World War II seethes across the planet. Hostilities spread in ever-widening circles of destruction: Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Britain, France, Japan, Italy Africa - the fate of the world hung in the balance. Then the real enemy arrives. Out of the skies comes an invasion force the like of which Earth has never known - and worldwar is truly joined. The invaders are inhuman and they are unstoppable. Their weaponry is overwhelming and their goal is simple: Fleetlord Atvar has arrived to claim Earth for the Empire. 'The wizard of If.' Chicago Sun-Times 'The standard-bearer for alternate history.' USA Today
This intelligent speculative novel depicts an alternate history in which, at the height of World War II, Earth is attacked by alien beings with weapons far more destructive than any possessed by the Allied or Axis forces. Turtledove ( The Guns of the South ) gives a surprisingly convincing flavor to the time-worn story of warring nations uniting to repel extraterrestrials; his human characters, both actual and invented, ring true as they struggle to trust each other after years of enmity, and although the alien threat has a B-movie feel, he makes an effort to portray the invaders sympathetically as well. The first in a projected series, the book ends where it began: in and around a battle. The smooth writing is marred only by slightly overdone dialogue for real-life figures like General Patton. The historical details, especially those concerning the weapons and methods available in the 1940s to defend Earth, are accurate and well rendered.