Review of “Bombs Away: The Hot War”


Book Review – “Bombs Away: The Hot War” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Harry Turtledove ( Mr. Turtledove has published over 100 books. This is the first of his ‘Hot War’ alternative history series where the Korean War spins out of control.

I received a galley of this novel for review through I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set at various locations around the world. Likewise, there is not a principal character, but several characters are followed.

This Alternate History is based upon US President Truman authorizing General MacArthur to use nuclear weapons to stem the flow of Chinese troops into Korea. The US bombs a few strategic Chinese cites to cut the supply lines. Russia responds by bombing US allies in Europe. Every time one drops bombs, the other responds in kind. Soon a second ground war is raging across Europe.

Individuals are followed in various locations: a US Army officer in Korea; US President Truman; a female pub owner in the UK; a US AF bomber co-pilot in Korea and his wife left back in Seattle; a Russian bomber pilot; a Russian tank commander, a German militia volunteer, and a Hungarian infantry man among others.

The story not only deals with the military conflict, but it also touches on the emotional extremes that they are going through. Mr. Turtledove does not pick a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side in the war, but attempt to show what this war would have cost the world. I have read several of Mr. Turtledove’s books and this ranks up with the best of them. The story is fairly fast paced, though it if far from continuous military action. The cover looks kind of old fashioned, but it certainly gets the point across. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (

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