1632

Ring of Fire, Book 1
Narrated by: George Guidall
Series: 1632: Ring of Fire, Book 1
Length: 19 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,066 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Eric Flint has received glowing critical praise for his Ring of Fire alternate history series. In this first installment, a West Virginia town is transported from the year 2000 to 1631 Germany at the height of the Thirty Years’ War. Thrust into conflict, the town residents must also contend with moral issues, such as who should be considered a citizen.

©2000 Eric Flint (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“Gripping and excellently detailed.... A treat!” ( Publishers Weekly)
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

It’s a Romance Novel

I put 10 hours in to this book, and I regret it. I kept waiting for it to improve, but it never came. It is closer to a romance novel than a sci-fi or historical fiction novel. The characters have no complexity, and the few that may suddenly find all of their problems washed away by love. I’m sorry but meeting one nice person doesn’t erase two years of rape in 24 hours. Please save yourself. Don’t pay for and listen to this book, unless you’re looking for the adult version of a Disney film.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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NOT ALL THAT BAD

Good idea for a story! An entire town is somehow transported back in time, over 400 years. The town and the surrounding land is also moved to medieval Germany. They are immediately drawn into a battle, which is part of a larger war.

While the idea is good, the actual writing is not. It seems puerile and weak. They are taken back in time , but have all sorts of illegal weapons and plenty of ammo. I'm all for lots of guns and good action in books, but where does all this stuff come from and how do the never run out of it?

The author has heavy left leaning background, so you get an unrealistic cast of heroes and characters. I can certainly overlook his lefty drivel and enjoy the book. I just keep in mind that the author is a bit simple .

I am looking forward to the next in this series.

101 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Starts great, then slowly unravels

I loved this book at the start, and was sure I'd found a new series that would keep me interested for months. I'm now about 3/4th though the book, and I'm not sure I want to finish. This is a book that really tries to stretch a single interesting idea to the breaking point.

Basically, once the little sci-fi conceit is related at the start of the story, the book becomes more of an alternate history story, and long swaths of the book are devoted to talking about pretty dry historical politics and obscure battles between historical armies that have little or nothing to do with the affairs of the uprooted West Virginians.

I want to stay interested, but I'm having a hard time.

29 people found this helpful

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Boring

Struggled to finish, with boring characters, out of place obsession with Jews and the Holocaust, and 50s-era American values (with lots of F-bombs, if that makes any sense).

38 people found this helpful

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disjointed and poorly written

This is a very bad book. I almost couldn't give it 2 stars. It starts off well enough. But then it gets mired in very bad writing.
First, the story line repeatedly goes down just a god awful romance line. You follow two characters for a few chapters as they fall in love, then repeat with two more charactrs. Nothing here against falling in love, just against bad writing. And the writing here is plodding.
Secondly, the story shifts wildly from one character to another. The best part of the book is when someone in the town is figuring out how to get some new technology in place. New as in industrial age tech.
Thirdly, the worst part of the book is when Flint decides to go 100 pages into detail on old battles from the 100 year war from the perspectives of the generals. This writing is beyond bad. Its painful.
There have been many authors to tackle this fish out of water story line before. Where a group of soldiers are flung to a different universe and are left in a world where their tech is hundreds of years ahead of the rest of humanity. Try the Lost Regiment for a much better story than 1632.

36 people found this helpful

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General storyline written by 12 year old

This was frustrating. I wanted to like it. It made me curious to learn more of the history of the 30-years war. The historical characters and plots surrounding them are not half bad. But the "modern" cast of castaway characters are just plain awful. People are divided up into the white hats and black hats. A black hat is BAD guy. Every motivation, every action, every word of the black hats is bad. The white hats are always good and right and true, oh, yeah, and they're all union dudes, so naturally anyone who has ever been a business owner (read: management) is BAD guy.

Contrast this approach with Harry Turtledove, "Southern Victory" series (also excellently read by George Guidall). In that series the reader is given a much more complete picture of characters -- a picture that demonstrates how characters are both good and bad; how they are often constructed by their experiences and upbringings. You might admire a character for certain aspects and just be furious at him for others. In comparison, this story falls flat.

35 people found this helpful

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A waste of time.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This book was a total waste of time and I never finished it. I really liked the time warp idea but the story was so far fetched and unrealistic. There was no depth to the story, people that had moved in time 100 years just took it in stride and seemed to fall in love with the first person they saw.

Has 1632 turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I like the genre just not this book.

Which scene was your favorite?

None.

Did 1632 inspire you to do anything?

No

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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Don't waste time or money

Would you try another book from Eric Flint and/or George Guidall?

I would just to give them another chance. But, if it is anything like this one that would be the end of them for me.

What could Eric Flint have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Have a plot that is understandable, one can follow and doesn't drone on and on to no avail. I kept listening (audio) but it didn't get better so I quit half way through. Just couldn't justify any more tme.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was confused and disappointed.

35 people found this helpful

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over rated

What a dissapointment. After hearing such raves I expectred a well written beginning to an exciting series. Well, there was no excitement. What there was included poor character development that nonetheless dragged on endlessly, alternative history that dragged on endlessly, soppy love stories ... it went on and on.

If you look at ratings before making a book purchase, be skekptical of this one!!!

34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Concept intriguing, execution far less than hoped

I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy time travel and this period of history is quite complex and intriguing, and I really like the narrator. However, I quickly found the idealization of the Americans to be saccharine. An entire town gets transplanted and there are no bad actors? People are people no matter where or when they are and a town of thousands is going to include all manner of people. I understand the author is dealing with a small subset, but the impression is that everyone is stand-up, sweet, and all are ready to do their part. Also the stereotypes got old very quickly.. Cheerleaders ra ra ing the Scotish mercs was over the top and nearly caused me to stop listening (just a few hours in). I was also NOT looking for a romance story which is most definitely a very strong component of this story including sex scenes. Finally, I'm having trouble with how quickly the people from 1632 are adapting to modern technology and not even blinking at TV, electricity, hot running water, computers etc. Obviously they would get used to it over time but almost immediately upon introduction? So overall it's okay but certainly not even close to what I had hoped for.

25 people found this helpful