The war between humans judders to a halt as Germany, Russia and all the great military powers scramble to meet an even deadlier foe. The aliens' formidable tehnology makes their victory seems inevitable. Already, Berlin and Washington have been wiped out by nukes, and large parts of the USA and the Axis territories lie under the invaders' control. Yet humanity refuses to surrender so easily. Its resistance fighters become fiendishly clever, ruthleses at finding and exploiting the weaknesses of their foe. 'The wizard of If.' Chicago Sun-Times 'The standard-bearer for alternate history.' USA Today
The second volume of Turtledove's Worldwar series (after Worldwar: In the Balance), an alternate-history saga in which lizard-like aliens invade Earth during WWII, quickly bogs down. As the plot moves among the huge cast of characters, including many historical figures (Ribbentrop, Roosevelt, Zhukov), and as Turtledove meticulously describes various tanks, planes and guns, readers will realize that they, too, must suffer for the author's research. And none of that homework has bred any subtlety: good people have good sex, while corrupt people suffer appropriate retribution. National and ethnic stereotypes abound, too: the British are more capable than they seem; the Germans are keen mechanics; most Americans, of course, are paragons. There are exceptions, of course-a few interesting lizards and a peace-talking Chinese woman-but it isn't hard to figure out which world leader will ``tilt the balance'' by using the first human-made atomic bomb. With so much attention paid to the machinery of war and the machinery of history, Turtledove rarely engages the subtleties of character, resulting in a novel that, despite offering its share of mind candy, never makes its many intrigues sufficiently gripping.