, love tales of the future and high technology, love originality, and love a well crafted plausible and fantastical plot, read this. I’m unsure how this author eluded me for so long.
The lead character is rather feeble and whiney in the first 2/3rds of the book and then magically gets her game on with no real explanation as to why. The plot is very slow to develop but the last third of the book is interesting, and culminates with an interesting if not a tad unbelievable twist in the end.
I am really sorry and hate to say this, but this ranks among the worst books that I have ever read, and I was doubly shocked to find that this author has a faithful following. I love science fiction but this was all just silliness. The author dwells (painfully so) on uninteresting topics and situations that have no real relevance to the greater story. There’s never really any substance to what’s going on and you get the impression that you’re eavesdropping on conversations between seven year olds, except that the characters are mostly adults. The worlds/settings are thin and uninspired and you feel like you’re on the set of some low budget B movie. None of it adds up for me and whatever redeeming qualities might be present in this book, I didn’t find them.
I was absolutely fascinated by this book and could not put it down. There are characters that you’ll grow to love and even more characters that you’ll love to hate. The story is told from various points of view involving different people situated in the key nations caught up in WW1. The one thing you’ll appreciate is just how well these various story lines and plots ALL play out, you’ll get closure in the end on every last detail. I found it truly amazing how Follet managed to keep such a complex, yet accessible story, together the way he did. My only gripe is the sex scenes, though short, there are a few of them where he goes into to much detail and it really does detract from an otherwise superb story, but don’t let that deter you from taking on this mammoth of a novel. You will not be disappointed.
When I finished Blackout (book one) I had high expectations for this second concluding novel and the many revelations that were owed to us by the author. I admit that I felt let down but not so much that I didn’t enjoy the book and series overall. My single biggest disappointment in book 2 was the concept of the Continuum as portrayed. It was never well explained what it really was (time travel software, a super natural consciousness, the space/time continuum?), and in the end it just felt like a half baked idea that the author used because she couldn’t think of a more creative way to explain all that had gone wrong. That disappointment aside, I was happy to have read both, and I will be reading more of Connie’s books assuming she can bring herself to bring closure to future books in a single novel.
This is a unique and involved book on time travel to WW2 and I’m glad I read it (I’m reading part 2 now), but if you’re a hard-core sci-fi fan then skip this because it’s weak on the sci-fi. I grew to appreciate the book the more I got into it because of what I was learning about the daily lives of those living through the blitz, I even found myself looking up the various settings and historical event s online to learn more. The WW2 era characters were entirely believable, likeable and unique in their personalities, though I struggled to find much to like about our self pitying time traveler characters who seemed utterly unqualified for the task at hand. My only true disappointment, and others have pointed this out as well, is that the story is written with a precise formula that is both predictable and increasingly annoying because its repeated over and over and over (book 2 uses the same formula, be warned). The narration is excellent and I will consider reading other Willis novels.
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