Tag Archives: Alternate History

Review of “The Philosopher’s Flight”

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Book Reviews – “The Philosopher’s Flight” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Tom Miller. This is Mr. Miller’s first publication.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in an alternate history. An Earth where magic is both possible and common. The story is set in the time of World War I with the primary character being 18 year old Robert Weekes.

Weekes uses empirical philosophy, a branch of philosophy (magic) that is almost entirely dominated by women. His dream is to be part of the elite US Sigilry Corps Rescue and Evacuation Service. A group that is exclusively female. He has read and heard stories about the Sigilry Corps all of his life. His mother was a hero of the Corps during earlier military actions. Now he wants to find a way to join up and aid allied soldiers at war in Europe.

An attack by those opposed to the use of magic gives him the opportunity to show what he is capable of. That leads to a scholarship to study Philosophy at the almost all female Radcliffe College. He must overcome the bigotry of the women who surround him. He meets a young heroine of the war, Danielle Hardin, at Radcliffe. Soon they are more than simply friends, which brings a touch of romance to the story. Not only must Weekes overcome the resentment of his classmates, but he must survive further attacks by those that want to see magic outlawed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 hours I spent reading this 433 page young adult alternate history fantasy. While this was another ‘young magician off to face the challenges of school’ story, I thought that it took a refreshingly different approach. I liked the characters created for this story and look forward to reading more in this series. I am not a fan of the cover art. I give this novel a 4.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Review of “The Powhatan”

Short Stories – The short story “The Powhatan” is available on the Baen Books website. This alternate history tale took me about 30 minutes to read. This story was written by Tony Daniel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Daniel_(science_fiction_writer)). Mr. Daniel has published 10 novels.

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in an alternative history where Roman Legions have occupied part of North America. The Romans have the city-state of  Potomak (located West of Washington DC on the Potomac river by the falls) under siege. Seventeen year old Wannas Kittamaquand is one of 22 who have been chosen to quietly go over the city walls and seek help.

I enjoyed this short story and would like to read more of the Universe in which it is set. Not only are the Romans in North America, but there are beasts and men you would consider part of a fantasy. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

Review of “The Sea Peoples”

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Book Reviews – “The Sea Peoples” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by S. M. Stirling (https://smstirling.com). Mr. Stirling has published more than 55 novels. This is the fourth in his “Rudi’s Children” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in an alternate timeline, several years after the Change, when unknown powers disabled technology on Earth.

Earlier in the series Prince John, the brother of Crown Princess Órlaith had been captured by dark powers. His sister, along with Japanese Empress Reiko, are searching the Pacific for John. They are briefly delayed by an assault on the Kingdom of Hawaii by the forces of Pyongyang (Korea).

I found the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 331 page alternate history interesting. While I had found the first novels written about the Change to be exciting thrillers I could hardly put down, I found this one falling far short of that mark. To me this was a slow and dull story for the most part. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “DEI BRITANNICI”

Book ReviewsShort Stories – The short story “DEI BRITANNICI” by D. J. Butler (http://davidjohnbutler.com) is available for free from the Baen Books website.

This is a Fantasy short story set in an alternate timeline. This is a prequel to the novel “Witchy Eye”. England is on the verge of falling to the Necromancer. Will Sir Isaac Newton and John Churchill be able to defeat them?

This is well written but jumps into the Universe established for Witchy Eye. I enjoyed it, but I felt out of place with the plot and characters as I have not read Witchy Eye. I read this short story in less than 20 minutes. I give this a 3.8 (rounded up to 4) out of 5.

Review of “The Massacre of Mankind”

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Book Reviews – “The Massacre of Mankind” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Stephen Baxter (http://www.stephen-baxter.com). Mr. Baxter has published more than 30 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story takes place some 14 years after the original “War of the Worlds”. The British have learned much from the technology left behind by the Martian attack.

When launches are seen on Mars once again, the British prepare to repel a new wave of Martians using all they learned in the first invasion. The martians though, have learned from the first invasion too.

The primary characters of this story are continuing characters from the original, including Walter Jenkins. Britain is not the only target in this new assault. Soon the entire world is attempting to fight off the Martian onslaught.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this 498 page alternate history and science fiction thriller. This is an authorized sequel to the original work and it has the right feel for the period – the 1920s. If you have read the original “War of the Worlds” and enjoyed it, you will want to read this sequel as well. I like the cover art selected. I give this novel a 4.7 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Ash & Quill”

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Book Reviews – “Ash & Quill” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Rachel Caine (http://www.rachelcaine.com/). Ms. Caine (aka Roxanne Longstreet and Roxanne Conrad) has published more than 45 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in an Alternate History where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived and now hordes, and controls all knowledge. The primary character is Jess Brightwell, a young man who has grown up being able to enjoy and treasure books. He has been in that unique position as his family are smugglers, and the black market trade in books is their specialty.

Brightwell and his group of friends and allies have fled from London and find themselves in the besieged American village of Philadelphia. They are taken prisoner by the Burners, rebels who would rather see books burn than turned over to the Great Library. Still sought by the Great Library, Brightwell and friends must find a way to escape Philadelphia, elude the Great Library army that surrounds the city and take the battle back to Alexandria.

I really enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 351 page alternate history. The story incorporates technology of fantasy/science fiction, as well as having a steampunk feel. This is the third book of the series and I did have some problem with backstory. It would have read better if I had read the other two novels in the series first. I do really like the characters and the concept of the Great Library of Alexandria being the center of power. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Short Science Fiction WWII Alternate History Film “1945A”

Short Films – This short (6:05) science fiction World War II alternate history film was published to YouTube in August of 2016 by 3F Studios, though an earlier version was published to YouTube previously. The synopsis:

It’s an alternate timeline WWII short where the Nazi’s acquire all sorts of futuristic alien technology.

The film was originally made as a proof of concept for a longer film. There is a short commentary by the writers Ryan Nagata and George Edelman before the movie itself begins.

Short Science fiction Film “Amendment 10/60”

Short Films – This short (20:43) film was published on YouTube in June of 2017 and was produced by DUST. The synopsis:

In a post nuclear era where owning books is a felony and the intellectual community is persecuted, a group of scientists is trying in vain to find a way to save the world. A Professor’s assistant will be called upon to make the most difficult decision of his life.

There is not much dialog and what there is isn’t in English, but the film has English sub-titles. This is an Alternate History which split from our own in 1947 when the US and Russia declare war on one another. A battle of nuclear warheads between the two wreck the world . The war ends in 1950 and the scientists of the world are blamed for the war. Scientists prove Einstein’s Unified Field Theory in 1951, making ‘curving’ of time a possibility.

While this is a dark film, it is well done. My only wish is that it had been made in English and it was longer.

Review of “Attack of the Seventh Carrier”

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Book Reviews – “Attack of the Seventh Carrier” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1989) and was written by Peter Albano. This is the fifth book in his “Seventh Carrier” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the late 1980’s. The World War II era Japanese aircraft carrier Yonaga lay frozen in the ice for over 40 years. Finally they broke free, attacked Perl Harbor per their original mission then returned to Tokyo only to find that the war was over with Japan having surrendered.

Soon, though the Yonaga and her crew have a new war to fight. This time with terrorists led by Muammar Gaddafi. But the Yonaga does not fight alone. Now they are allied with Israel. The US and other countries are assisting and providing some personnel. Due to the failure of a Chinese weapon platform launched into orbit, satellites, jets and rockets of all nations are being shot down.

Now though over 40 years old, the Yonaga is the most potent military weapon on the planet and the only thing that stands in the way of the terrorists. The primary character is US Navy Lieutenant Brent Ross. Initially assigned to the Yonaga to represent US Naval Intelligence, he has become an integral part of the crew. His mission in this book is to be part of the joint American/Japanese crew of a World War II era US submarine that is being added to the Yonaga’s task force.

I spent 10 hours reading this 297 page Alternative History novel. I have read several of the books in this series and have enjoyed each of them. I haven’t always read them in the correct order and in the case of this novel, it reads pretty well on its own. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review of “The Second Voyage of the Seventh Carrier”

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Book Reviews – “The Second Voyage of the Seventh Carrier” eBook was published in 2016 (original paper edition published in 1986) and was written by Peter Albano. Mr. Albano published 14 novels with this being the second in his “Seventh Carrier” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Situations. The story is set in the 1980s with the primary character being Ensign Brad Ross.

The Japanese aircraft carrier Yonaga, the seventh carrier intended for the fleet that attacked Perl Harbor in 1941, has been trapped in ice since just before the Japanese fleet sailed for the attack on Perl.

Now free of the ice, it first carried out its mission and attacked Perl Harbor. Returning to Tokyo, it fires on a Libyan aircraft that approached the carrier. The Chinese launch a satellite system that fails almost immediately and begins to shoot down all jets and rockets around the world. Kadafi sets his target on Israel and the Yonaga.

The Yonaga is tasked with sailing to the Mediterranean to rescue Japanese hostages and provide some much needed relief for Israel. Ross and a few other Americans are invited to stay on board the Yonaga to assist with their mission. The US and Russia are holding each other at bay, preventing much in the way of overt action.

That is a very short summary. There is a lot more background information that sets the stage for the series. Basically military tech is set back to WWII era weapons for the most part. The US and Russia prevent one another from taking an active role. This leaves the Yonaga with its nearly full complement of WWII aircraft as the most powerful warship in the world.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this Alternate History. There are 11 novels in this series and I have read about half of them now, though not all in the correct order. This novel, while the second in the series, reads pretty well as a stand-alone novel. I liked the characters that Albano created. The cover art is a little odd in that it is not a carrier. Perhaps, though, it refers to a cruiser that is a part of the story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).