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
“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)
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:
In the Balance (1994)
Tilting the Balance (1995)
Upsetting the Balance (1996)
Striking the Balance (1996)
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.
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.
The alien invader's culture is interesting. The obligatory love story lines are distracting.
The German's use of a railway gun to fight a highly advanced opponent.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Harry Turtledove fan
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.
Alternate history buff.
Why not explore other possibilities of alternate scenario. It is so utterly satisfactory to see the Nazis stopped in their killing spree, forced to collaborate again with the Soviets and others. Even the Jews see the Germans as the better of two evil....eventually.
Many, like swarms of German fighter planes battling the invaders, among them ME-262.
He reads well enough and I enjoyed listening. I'm not native english speaking so it doesn't bother me if some accents are not perfectly correct.
It is really exciting and so great to make alternative history out of WW2 and be able to put all those situations and characters in the story to help the listener to relate. Put some Lizards on top of it and it mixes ridiculously well together. I admit it takes time to accept some reptiles invading the earth but you get there.
Book 2 in the series next up.
This was a cool story. I love alternate histories, and Turtledove is one of the best. My one complaint is that this was a long performance. I'm a casual listener, usually only in the car to and from work, and because this was so long it took me weeks to complete. This really isn't a complaint about the book, so much as an observation that this may not have been the best book for me. The story was great, but maybe save it for a long car ride. I will probably give the other books in the series a listen, eventually.
The reading is excellent, but while a fan of Turtledove's early work, I found this (like most of his even newer stuff is predictable.
Strangely, it shows lack of imagination in both prose and plot; HOWEVER, it was still an entertaining "read." So if the concept intrigues you, and you can be entertained by more pulpy type sci-fi it is worth your time and, maybe, money!
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!!
Great idea, Good start, lost it's power and ends up like a cheap soap about uninteresting Americans in love. Shame.
Yes a good idea
I'm a fan of the second world war so found this interesting, but very long winded.
"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.
"Excellent, one catch!..."
It's a great listen.
"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.
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