Written on: 08/08/2004 by Harriet Klausner (18660 reviews written)
Return Engagement: Book One of the Settling Accounts Trilogy
Del Rey, Aug 2004, $26.95, 623 pp.
Just less than three decades have passed since The Great War ended all wars though rivalry and hatred persist. North America has had a fragile peace, but resentment grows from those who lost the Great War; however, in 1941, America's hope for the future under the rule of Socialist President Al Smith has grown. President of the Confederate States of America Jake Featherston shatters the dream, sending his bombers on a sneak attack of Philadelphia, capital of his northern enemies. Jake expected the Americans, and in his mind a weak leader would immediately break, but shockingly they retaliate by bombing Charleston. Still, the Gray Army blitzkrieg across the USA reaches Lake Erie in a tide of destruction.
Meanwhile, the Mormons once again try to secede from the Union to forge a theocracy in Utah, fortress Canada supporters demolish the needed rail link, and Northern Negroes led by CSA compatriot Louis Armstrong bitterly scream of genocide to the south. The latest Greatest War has exploded all over the North American continent and even as far away as Alaska under Tsarist rule and is in jeopardy of blood flowing.
The first Settling Accounts tale is absolutely incredible as alternate history and military fiction readers will cherish this keeper. The storyline is fast-paced and action-packed as the CSA strikes with uncanny assault on an unprepared USA. The repercussions are felt all over the continent and consequently around the world with such leaders like Churchill seeing an opportunity to return England to its sun never sets days of glory. The reaction to the genocide is mindful of Rwanda and furbishes the final ingredient to Harry Turtledove's incredible epic RETURN ENGAGEMENT.
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