Book Reviews – “Fallout” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Harry Turtledove (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Turtledove). Mr. Turtledove has published over 100 books. This is the second 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 https://www.netgalley.com. 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. As in the first volume of the series, 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. After dropping “nukes” on Russian forces in Germany, the US is pushing the Russians back. This volume picks up at the end of the prior volume, “Bombs Away“. The US and Russia continue to retaliate ‘in-kind’ every time the other drops a nuclear bomb.
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 with areas of radiation spreading across Europe, China and the US. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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