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Review: Tilting the Balance

Tilting the Balance
Tilting the Balance by Harry Turtledove
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was better than Tilting the Balance, the first book in the WorldWar series that answers the question “What if aliens invaded in World War II?” It had all “what if” strengths of the first book and fewer gratuitous yet unerotic sex scenes. The named historical characters remained plausible. I particularly like the characterizations of Stalin and Molotov. The depiction of the various powers and ethic groups struggling to set aside their differences long enough to drive the aliens from our world are also done well.

Two things keep me from giving this book four stars. One is a supposedly rational scientist reacting very disproportionately to difficulties in their life. I kept saying, “Really? You’d do that? Because of __?” The second thing was the repetition of certain facts every couple of chapters. The same facts that were repeated every couple of chapters in book one. For example, it’s not too much of a spoiler to learn that U2 soviet biplanes were less likely to get shot down because their canvas bodies were harder to detect by radar. Or that it was important to stay near tree level because the aliens typically shot down anything that few higher. I hope I don’t have to be reminded of these facts every time the pilot character is introduced in book three.

But I was intrigued and entertained enough that I will indeed read the third book, “Upsetting the Balance.” In fact, I’ll be popping off to Listen Alaska Plus to borrow the e-book.

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