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Worldwar: In the Balance  By  cover art

Worldwar: In the Balance

By: Harry Turtledove
Narrated by: Todd McLaren
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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

Critic reviews

“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 listeners say about Worldwar: In the Balance

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 03-29-10

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)

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31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Left hanging...

I enjoyed this in print many years ago and have enjoyed the recorded version. Looking forward to the rest of the series. You aren't going to leave me hanging? (part 1 of the "Worldwar" series released; part 1 of the next series "Colonization" released?)

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7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Poor Production: hard to listen to.

a good story though horrible audio production. This book has a many POV changes per chapter. which is not bad in itself, however there is no pause between POV changes. it confuses the story progression and requires lots of rewinding to keep context in perspective. This would not be a problem if reading text but is not good for an audio book.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Concept was intriguing, narration was terrible

The concept of aliens invading earth in the middle of WWII was fascinating and the development and weaving of the historical and fictional characters (even the alien ones) was well done. The narration though was awful. When a scene changed, the narrator hardly took a breath between sentences, never mind a brief pause or change of inflection to indicate a change in what what taking place. Several sentences would pass, before I realized, we were in a different place with a different set of characters. This made listening to it difficult and disappointing. If I continue the series, I’ll read them.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

terribly written sex scenes

loved the majority of this book but there are incredibly graphic, and badly written, sex scenes that add nothing whatsoever.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Genuinely Authentic & Purely Brilliant. Wow!

The entire Worldwar series took me completely by surprise — and what a pleasant surprise it was indeed. Despite being very well-read and a big fan of sci-fi, thrillers (military in particular), and both historical fiction and non-fiction novels, I wasn't familiar with the author Harry Turtledove. But I'm a richer man for having listened to Worldwar: In the Balance (I purchased it on a whim bc the publisher's summary sounded interesting and other listeners gave it glowing reviews - thank you for the role you played in my introduction to this illustrious author!).

The publisher's summary rings true, so no need to reiterate the book itself; however, I would like to add that both the story and writing are truly exceptional.

The entire Worldwar series is a genuine timeless masterpiece.
Highly recommended, obviously!

PS. I was also new to Todd McLaren's work. His narration is superb.

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1 person found this helpful