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Original Title. Worldwar 1 , Tosev 1. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about In the Balance , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. 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 3. I ended up going with a strong 3 since the first book in the series and I wanted to give the next book room to improve. As for the plot, my lead in picture really says it all. The premise is simple and spectacular.

In late , after World War II has raged for over 2 years and armies form almost every nation are fighting all across the globe, the Earth is suddenly invaded by an alien army called The Race. Here are the basics: 1. Expectations : The aliens sent probes to Earth in preparation for the invasion but the latest information they had was from over years ago around A. When they see how far Earth has advanced they are more than a little pissed.

I would describe them as similar to what the United States is today. They have the equivalent of modern jet fighters, modern tanks, automatic weapons…. However, they were expecting to be up against horse-riding knights in armor and so things are not as comfortable for them as they had hoped. Alliances : The most interesting element of the story is the alliances that form once the invasion begins.

At the time of the invasion, you have Hitler and Stalin go at it in the east, the Japanese have just bombed pearl harbor and London is in flames. Now all of a sudden, you have Hitler, Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, Yamamoto, Mussolini and their senior personnel having to work together. It makes for some wonderful tension to the story. At the same time, you have the some groups like the Polish Jews in Warsaw and the Chinese from Manchuria who first see the aliens as liberators against the Nazis and Imperial Japan.

All of this creates such a wonderful dynamic and the author does a very credible job of investing the stories with real life. I am only really scratching the surface here but I think the above is enough to give you the gist of the plot and the kind of story that the author was trying to write. I think the author took an incredibly difficult premise and succeeded, for the most part, in telling a very compelling story. This leads me to my final comment about expectations going into the story. I think you will enjoy the story more if you are coming to it as a World War II historical fiction story that happens to include aliens added on for spice.

Alternatively, if you approach this as a typical SF alien invaders story with World War II added as backdrop, you may be disappointed by the level of historical detail and the pace of the plot. This is a massive World War II story that will cover 4 volumes of which this is only the first book. View all 35 comments. 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.

After all the reptilian invaders take thousands of years to move forward.. After all the reptilian invaders take thousands of years to move forward So when they arrive during World War II and find a relatively technological people It doesn't help as the humans turn their weapons on the invaders. Maybe someday someone will use it to write a good novel. How long before they'd be legally safe? Alas, after coming up with this gem of an idea Turtledove shifts the focus to a plot that I suppose we'd call "the soap opera".

Our focus instead of closing in on the invaders strategy and the geopolitical implications of the Allies and Axis having to repel this incursion settles on some of the individuals involved. We get involved in the life of a missing scientist who's wife thinks he might be dead and can't wait to fall in love and marry I suspect a lot of women during WWII waited longer on the home front than this woman did to see if her husband was alive. She's quick to fall for her new man. When her husband the scientist inconveniently shows back up he goes sort of crazy when he finds out Want to hear more?

Maybe about aliens checking out the sex lives of humans? There's more Yeah, you get the idea. It could have been a good book. I give it 2 stars because the idea was great and it stared out really well You know I've decided to drop it to 1 star. The fact I liked the opening and find the idea excellent doesn't change the fact that as the book developed it kicked me in the teeth. This is another sad example of a "might have been" novel.

Maybe someday someone will. Dropped to 1 star. View all 9 comments. Feb 21, Nick T. Borrelli rated it it was ok. 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. 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 Harry Turtledove writes great outlines of stories.

All of the historical figures are cardboard cutouts of their historical persona. None of the regular citizens of Earth are in any way interesting. The aliens aren't even that interesting quite frankly. There are some cool battle scenes but that's about it. Pedestrian alternative history fiction. Skip it. 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 Without a doubt the Second World War is one of the most influential and significant events to occur in the past hundred years.

It was a watershed time, and it acted as a catalyst for some of the most dramatic changes in our society. Such titles do not get bestowed lightly. Yet my own recent experience with Turtledove left me less than lukewarm. So I decided to go back to where the series begin: World War II, , with the Race arriving in orbit to make Earth the fourth world in its stultifying empire.

They find this a tad difficult, because their year-old intelligence is out of date. They were expecting to be facing armoured knights, swords, maybe some extremely primitive forms of gunpowder-based weaponry. Unlike the Race, however, which thinks in terms of millennia and changes even more slowly, humanity advances in fits and starts.

Turtledove tells his story through a large cast of characters from around the world. First, props to Turtledove for including a Chinese character. But you know what? I knew that Japan invaded, but that was it. So as someone who recognizes this gap in my knowledge but was a little too lazy to do anything more than look it up on Wikipedia, I commend Turtledove for including this perspective, as limited as it might be.

Juggling so many characters can be challenging, both for the author and for the reader. I kept wanting to follow some of the characters for longer periods of time—and of course, there were a few I would be happy never to see again. Also, with so many different characters, their voices start to sound the same.

Combined with what I feel is a somewhat indulgent length, this means that Worldwar: In the Balance is not necessarily a smooth read. However, depending on your own tastes, there could be a few mitigating factors. Turtledove had obviously done his research. He provides a glimpse into the wartime operations along various fronts: Britain, France, Russia, China, and the United States. Even though the war itself gets put on hold to fight the alien threat, this is still a world where the war is happening, with all the attendant nationalistic impulses, cultural enmities, and political tensions.

Those are what make the temporary alliances between, say, Russia and Germany, so fascinating. This is a species that can cross the gaps between stars at half the speed of light! Turtledove has set up what makes for the most interesting fight instead of what is perhaps the most plausible scenario from a science-fiction standpoint.

Finally, Worldwar: In the Balance ends on a cliffhanger.

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There is no resolution to the overall conflict. This disappointed me, after over dense pages of incredibly detailed descriptions and back and forth. I really could have used a nice denouement: not necessarily something that ties up every loose end, but enough for the work to stand alone. As it is, I probably will read the sequel—but not any time soon, and probably not before I try another Turtledove series that might be more to my liking.

Still, if cliffhangers entice you, this book might be a nice match. These factors combined to tempt me to dismiss this book. Little of its content or characterization grabs me or my interests. As a work of alternate history both its premise and its execution offer a compelling story: really, what would have happened if an alien threat arrived while we were in the middle of World War II? How would the Allies, the Nazis, Russia, and Japan have reacted?

And really, how would the aliens react if they were expecting a much different Earth than the one they got? Does our tendency for conflict—not to mention our ability to love—give us an edge? I cannot say I loved this book, but neither can I deny its power or its presence as a work of speculative fiction. View 1 comment. May 02, Allie rated it liked it Shelves: sci-fi. I found this book hard to get into, and never really forged any sort of attachment with it until the last 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 I found this book hard to get into, and never really forged any sort of attachment with it until the last or so pages. 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 aspects perhaps a bit too simplistic.

Despite having pushed myself to finish it, I have no real inclination to read the rest of the series. I'd like to follow up with Barbara and Jens Larsson, Liu Han and Bobby Fiore, but definitely wouldn't trawl through another book in order to do so! Unfortunately the ending very much leads into the next book rather than allowing it to stand alone. Sep 07, Shelly rated it liked it Shelves: science-fiction. 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.

Worldwar: Tilting the Balance

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 Parts of this I really liked but it was sooooooo long that I kept getting antsy for the plot to move along.

It was good and I am curious to see what happens next but I might wait awhile before reading book two. Dec 14, James rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Adults. Shelves: character-studies , alternate-history , science-fiction , action , culture-and-politics , military. 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 author's part; and a believable but not predictable plot.

An interesting premise 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 i An interesting premise If the writing had spent more time on constructing characters and fleshing out these I would have given it three.

Needs an editor badly. This is a shame because I was looking forward to the series. Not recommended Harry Turtledove is good at mixing the genres, but he makes a few minor mistakes i. 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. May 07, Bryan Alexander rated it liked it Shelves: sf , alternate-history. 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 plan for s technology is entertaining.

The book uses a social novel approach, portraying dozens of characters in many plots To his credit Turtledove embraces the global nature of the second World War. Characters are drawn from rural America and China, British intelligence and Soviet fliers, Japanese military and Nazi tankers, Jewish fighters and exiles.

The aliens are somewhat interesting. Their culture has a single organizing idea, which becomes implausible over time. Some characters gradually emerge. But the limitations It's hard to do a social novel and have individual characters emerge. This thinness leads to a failure of historical imagination. Most of the characters are or become nice people. Some start with racist ideas, which they shed through conversation. There aren't many true believers to represent Naziism, the Japanese empire, American white racism, or the Soviet Union.

We can see progressive ideas unfold, but not the concepts they react against. Some representatives appear from time to time but only as placeholders, non-player characters in gaming language. Turtledove does a good job with individual scenes, like conversations in occupied Paris or the adventures of a German tank crew. But we don't get a sense of the vast horror that would accompany, say, view spoiler [the nuclear destruction of Berlin and Washington, DC hide spoiler ].

The weirdness and disorientation of first contact doesn't really appear, beyond a couple of characters being readers of Astounding. So: a fun book for alt. May 07, Ahmed rated it really liked it Shelves: multiple-narrators , alternate-history , science-fiction. 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 Review of the First and Second books. So, it is an alternate-history novel with a science-fiction twist. This bears repeating: the science-fiction component is just a twist.

The aliens psychology is anthropomorphic, and they even look quite humanoid despite being egg-laying lizard-like beings! The realization of technical details is a little shoddy. Also, the historical development of technology is mixed up in certain places. Things get shoddier as the series advances, too. One example of shoddy technological history, I think, is the conspicuous use of audio recording as a plot device in the first and second books. This is historically inaccurate, as the first audio tapes were developed in Nazi Germany toward the end of WWII, and used to record Hitler, then broadcast his speeches so he wouldn't have to be at the radio station.

Later, they were adopted by US radio stations. Before that, audio recording quality was sub-par and quite recognizably not-live. The characterization is good, but not outstanding, and a few characters are practically interchangeable. More variety here would have been welcome. In the second book, characterizations gets derailed even more. Worse luck. The pace is rather slow, drawn out, really, even stretched thin in certain parts. Every now and then, skipping a few pages representing one character's PoV is quite OK.

The situation is even worse in the second book. Overall, OK. I think I'll need to read more before forming a more definitive judgement; like War and Peace, this is really one giant novel split apart for convenience.

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Unlike War and Peace which I'd never read , I think this one gets old and crappy rather quickly I don't know why but I had got it into my head that this was about what would have happened if Germany had won the war. But it's actually about aliens. They have better weapons than us but they are not very good at quick thinking or tactics. This forces the human race to begrudgingly work together, which throws up all sorts of feelings and questions for the characters.

The Nazi finding that he likes the Jew he is working with. T I don't know why but I had got it into my head that this was about what would have happened if Germany had won the war. The Russian liking the Nazi.

The Jews turning to the lizards for help. And the biggest question of them all, what happens after? This wasn't a bad book, maybe overly long but I liked all the main characters. I even liked some of the lizards that had been captured and made POW. It's a good idea, not one I've come across before but I'm not sure it's enough to make me hunt out the next book in the series.


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Feb 19, Jim Prevott rated it really liked it. 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. First book in the series. Mar 02, Mark rated it it was ok Shelves: science-fiction. 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. These are all small things, but numerous, approaching and perhaps passing one per page. The mistakes include things like extraneous 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.

The mistakes include things like extraneous punctuation ". Other times, a word is rendered with the wrong spelling; for instance, "Germany" became "Gennany" just once or twice , and in the same way "door" might appear once as "cloor". These nuisance mistakes abound. Yes—Save my other items for later.

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Worldwar: Tilting the Balance (Worldwar #2) by Harry Turtledove, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

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Out of stock. Get In-Stock Alert. Delivery not available. Pickup not available. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. 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 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. Specifications Series Title Worldwar.

Customer Reviews. See all reviews. Write a review. Most Helpful Review. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on reviews. See more. Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews. Written by a customer while visiting librarything. Average rating: 4 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews.

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