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Worldwar: In the Balance | [Harry Turtledove]

Worldwar: In the Balance

War seethed across the planet. Machines soared through the air, churned through the seas, crawled across the surface, pushing ever forward, carrying death. Earth was engaged in titanic struggle. Germany, Russia, France, China, Japan: the maps were changing day by day. The hostilities spread in ever-widening ripples of destruction: Britain, Italy, Africa...the fate of the world hung in the balance. Then the real enemy came.
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Publisher's Summary

War seethed across the planet. Machines soared through the air, churned through the seas, crawled across the surface, pushing ever forward, carrying death. Earth was engaged in titanic struggle. Germany, Russia, France, China, Japan: the maps were changing day by day. The hostilities spread in ever-widening ripples of destruction: Britain, Italy, Africa...the fate of the world hung in the balance. Then the real enemy came. Out of the dark of night, out of the soft glow of dawn, out of the clear blue sky came an invasion force the likes of which Earth had never known---and worldwar was truly joined.

The invaders were inhuman and they were unstoppable. Their technology was far beyond our reach, and their goal was simple: Fleetlord Atvar had arrived to claim Earth for the Empire. Never before had Earth's people been more divided. Never had the need for unity been greater. And grudgingly, inexpertly, humanity took up the challenge.

In this epic novel of alternate history, Harry Turtledove takes us around the globe. We roll with German panzers, watch the coast of Britain with the RAF, and welcome alien-liberators to the Warsaw ghetto. In tiny planes we skim the vast Russian steppe, and we push the envelope of technology in secret labs at the University of Chicago. Turtledove's saga covers all the Earth, and beyond, as mankind---in all its folly and glory---faces the ultimate threat; and a turning point in history shows us a past that never was and a future that could yet come to be.

©2009 Harry Turtledove (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

“Turtledove excels in alternate history, and this panoramic exploration of a world at war...showcases his fertile imagination. A feast for history buffs as well as sf fans.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (228 )
5 star
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4.1 (141 )
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4.0 (141 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    W Marina, CA, United States 03-29-10
    W Marina, CA, United States 03-29-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Awesome"

    If you like long epics you'll like World War. This is a fun alternate universe where earth is invaded by 'lizards' a race of alien reptiles. Be warned, the author is a 'multiple POV switcher' so just when you get used to one character's viewpoint it switches. Often without notice.

    I only wish audible would produce the next one in the series. There are four total:

    Worldwar Tetralogy
    In the Balance (1994)
    Tilting the Balance (1995)
    Upsetting the Balance (1996)
    Striking the Balance (1996)

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaarlo Branford, CT, USA 05-12-10
    Kaarlo Branford, CT, USA 05-12-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Alternate 'V'..."

    I was first exposed to this when I friend of mine gave me the first book back in college. At the time, I wasn't a very big fan of 'alternate history' and actually didn't read the book till much later. After turning the first page, I became hooked in the genre. Admittedly, it reminded me of the show 'V' with lizards coming to Earth to conquer us, if not to eat us. The book does have a large cast of characters, some historical and some fictional, but Turtledove does a good job of balancing not only the people but the places that are jumped from all over the world.

    Having just finished this, I can' wait for the second book in the tetralogy to be made. Todd McLaren does a good job with delivery as well as different accents for the large cast in the book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doctor P. Anchorage, AK, United States 12-30-11
    Doctor P. Anchorage, AK, United States 12-30-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Watch out for the Chapter switch overs!"
    Would you listen to Worldwar: In the Balance again? Why?

    Yeah, it was a pretty good listen. There was so much going on (like in all of Turtledove's books) that on second or third listen's you'll pick up on stuff you missed (or didn't find important because it's foreshadowing).


    Any additional comments?

    For those not familiar with Turtledove and how he writes the stories will be told through the eyes of 10-20 different characters on all sides. In print edition the narrative changes every few pages and this is made clear by either the chapter ending or there being a much longer space than normal between paragraphs. In other audiobooks of Turtledoves (the southern victory series) there was a few second gap between switches in narratives, nothing too long but obviously much longer than the normal pause between reading paragraphs. That DOES NOT take place in this audiobook. If anything when there is a SHORTER than normal pause when narratives switch, making it sound like the previous sentence has been carried on without pause.

    This was a tad confusing until I got used to it and I imagine it would have been even more confusing and hard to follow had I not been familiar with his form of writing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anandasubramanian Amstelveen, Netherlands 02-07-13
    Anandasubramanian Amstelveen, Netherlands 02-07-13 Member Since 2009

    Harry Turtledove fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent story spoiled by indifferent narration"

    I have the entire series on Kindle.
    Mr.Turtledove writes brilliantly. His sweep of imagination and perspective is simply breathtaking.

    I would have expected Audible to use a dramatization and full-cast for this entire series to make it sound like a movie. Audible did it with John Birmingham's alternate history, or the ones by Larry Corriea.

    Sadly, the narrators of this story sound indifferent and robotic. They don't even know how to enunciate certain characters. Worst of all their accents are horrible.

    If you overcome the painful rendition, you will enjoy the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-22-12
    08-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting concept"
    What did you like best about Worldwar: In the Balance? What did you like least?

    The author takes factual historical tidbits and tucks them into the story as guideposts so that his fiction never strays too far beyond the bounds of believability.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The alien invader's culture is interesting. The obligatory love story lines are distracting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The German's use of a railway gun to fight a highly advanced opponent.


    Could you see Worldwar: In the Balance being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. In the end it is simply a story of a more advanced species attacking a less advanced one and getting a bloody nose for their hubris.


    Any additional comments?

    The author uses graphic sex scenes to indulge his own fantasies. They are unnecessary and repetitive. It seems that all of the main characters end up having sex at least several times each throughout the book. That is, except for the faithful scientist.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oscar 06-24-14
    Oscar 06-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    "For those history junkies who ask "what if?"!"
    What made the experience of listening to Worldwar: In the Balance the most enjoyable?

    I am a software engineer. It is hard for me to read books that I am interested in because work takes up lots of my time. Listening to a book I've been craving to read while I work solves this issue. The pacing and the performance by the reader is very good and helps understand the story. If I get lost (which has happened twice) I can always follow along with some text from the book and everything makes sense after that. This audiobook is very good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    World War 2, Allies, Nazis, the Soviet Union, characters from history, and Aliens make this book just wonderful. As a history buff, this is so awesome.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The initial scene from the point of view of the aliens is hilarious. They had sent out a probe back in the middle ages and expected the humans to fight them with medieval armor and horses. Once they scout Earth once again, they are surprised by our technological developments and try their best to adjust to it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The attack on the Soviet Union. The Red Army gives them a fight they were not expecting!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brent Melbourne, Australia 08-14-13
    Brent Melbourne, Australia 08-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story, good narration"

    This is a great alternative history novel, which I have read 2 times, was happy to try the audio book and was not disappointed. The narrator does a good job most of the time, only issue being the change over in scenes is a bit quick and some words seemed a bit chopped off. His voices are very good and seem to be fairly consistent throughout the book.

    The story itself is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Harrisburg, PA, United States 03-06-11
    Linda Harrisburg, PA, United States 03-06-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Alien invasion"

    This book is about an alternative history -- lizard like space aliens attempt to take seize control of earth during WWII. Allied and Axis countries work together, albeit relunctantly, to save the earth. The story is told throught the experience of individual lizards and people. It is exciting and interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel South Range, WI, United States 02-14-11
    Daniel South Range, WI, United States 02-14-11
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    "great"

    This is a great book, I almost enjoyed listening to it more than I enjoyed reading it. Also another review here states how the lizards tech. was to primitive, if you pay attention to the story you will easily figure out why this is not so.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Aycock Spring Hill, FL USA 08-19-10
    B. Aycock Spring Hill, FL USA 08-19-10 Member Since 2010
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    2
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    "Fantastic"

    I read this series shortly after it was published. I enjoyed it in the printed version and even more in this audio format. I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the series. I just checked with Tantor Media and they have the 2nd book out - Tilting The Balance. Can't wait for audible to get it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 19 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Carlos
    SeixalPortugal
    8/5/10
    Overall
    "Amazing book"

    I love scifi and i am loving this book. I was looking for a good book after the finishing The Lost Fleet series, by Jack Campbell. It was a great book and I was afraid I couldn't find another good book. Fortunately I came across this book and im loving it. The story is amazing and the characters very convincing. It's a long story, so if you prefer short stories this is not for you. The reader is also very good. I passed some audiobooks who have some bad readers but you can listen to this guy for some hours and not get tired of the reading. Recommended!!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • carlo
    bridlington, United Kingdom
    11/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting!"
    Would you try another book written by Harry Turtledove or narrated by Todd McLaren?

    Sadly no


    Could you see Worldwar: In the Balance being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Yes a good idea


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a fan of the second world war so found this interesting, but very long winded.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    St. Helier, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Time to think"

    I love the way Turtledove handles characterisation. He has produced story lines for a dozen people you want to know more about.



    This story makes you think about the speed of human progression and he impact it has on the world and people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    6/6/11
    Overall
    "Good Book, could have been great"

    Turtledove weaves and excellent yarn in this alternative history epic.

    This book was a pretty good listen. It was my first venture into the alternative history genre and I was pleasantly surprised. The fact that the author knows his background helped and as a history fan myself I didn’t come across anything obvious that spolit the story.

    I’ve listened to all four of this series now and it gets pretty compulsive at times. I could tell my wife was getting annoyed as I just couldn’t switch it off. Especially at the really exciting bits! I was also very tired for work one day after staying up late listening.

    The only downside was the narrator. Yes he’s got a nice voice and when he’s doing an American or doing a stereotypical German or Russian this was fine (although maybe a German or Russian would disagree). The trouble was when he was doing an accent that was outside his comfort zone he got very very annoying. He has absolutely no comprehension of what British people sound like. His Yorkshire man sounded like a cockney with some sort of affliction and when we are introduced to a character from Cornwall, for some reason, he decided to do an impression of Paul McCartney. Annoying in short bursts but after a long stretch it was just offensive. Thankfully the book jumps around quite a lot so it was just about bearable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Caspar
    Warrington, UK, United Kingdom
    5/13/10
    Overall
    "Excellent, one catch!..."

    It's a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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