Worldwar: In the Balance (Worldwar #1)

( 91 )

Overview

War seethed across the planet. Machines soared through the air, churned through the seas, crawled across the surface, pushing ever forward, carrying death. Earth was engaged in titanic struggle. Germany, Russia, France, China, Japan: the maps were changing day by day. The hostilities spread in ever-widening ripples of destruction: Britain, Italy, Africa...The fate of the world hung in the balance. Then the real enemy came. Out of the dark of night, out of the soft glow of dawn, out of the clear blue sky came an ...
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Overview

War seethed across the planet. Machines soared through the air, churned through the seas, crawled across the surface, pushing ever forward, carrying death. Earth was engaged in titanic struggle. Germany, Russia, France, China, Japan: the maps were changing day by day. The hostilities spread in ever-widening ripples of destruction: Britain, Italy, Africa...The fate of the world hung in the balance. Then the real enemy came. Out of the dark of night, out of the soft glow of dawn, out of the clear blue sky came an invasion force the likes of which Earth had never known - and worldwar was truly joined. The invaders were inhuman and they were unstoppable. Their technology was far beyond our reach, and their goal was simple. Fleetlord Atvar had arrived to claim Earth for the Empire. Never before had Earth's people been more divided. Never had the need for unity been greater. And grudgingly, inexpertly, humanity took up the challenge. In this epic novel of alternate history, Harry Turtledove takes us around the globe. We roll with German panzers; watch the coast of Britain with the RAF; and welcome alien-liberators to the Warsaw ghetto. In tiny planes we skim the vast Russian steppe, and we push the envelope of technology in secret labs at the University of Chicago. Turtledove's saga covers all the Earth, and beyond, as mankind - in all its folly and glory - faces the ultimate threat; and a turning point in history shows us a past that never was and a future that could yet come to be...
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This intelligent speculative novel depicts an alternate history in which, at the height of World War II, Earth is attacked by alien beings with weapons far more destructive than any possessed by the Allied or Axis forces. Turtledove ( The Guns of the South ) gives a surprisingly convincing flavor to the time-worn story of warring nations uniting to repel extraterrestrials; his human characters, both actual and invented, ring true as they struggle to trust each other after years of enmity, and although the alien threat has a B-movie feel, he makes an effort to portray the invaders sympathetically as well. The first in a projected series, the book ends where it began: in and around a battle. The smooth writing is marred only by slightly overdone dialogue for real-life figures like General Patton. The historical details, especially those concerning the weapons and methods available in the 1940s to defend Earth, are accurate and well rendered. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The year is 1942. In Russia, Hitler's panzers are fighting a losing battle; in China, Japanese invaders ravage the countryside; in England, the RAF watches the skies for enemy bombers; in Chicago, scientists frantically try to unlock the secrets of the atom--and in the skies overhead, an alien army launches its forces to conquer the Earth. Turtledove ( The Guns of the South , LJ 9/1/92) excels in alternate history, and this panoramic exploration of a world at war with itself and with invaders from beyond the galaxy showcases his fertile imagination. A feast for history buffs as well as sf fans, this title belongs in most libraries.
From the Publisher
"This intelligent speculative novel depicts an alternate history in which, at the height of World War II, Earth is attacked by alien beings with weapons far more destructive than any possessed by the Allied or Axis forces." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345388520
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1994
  • Series: Worldwar Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 279,852
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 4.32 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author


Harry Turtledove is an award-winning full-time writer of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and historical fiction, including the novels The Guns of the South and How Few Remain.

Former radio broadcaster Todd McLaren has been heard on more than 5,000 TV and radio commercials; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E and the History Channel; and films. His book narrations have earned him a prestigious Audie Award as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 91 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 48 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    Turtledove hates transitions

    I've keep hearing about the author and this series was recommended to me based on my love for sci-fi. I was really hoping to like his work but I can't get over how he jerks the reader around like an irate redneck mad at his junkyard dog.

    I like The Race and most of the characters but find it jarring ending one charater's paragraph and then abruptly starting another's with no idea who he's talking about or where the story is geographically until the middle of that character's paragraph. Any kind of transition would be welcome but the author likes to storytell in one long run-on chapter.

    I'm glad others take delight in his writings but this will be my first and last purchase by this author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    Just read book 4

    This is a good book, mostly because it's the first book in the series. I cannot however recommend that you read it. After toiling through books 2-4 in this series it has become painfully obvious that I should have just read the last book in the series, #4. I'd say that about 1/3rd or possibly even less of each subsequent book is actually new material. The rest is constanting restating and rehashing of previous concepts, ideas, thoughts and conversations. Its absurd to the point that I find myself skipping 10-15 pages at a time sometimes just to get through stuff that's been repeated over and over and over and over. Another thing that is annoying is that the cover art on the books is misleading. They don't actually depict any event taking place in the book. The concept is good and the story is entertaining. Someone could probably make it alot better by editing it down to one book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2002

    Prepare to be bored...

    Starts out good but the author continually repeats the same dialog over and over. No Need to reed th first few books in the series because the entire history is rehashed in each book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Best

    Cant say much awsome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Would have rated a 4, but needs lots of grammar editing. -Town Crier

    Turtledove does great alternate histories, and aliens invading during WWII is just too fun! Especially when said aliens have badly outdated intel. One really bad thing that lost this book a star: it is as if the analog book had been scanned into ebook format with some really poor software. This cause a lot of grammatical and spelling errors. For the money I spent, I expect professional editing. -Town Crier

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Very cool

    Love most of the characters and the depth in the story is cool.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    I labored to page 141 of 562 before giving up on this thin fanta

    I labored to page 141 of 562 before giving up on this thin fantasy about an invasion from outer space by humans in every aspect but outer appearance and a few superficial quirks. The writer jumps from one set of characters and geographical locations to another without transition from paragraph to paragraph. The alien conquerors came prepared to fight stone age humans but arrive during WWII. This is the first and only plot twist that's scientifically valid given the time elapsed during prolonged space travel. I was intrigued at that point and expected more to come. It didn't.

    The aliens get here with weapons exactly the same but slightly better than Earth's. How could there have been such a vast discrepancy between their advanced scientific ability no navigate the cosmos with a large military organization and their Earth-mimicking weapons technology of the early 1940s? And why would they have needed such overwhelming firepower and nuclear weapons to wage war against the sparse, thinly spread Stone Age population they expected to find? I find this scenario contrived and unlikely.

    Beyond that, the stereotyped characters, human and alien are only briefly depicted. I felt frustrated by never getting to know anyone beyond the obvious and mundane. Maybe this shallow fantasy takes a turn for the better later on, but somehow, I doubt it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Great start.

    Very good story from the master of alternate history.

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  • Posted March 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    I really liked this book. The premise behind it (aliens invade

    I really liked this book. The premise behind it (aliens invade earth to unexpectedly find us in the middle of WWII using weapons that are nearly the equal of theirs) was fun, the writing was good. I liked the characters. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end with this book, and the others in the series weren't quite as good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Excellent book!!

    Harry Turtledove is a master!! :)

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Awesome series

    My first turtledove series. It was love at first read. I wish that a movie would be made of this series. I highly recommend it.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Turtledove Doing What He Does Best

    Mix a little sci-fi, a bit of history, and some intrigue, and you get what folks would call a crackling good 'what-if' yarn. As always, Harry Turtledove does a good job with military battle scenes and political manuevering, but the characterizations depend a bit too much on the reader's familiarity with the historical figures. Still, it's a good read and there's no better way to get young adults interested in history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2009

    this is my review of in the balance

    The book reads fast it is a page turner. the only thing i wish mr. turtledove would have contuied with the story line from "the guns of the south" to me as a us history teacher it would have been interesting to see what side the north and the south would have allied themselves with. also to see how the two counties would have grown. it would have been interesting to see how manifest destiny would have played out between the two countries.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2007

    Amazing a work of pure genius

    If WWII had taken the turn it had in this book. I would be probably sitting next to a lizard in class. Great writing, great moving of the storyline. It keeps a nice pace, the battle scenes move a breakneck pace keeping the action good. And I love the storylines and how they seamlessly go from one to another. And its weird to read about Hitler and Molotov in the same room and not trying to strangle each other, heheh

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2006

    Clausing Reviews The First in Turtledove's Worldwar Series

    I enjoyed this book tremendously. Turtledove's stories offer so much that we are not accustomed to reading, that it cannot help but capture and hold your attention. Harry Turtledove uses the perfect mix of futuristic fiction and historical nonfiction to captivate his reader's minds. The strikingly realistic characters and dramatic plot give the story depth and meaning. You cannot help but be moved by its events. I strongly recommend this story to anyone who wants a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2004

    Best Turtledove novel yet

    The plot is somewhat original, due to the fact that the aliens(known as the race) invade during worldwar II when humanity is most divided. This forces the nations of the world to work together which proves to be a difficult task. This novel has one of the most interesting storylines I have ever read and allows you to see several sides of the conflict. The only bad thing is that the race do not seem to be as powerful as the book makes them sound. Read the book and you'll know what I mean.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2003

    Imaginative!

    I love Turtledoves philosophy! The aliens are taken right down to the chemistry, making a very imaginative and rewarding experience. The best part is that the aliens are not invicible, while staying fairly advanced.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    Excellent view of the 'could have been' past!

    Turtledove does an ecellent job of re-sculpting the past in a way no one else ever has. He is a brilliant 'alternate' historian.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2000

    Promising But Fails to Deliver

    Aliens invade Earth during WWII, forcing the Axis and the Allies to join forces against them. Sounds promising but the book starts to break down when the aliens are shown to be not that alien. Instead of incredibly devastating weapons they have slightly more advanced technology than the humans. Their tanks are a little better, their machine guns a little more advanced. Turtledove really drops the ball when it comes to the aliens, with one of the lowpoints being when the aliens become addicted to the spice ginger in the same manner that humans become addicted to cocaine. The strengths of the novel come through his human characters, which are on the whole excellent. But these do not save the book from sinking in its own unimaginativeness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2000

    The Best Alternate History Yet

    This is by far the best alternate history novel (and series) ever, surpassing even Turtledove's other work. While he seems to get caught up in his own characters and sub-plots (often extraneous) in his more recent novels, 'Worldwar: In the Balance' offers the perfect balance between plot and action, historical characters and his own characters. Read it. (NOTE: His sequel series, 'Colonization' is not nearly as good. The first of that series was pretty bad, but the second is more promissing. Hopefully he can return to 'Worldwar' quality to end the saga.)

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