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I’ll never look at the Golden Arches again without thinking “Freedom Arches.” Created me smile! On a serious note, I was more moved than I thought I would be by the description of the first flight, the peril of Richelieu’s France gaining in the Fresh World, and the preparation of the boats. I am not a technical thinker, but the implications of flight were so tremendous, I was tearful. So well done.
This sequel to 1632 is a collaboration teaming David Weber with the series creator Eric Flint. The effect is a knockout. Weber and Flint work together well and it shows the original, a modern West Virginia coal mining city finds itself transported to Germany in the middle of the 30 Years War. As is to be expected, modern technology makes a difference. The issue is that the "modern" level of technology is not sustainable indefinitely with the resources available in 1632. While the locals are scrambling to adapt pieces of modern technology to their own ends, the mining city is racing to "build down" to a level where they can sustain themselves. Having a multi front battle to with at the same time just makes it e city of Grantville allies itself with the Swedish King Gustav Adolph and nobody likes that. Cardinal Richelieu, doesn't like it. The Hapsburgs in Germany don't like it. The Hapsburgs in Spain don't like it. Charles I of England doesn't like it. The only ones who do seem to like it are those living under the American system of justice. All of the adversaries are joining together to stamp out the interlopers while trying to obtain the upper hand themselves. The Americans send embassies to France, the Netherlands, England and Scotland. Political intrigue abounds and things obtain complicated. It is left for Flint and Weber to straighten out the mess. They do so though superior me of the characters from the first book are fleshed out and developed better. Others from the first are mere shadows while fresh characters are more fully developed. This makes sense. It looks like there is a whole fresh globe for the authors' to play in for some time to come.Whoopie!
I love to admit it, I am a fan of Alternative History. The method that you can imagine the changes if one thing in history was changed is just an amazing thought. Now, think how much could be changed if you have the ability to change a million things in just one day. The Ring of Fire universe is like this and 1633 keeps up the challenge.Mike Sterns and his West Virginia allies are still changing the globe to what they wish to believe is the better. Allies are made, as well as some enemies. Will Europe and the rest of the globe obtain better or worse? You just need to tune in and search out.David Webber adds another level of flavor to this universe with this book. Characters grow and you can feel both their pain and their joy. My joy was reading this unbelievable book. My pain was when the book was eers.
Loved the first book. This one, while still very enjoyable, didn't quite hit it out of the park. Don't obtain me wrong, I have not regretted buying it and would do so again. It is very fun to see some the people you got to know, like, and even love once more. When I obtain a few more coins in my piggy bank I'll be buying book 3, you can bet on it. The history is in depth without bogging anything down, and the action scenes are imaginative (loved the latest naval battle).Only 1 little complaint. The story has sprawled over nearly all of Europe by now, with several main and secondary characters in or traveling to more than half a dozen cities in as a lot of nations. Some of the second tier folks sometimes seem to obtain lost in the crowd. A couple of times i caught myself asking "OK, is this one of Jeff's friends, or one of the town's amazing ol' boys/rednecks? Did this guy used to be the mine manager, or is he someone else?" This was the only thing that kept it from getting 5 stars.But that's a little quibble. The story is covering a lot of ground, and this is a fun alt/history, not high art. If you liked the first one, don't hesitate to pick this up.
I thoroughly enjoyed 1632 and was looking forward to seeing the story move forward. The sequel, 1633 had a few passages that I enjoyed. Generally speaking, I enjoyed the sections where the "up-timers"; people from our present-day universe, were working on their manufacturing processes and engaging in conversations or conflicts with people from the past. There were, sadly, FAR too a lot of passages that read like a history text book. Yes, it's all well and amazing to provide context and historical backgrounds for some of the major players and socio-political situations, but when these sections go on for page after page they become quite tiresome.
I tend to write long reviews, but since much has already been said, here is my own small addition...I search the history interesting and well construed. The what if this then this is great. The people true and three dimensional. I enjoyed the various perspectives & development of existing characters. Not everyone seems to be thrilled with Mike Stearns here without being in outright opposition to CE plot, puts meat into it, things do not just occur, the why & how is given. Hero also grow, & story flows. A most enjoyable read.Once you read 1633 I would recommend reading he Grantville Gazettes I, 2 & 3 beforee going on to "1634 The Baltic War" as there is some background info in them. If you like the historical aspects of this series I think you will have fun the "Gazettes" as they also have articles on the reality of the 1632 low is a reading list taken from Eric Flint's www service to support you navigate this universe.1632 Ring of Fire 1633 1634: The Baltic War(Somewhere along the way, after you’ve finished 1632, read the stories and articles in the first three paper edition volumes of the Gazette.)1634: The Ram Rebellion 1634: The Galileo Affair 1634: The Bavarian Crisis 1635: A Parcel of Rogues(Somewhere along the way, read the stories and articles in the fourth paper edition volume of the Gazette.)Ring of Fire II 1635: The Cannon Law 1635: The Dreeson Incident 1635: The Tangled Web (by Virginia DeMarce)(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette V.)1635: The Papal Stakes 1635: The Eastern Front 1636: The Saxon Uprising Ring of Fire III 1636: The Kremlin Games(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette VI.)1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies1636: The Cardinal Virtues1635: Melody and Murder (by David Carrico—this is an e-book edition only)1636: The Devil’s Opera1636: Seas of Fortune (by Iver Cooper)1636: The Barbie Consortium (by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett—this is an e-book edition only)1636: The Viennese Waltz(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette VII.)Ring of Fire IV (forthcoming May, 2016)1636: The Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz (forthcoming August, 2016)1636: The Ottoman Onslaught (forthcoming January, 2017)
One of the issues I have always had with alternate histories is the "deus ex machina" solutions to true technical problems. In 1633, as in the previous volume 1632, Eric Flint and collaborator David Weber provide a slice of reality in an alternate universe. People aren't cardboard, there are no achingly evil villains. There are stupid people, people with warts, intelligent people, normal people...in short, all the people that create up 1633 in Europe. Archvillains Richelieu and Simpson are revealed as men with passions, flaws and virtues. Amazing guys are shown to be short-sighted and venal. What we have here is a fine continuation of Eric Flint's experiment in "reality alternative history." Nobody pulls 2001 technology out of the bag...in fact, the climax leaves you with a clear (and foreboding) picture of the limits of Grantville's technology.We are not reading Grantville uber alles here, nor are we reading a romp through the 17th century by those vastly superior persons, the Americans. We are reading a well thought out dramatic essay on what happens when cultures e subtext of 1633 doesn't obtain in the way, but it is every bit as strong subtext as any "literary" SF novel of the past 30 years. We are seeing through a kaleidoscopic lens what happens when people are faced with heavy change, and when people are forced to achieve beyond their station in life. We are seeing what happens when a society comes into contact with another society with more toys and fancier philosophy. Apply the lens of 1633 to the problem of the Native American, or the Australian Aborigine, and the philosophical subtext remains the same.Flint and Weber do a masterful job of provoking thought from readers of zone opera and action-adventure novels. We are fed enough complex political analysis under the guise of hero introspection that we can see exactly what is happening, and where things are ly, Flint and Weber pull off something extremely critical, and they do it well: they create the indigenous population of the era, not the interlopers from Grantville, the heroes of the piece.And that's the point. Or one of them.Walt Boyes(the Bananaslug at Baen's Bar)