• Title: In the Balance
  • Author: Harry Turtledove
  • ISBN: 9780345420565
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the Balance 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
    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, AfricaThe fate of the wWar 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, AfricaThe 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 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

    One Reply to “In the Balance”

    1. 3.5 stars. This is Book 1 of Harry Turtledove’s massive alternate history WW2 epic and I will say at the outset that I definitely enjoyed this enough to go on to the next book. I was really torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one as I loved the premise and the set up but there were some slow parts that were less than compelling. I decided it was either going to be a very strong 3 or a weak 4. I ended up going with a strong 3 since the first book in the series and I wanted to give the next book [...]

    2. This book sucked me in. It was such a good idea and the opening of the book was done so well.The idea behind this book is wonderful almost inspired.(view spoiler)[ A race of extremely long lived aliens who received their last intelligence of the human race about the time humans were leaving what is called the bronze age arrive here expecting humans to be about as developed technologically as they had been at that time. After all the reptilian invaders take thousands of years to move forwardwith [...]

    3. Harry Turtledove writes great outlines of stories. Where he fails is filling a book with the meaty stuff that constitutes a compelling story. He does it once again here. Great idea for a story - an alien invasion of Earth around the time of WWII. After the aliens invade, the countries of the world must put aside their animosity toward each other and unify to throw back the alien threat. I love it. But Harry just doesn't give you enough to care about what happens. All of the historical figures ar [...]

    4. Without a doubt the Second World War is one of the most influential and significant events to occur in the past hundred years. The scope of this war was magnified and bigger than ever in every way: in the countries involved, in the technology and tactics developed and deployed, and in the atrocities committed. And so World War II has seared itself onto the collective consciousness of our species as something never to be forgotten. It was a watershed time, and it acted as a catalyst for some of t [...]

    5. The beginning of one of the best alternate history/science fiction sagas around - in this story, World War II is interrupted when an alien invasion fleet shows up to disrupt the human war, forcing the countries to postpone their war with each other to combine forces against the aliens. A large cast of characters, both real historical figures including politicians, soldiers and scientists, and fictional people; extensive period detail showing meticulous research and a real love of history on the [...]

    6. Parts of this I really liked but it was sooooooo long that I kept getting antsy for the plot to move along. The story is set up as an alternative history where aliens invade the Earth right at the height of World War 2. I think the way Mr. Turtledove ties in all of the various warring countries into new factions based on the invasion is excellent. There were just so many point of view characters and so much going on that I never got a sense of momentum to the story. It was good and I am curious [...]

    7. I found this book hard to get into, and never really forged any sort of attachment with it until the last 150 or so pages. The characters seemed at times more like devices to demonstrate 'ideas', for want of a better word, rather than robust, developed characters. This is the nature of the book and, to some extent, the genre, however. I probably didn't enjoy it as much as other people for this reason, the military aspects not really grabbing my attention, and the political interactions and aspec [...]

    8. This is a nice mix of historical fiction/counter factual history and sci-fi. Harry Turtledove is good at mixing the genres, but he makes a few minor mistakes (i.e. inaccurate military references). If you are able to ignore these mistakes (which most people probably wouldn't pick up on anyway) this is a well written series. It is a commitment though as it takes a while to read.

    9. Review of the First and Second books.This series, I imagine, is self-consciously styled after Tolstoy's "War and Peace".Also, it is not the sort of series where a book can stand alone and provide any sort of meaningful conclusion. The "Balance" is just one big book, broken for length, not plot.The "Balance" is the story of a war, drawn out across several years and numerous characters. The war is WWII, with the added twist of an alien invasion midway through. So, it is an alternate-history novel [...]

    10. An interesting premiseptilian aliens invading earth in the middle of WWII. But there is a definite lack of authorial skill at work here. Characters, plotting, story, dramatic incident are all flat and predictable. Dialogue is the worst kind of popular tripe. In the end it was a painful challenge just to finish the book.I gave it two stars rather than one because the premise was amusing. If the writing had spent more time on constructing characters and fleshing out these I would have given it thr [...]

    11. for the audioook. Good alt history start. Alien invasion interrupts WWII. The aliens equipped with advanced technology make amazing progress until the former foes band together to figure the common enemy. it's a fairly long book that follows several storylines of both famous historical figures and common people on both sides. First book in the series.

    12. An entertaining alternate history, _Worldwar I_ shows the pleasures and limitations of the genre.It's simply fun to follow the working-out of implications and details, once the divergence (alien invasion) appears. Will underground movements ally with the new invaders? How will Axis and Allied nations join to stop the initially overwhelming foe? How do various historical characters appear: Patton, Molotov, Churchill? The invasion's conceit (aliens scoped us out centuries ago, and thereby didn't p [...]

    13. If the sentence "Aliens invade during World War II" doesn't make you want to read a book, then there is nothing more I can add.I would have filed this under three stars, guilty pleasure sort of thing, except for one thing that's not the particular book's fault: the eBook copy I purchased through B&N is one of the worst I have ever seen for typographical mistakes. These are all small things, but numerous, approaching and perhaps passing one per page.The mistakes include things like extraneous [...]

    14. I've read alternate history series before, where the point of divergence is something like Lee winning the Battle of Gettysburg, or JFK not being assassinated. Here, the point of divergence is what would have happened if alien lizards invade during World War Two. .okay then. Granting that premise, this is an interesting opener to an interesting series. The catch is that the alien lizards expected humankind to evolve and develop as slowly as they did, and the last time they checked on humanity wa [...]

    15. Having read the second in this series inadvertently first, I went back to enjoy the beginning and some of the detail I was missing. Again, Turtledove has created a wildly expansive book about multiple fronts of World War II. Our enemy is a powerfully alien race here to conquer the human race. Faced with superior technology, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, American, British come up with unique ways to attack the naive Race. We get exposed to soldiers, generals, world leaders, scientis [...]

    16. I really wanted to like this - I usually enjoy alternative history stuff. But I found the pace too slow for my liking and it spent more time coming back to points than I cared to read. Yes, we get it, the invaders are put off by our pace of technological advancement. Showing me that would be fine, but too much telling.It made me sufficiently curious to know how it wound up but not enough to slog through 3 more books. The summaries on satisfied my curiosity and freed me up to read things I activ [...]

    17. Excellent book by an excellent author. Turtledove isn't afraid to approach sensitive subjects--in any of his novels. This one is no exception.Foraging through the fascinating accounts of war and conflict, Turtledove presents this novel in a way that the reader can also interpret human nature from a different perspective. And again as in "Guns of the South" he does his research. He finds the tiny pebbles of often ignored history and facts, and builds a dam with them. But instead of holding back w [...]

    18. 565 pages of build up to a climax that starts in the sequel. The aliens in this book were not portrayed as fearsome or dominant which makes it seem even more unrealistic for them to be competent of distant space travel. I've liked some of Turtledove's other works but this one is pretty bland all the way through. I will not be reading the 2nd book.

    19. Very well thought out beginning to this 4-book cycle. I appreciated the global quality of the multiple viewpoints and story lines. Turtledove does a great job tailoring the characters to their geographical settings (U.S Britain, Germany, Russia, China). I found myself very interested in each character's story-line and finished the novel ready to read the next book.

    20. Beside some half decent battle scenes, this book seemed to be chalked full of pointless dialogue and characters that are bland tools for the author to progress his story and ideas. I wanted so much more from the premise this story presented, but I had to give up after 275 pages.

    21. A fun take on one of my favorite tropes from fiction, namely that human beings are a terrifying warrior race. A great melding of SF and history too.

    22. [Some] thots while reading:I had forgotten how much repetition there is in the novel. The author keeps making the same comments over and over and over [like Planes that did that quite simply never came back]. I cannot quite decide if the author has forgotten what he had written previously, or if the thinks the reader is dumb enough to forget what he said. Granted, there is a lot of pages and a lot of words and a lot of 'stuff' happens in the novel, but it is still distracting to come across the [...]

    23. Harry Turtledove definitely spins a plausible tale of alternate history and I especially liked that he included the aliens' perspectives on earth and humanity. But I couldn't wait to get through this book, and I doubt I'll read the sequels. I guess my taste in fiction doesn't really include epics of the sort that a list of characters is necessary at the beginning, and even then I had trouble for at least half the book keeping them and their stories straight. There were just too many concurrent p [...]

    24. It's been a while since I read a Turtledove and I'm reminded why enjoy his books. They tend to be overlong but not boring. They're not tension filled but have enough compelling characters in a variety of situations within his alt-history context that you want to revisit their POV chapters. This opening volume of his "Worldwar" series is no exception.Aliens decide to invade Earth during height of WWII but the Aliens's intel is out of date and instead of finding medieval-era populations that would [...]

    25. Could not help but think of the TNT series "Falling Skies" when reading this book. The series depicts a northeastern family and their travails fighting lizard-like invaders. Here Turtledove takes it global and the nations of planet Earth (Tosev 3 according to the Lizards) temporarily (?) ceases fighting one another and unites against the Lizards. Unlikely relationships develop: Germans with Russians, a Jew fighting alongside a Nazi, etc. Several really good and connecting storylines permeate the [...]

    26. Turtledove has created a niche market all to himself through his alternate-history novels. In The Balance sees the start of a grand war on Earth between humans and an invasion force from the stars. What makes this so original is the setting: World War II. Subsequently, In The Balance is a thought-provoking, well crafted and fresh approach to sci-fi. At times it gets bogged down with too much detail and the sheer number of characters, all with central plot lines, which make it hard work to keep u [...]

    27. I have always been a fan of Harry Turtledove's work. This was a re-read, as I believe the Worldwar series was my first introduction to his particular brand of Alternate History.I find that few people are able to fully flesh out a character as Mr. Turtledove, and the idea behind The Race has influenced a lot of my own thinking of aliens, etc.I think this is quite possibly, the only World War II counterfactual that does not suppose Hitler winning, etc but poses, "What if aliens invaded during Worl [...]

    28. Turtledove likes refighting WWII with twists. He makes what if fun to read and think about.This set of 4 or 5 or 8 books (it can be followed by the Colonization series and topped with Homeward Bound) makes for a long but easy to follow read.The first work, "In he Balance" has Earth invaded at just the time when the human race could give the slightly more advanced (militaristically) foe a real struggle.A good read.

    29. Fascinating premise, but a LONG execution. The combat and strategy bits seem very true to life and insightful, but there’s way too much of a focus on sex for my tastes. Still, the idea of an alternate history of WWII in which the Allies and the Axis have to join together to fend off an invasion from space is a fun and interesting concept. And I liked how carefully drawn the alien culture is, even if it seems way too narrow for an actual, living species to be.

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