Russia, Communist China, Japan, Nazi Germany, the United States: they began World War II as mortal enemies. But suddenly their only hope for survival—never mind victory—was to unite to stop a mighty foe—one whose frightening technology appeared invincible.
Far worse beings than the Nazis were loose. From Warsaw to Moscow to China's enemy-occupied Forbidden City, the nations of the world had been forced into an uneasy alliance since humanity began its struggle against overwhelming odds. In Germany, where the banshee wail of hostile jets screamed across the land, caches of once-forbidden weapons were unearthed, and unthinkable tactics were employed against the enemy. Brilliantly innovative military strategists confronted challenges unprecedented in the history of warfare.
Even as lack of fuel forced people back to horse and carriage, physicists worked feverishly to create the first nuclear bombs—with horrifying results. City after city joined the atomic pyre as the planet erupted in fiery ruins. Yet the crisis continued—on land, sea, and in the air—as humanity writhed in global combat. The tactics of daredevil guerrillas everywhere became increasingly ingenious against a superior foe whose desperate retaliation would grow ever more fearsome.
No one had ever put the United States, or the world, in such deadly danger. But if the carnage and annihilation ever stopped, would there be any pieces to pick up?
The Axis and Allied powers continue to stand as one to defeat alien invaders in this third volume of Turtledove's alternate-history saga of WW II (Tilting the Balance; In the Balance). There are some unexpected twists here-the Lizards bomb Pearl Harbor, the Americans sacrifice Chicago-but none more surprising than the fact that, unlike in previous volumes, the narrative is dominated not by weaponry and tactics of war but by births and friendship. Liu Han's baby arrives in a Lizard internment camp; and the birth of Barbara Yeager's baby with her current husband, Sam, comes even as Jens Larssen, her physicist former husband, goes walkabout. Meanwhile, the theme of camaraderie in trying times comes to the fore, as does an emphasis on noble action. Even those who have been rooting for the Lizards from the start will notice that this volume highlights the finest, both alien and human, while disparaging the corrupt. After enjoying this morally aware addition to the series, and its many cameos by real-life figures (including Einstein, Stalin and Ribbentrop), most readers will be looking forward eagerly to the next.
World war: Upsetting the Balance
The storyline is okay. I'm a bit tired of being reminded that the Tosevites are like no race ever encountered before. I'm also weary of reading that the Race is mentally inflexible. Yes, I will read the fourth novel in the series.
I read this book in electronic format (iTunes). It is apparent to me that this novel was scanned in using OCR (optical character recognition) software AND that no one proof read the novel after the scan. It's just as obvious that the first two novels in the series suffered the same lack of proof reading.
My favorite example of OCR shortcomings is 'clown' being used instead of 'down'. I noticed a bunch of exclamation points where a lowercase 'i' would have worked better.