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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel!
_Designated Targets_ by John Birmingham is the excellent follow up to his earlier alternate history science fiction novel, _Weapons of Choice_, a novel that began with the basic premise that a U.S.-led multinational naval task force from the 21st century is accidentally and suddenly transported to the Pacific right in the middle of the Battle of Midway.

Published on April 18, 2006 by Tim F. Martin

25 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Designated Target Flaws
Most of the reviews of this book at very positive. People appear to give the positive reviews a favorable vote while giving the few negative reviews an unfavorable vote. While the favorable reviews do point out the positive aspects of JB's second novel in the trilogy, I think people should pay more attention to the negative reviews: This book was almost unreadable...
Published on March 2, 2006 by Nelson

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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel!, April 18, 2006
Tim F. Martin (Madison, AL United States) - See all my reviews
_Designated Targets_ by John Birmingham is the excellent follow up to his earlier alternate history science fiction novel, _Weapons of Choice_, a novel that began with the basic premise that a U.S.-led multinational naval task force from the 21st century is accidentally and suddenly transported to the Pacific right in the middle of the Battle of Midway.

As most of this fleet came into the possession of the Allied countries (basically the United States), one might think that the advanced weaponry, ships, and trained personnel from the year 2021 would enable the Allied powers to quickly defeat the Axis, as certainly anything they had could outclass anything Germany and Japan possessed in 1942. Quite the opposite occurs, as the Axis, at the heights of its power at the time the future fleet arrived (an event now referred to as the Transition), redoubles its efforts to conquer the world, benefiting from it own captured weapons, ships, and personnel from the future as well as the wealth of information in the computer databases of those ships, decades of analysis and detailed histories of the Second World War and its aftermath, revealing the results of battles, the identities of spies and traitors, failed weapon systems, successful weapon systems that should have been better supported, etc. The Soviet Union and Germany quickly declare a ceasefire with one another (Stalin thankful for the break from the Nazi onslaught and eager to begin work to avoid being the target of later German aggression as well as seeking to avoid eventual Soviet defeat in the Cold War by the United States) and both Germany and Japan rapidly develop and execute radically different plans from what they did in our timeline.

The conflict in the book is not just military in nature, as the officers, sailors, marines, and others of the multinational task force continually come into conflict with the culture and politics of the era. Admiral Phillip Kolhammer, as Task Force Commander, is forced into politics and administration in areas and on a scale he never dreamed possible as he became the governor of a new district set up in California to house the men and women of his task force, the Special Administrative Zone (or just the "Zone"), an area that not only allowed Kolhammer's people to train contemporary personnel and set up factories to rapidly accelerate the advance of contemporary technology, gearing up to provide everything from modern medicine and medical techniques to assault rifles to missiles to jet aircraft but also to be a region of the country that was under 2021 law, not 1942 law. The latter point became particularly important in the book as while political allies, personal friendships, and romantic relationships developed between "twenty-firsts" (people from the future) and "'temps" (contemporary people; twenty-first term for people not from the future), enmities developed too. Some saw political threats with the rising importance of Kolhammer and his other officers in the Roosevelt Administration, his clashes with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, or the threat posed to some corporations that were now producing suddenly woefully obsolete items, like piston-engine fighters. Others regarded the culture of the Zone as a threat, seeing it as morally degenerate and reprehensible due to their contemporary views on homosexuality and premarital sex (or at least with their assumptions about what a twenty-first did in the bedroom). Still others didn't like the mix of races and genders in the fleet, nor Kolhammer's and others refusal to recognize segregation as well as obvious and not so obvious aid to support equality for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, nor his vehement opposition to Japanese internment (or of internment for those Japanese and German soldiers serving in the fleet, seen by opponents to Kolhammer instead as dangerous "enemy aliens"). While Kolhammer and others became heroes to some, leading several outside the Zone to begin tenuous steps towards ending racial segregation and gender bias, others saw him as a great threat. According to one of the characters in the book, these enemies saw the future (in the Zone) and it scared them.

The action in the book is worldwide, with considerable parts of the book taking place in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hawaii, and Australia as well as the mainland United States.

I found the many ideas explored along the way very interesting, such as the nature of copyright and patent protection for material from the future for instance. Who owns the rights to books, music, and movies say from the 1980s or the 2010s; if the company exists in 1942 that is one thing, but what if no identifiable ancestor to the copyright or patent holder exists? What happens to famous couples, fated in the other timeline to meet, now reading about how they met; do they meet at all now? Or political chances for people reading that one day they will become president?

I also enjoyed the large cast of major and minor characters that were celebrities, some pretty obvious choices, like General MacArthur, while others quite surprising.

I have no real complaints about the book, though I felt some scenes were a bit gory, the description of the deaths of some individuals a bit too graphic for my tastes. Overall I found the pace quite brisk and the story engaging and exciting; it kept me up the last several nights ("just ten more pages" I would say to myself, again and again before going to bed quite late). I look forward to the next book.
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No sophmore slump, October 30, 2005
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
As an avid fan of the first volume of the "Axis of Time" series, I was among the many fans looking forward eagerly to the release of the next installment. For me this book was well worth the wait, as John Birmingham avoids the middle-volume slump all too typical of trilogies. Picking up the action four months after the end of the first book, he shows how the impact of the accidental travelers from the future has dramatically changed the course of history - the Japanese have invaded Australia, the Germans and the Soviets have signed a cease-fire, and a vast industrial park is blossoming on the outskirts of Los Angeles as the Allies begin to leapfrog their technological development.

What makes this book so enjoyable for me is Birmingham's imaginativeness. After reading the first volume, I wondered where he would take events from there. The answer is in surprising directions. On one level, it involves posing intriguing questions: What would the Japanese fighting World War II do with knowledge from the future? The Germans? The Americans? Birmingham's answers break away from the predominantly military focus of the first volume to areas that might be unexpected but entirely plausible. The result makes for an enormously entertaining read and one that kept me enthralled to the last page. The only problem I had when I finished was the same that many others have expressed - the prospect of having to wait for the final volume of the series to be written. As frustrating as it may be, I'm willing to wait as long as it takes for Birmingham to produce a conclusion so satisfying.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On a hat-trick, October 31, 2005
John Byron (Canberra, Australia) - See all my reviews
John Birmingham is a bastard.

I spotted Designated Targets just before its official release at a bookshop in Brisbane airport, appropriately enough on my way to a meeting in the Forgan Smith building at the University of Queensland (the building features prominently about mid-way through). I had thoroughly enjoyed Weapons of Choice: World War 2.1 (as it's subtitled down under), and had hoped for another good read - airport style - to keep me entertained in the downtime that you inevitably get in a busy week spent away from home on business.

Well, what happened was that 2.2 redefined my downtime over the next couple of days - 'downtime' was suddenly comprised of the compact slices of time where I tried to do all the trivial things not related to avidly reading this gripping yarn - work, sleep, drive, ablute, etc.

This wretched, brilliant book completely ruined that week, and for that I am deeply grateful to its stupidly talented author.

Designated Targets is absolutely great stuff - all of what we love and a bit more besides. Clever narrative, suspenseful design, well controlled scenario, thorough research, insightful invention, perceptive psychology, great dialogue, and terrific action. All in all, accursedly unputfckendownable.

Birmingham handles the action genre as an adept - he obviously reads widely in it, and has paid attention to a range of movie genres as well (westerns, war flicks, Hong Kong martial arts, gangster movies, Arnie, straight out action, etc.). Clearly he has also taken a lot of inspiration from the different strands of alternate history, speculative SF and psychodrama that populate contemporary culture, both written and cinematic.

There are amusing and perceptive commentaries on the past. Australian readers will enjoy the mischief of seeing the Brisbane Line become realised in policy, and Prime Minister John Curtin's relationship with MacArthur is well drawn, particularly read against John Edwards's recent book on the Labor war-time PM, as well as David Day's excellent biography. J. Edgar Hoover camping it up in a kimono is hilarious, but also a sobering embodiment of the righteous hypocrisy of censorious autocrats everywhere.

Much more chilling is the cool precision with which Birmingham imagines the treatment handed out by the totalitarian dictators to those that history has exposed as less-than-impeccably loyal to their doomed regimes. There is perhaps room for more serious contemplation about how the Allied powers would respond to the same phenomenon (what might be the fate of the teenaged Che Guevara, for instance?), although the angle about how a JFK handles his sudden advance celebrity is illuminating.

As for the warriors from the future, the speculations about their hardness and brutal pragmatism is clearly a reflection upon current trends and where they are taking us (the people from 2021 are, after all, either us or our children). Particularly poignant is the scene in which the post-postmodern rules of engagement make even the hard-ass Douglas MacArthur blanche.

On the upside, our 21C cousins have impeccable aesthetic sensibilities and wondrous design skills, manifest most droolingly in Birmingham's loving description of an achingly cool apartment conversion in Manhattan. I strongly suspect that he covets this sort of place somewhere deep in his soul, and why wouldn't you? I would not be surprised to read one day that - on the proceeds of the richly deserved film rights - he has found for his famous brown couch a gorgeous pad much like this one.

Birmingham has a lot more fun deploying names familiar to us from the allegedly real world, sometimes in apt ways - the spectacle of a soldier named Albrechtson going up against an SAS platoon consisting of the rest of the Australian conservatariat (think Bolt, Akerman, et al.) is hilarious.

Some characteristic Birmingham turns of phrase pop up - I'm thinking 'the horse they rode in on' from the epilogue of Leviathan. But his novel formulations are even better. Birmingham's baroque talent for gruesome description - utterly appropriate for this totally over-the-top genre - is at its best here: 'a blizzard of offal' is one of the choicest images I've come across in a good long while, although 'one of them flew apart into half-a-dozen flaming chunks of road kill' gives it a run for its money. Lovely stuff.

And in amongst all this blokey carnage and gee-wizz technoporn is a keenly observed conjecture about how clashes of time and culture might play out; how different kinds of people will respond to the same existential provocation; how contortions of narrative fabric reveal the ways in which we construct our world around ourselves; and how different people are differentially equipped to adapt to radical change.

No doubt Birmingham would deny putting this much thought into the things that fill the interstices between the main narrative elements, but it's all there regardless - this sort of sub-dramatic contemplation is unavoidable in a longish character-driven narrative of this quality. You just can't write this well and be this smart without getting into the more subtle stuff. Birmingham's people think about their situation, they react and respond, they cope or freak out, they take advantage or take responsibility, they keep their heads down or they step up. Designated Targets is an airport blockbuster, to be sure, and it is fabulously successful on that level. But there's plenty more there for the taking if you want it, although none of it gets in the way of the central driving narrative. What more can a reader want?

This follow-up to a highly original and entertaining first instalment is a bloody good job. Of course it's a mid-stream book - I cannot understand people whingeing that book 2 in a trilogy turns out to be, um, book 2 in a trilogy, or that it might prove useful to have read 2.1 before reading 2.2 (I mean, they're numbered and everything, to help us out). But that only means that we have a fabulous crunching crescendo to look forward to in the next instalment. And won't the movie be cool!

In summary, get your head into it. It's a great yarn built on a brilliant premise that provokes some intriguing ideas. You can't ask for more than that.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pull the other one, cobber, January 21, 2006
I'm giving this 5 stars for being a great airport trash book to read (the kind where you know you have to turn your brain off before you read it) and because the author's sense of humour/sly quotes makes it fun to read. The expression "pull the other one" is informal Brit/Aust/NZ slang for "expressing a suspicion that one is being teased" (OED).
Many Amazon reviewers (from the USA) of the first book in the series complained about the aircraft carrier named "Hilary Clinton", mainly because the future in the book had her being president of the USA, and this offended them. Being from outside the USA, i.e. from New Zealand, I thought it was much ado about nothing.
Then in the second book, the author mentions "tattooed Maori soldiers" and "Maori soldiers and their New Zealand slavers" so initially I got just as offended as the people who were upset about Hilary Clinton - then I realised I was probably having my leg pulled and laughed about it.
On the more nitpicking side, one reviewer praised this book for attention to detail but there are some slip-ups:
*when the French sub-fusion cruise missiles hit Hawaii and explode, the author has all the radios, electrical wiring, phones, etc become fused and useless because of the associated EMP pulse. While this would be true for the commercial electronic gear brought back by the 21st century people, it is totally false for the 1940s electrical and electronic stuff. 1940s radios, radar, etc all used valves which are EMP-proof; similarly, telephone exchanges used relays and phones had no solid state parts so they too would have been unaffected by the EMP pulse (a point to note for book3?).
* Second, the people spying on J.Edgar Hoover in the Florida hotel mention that they told the hotel staff they were going off scuba-diving. As scuba gear dates from the late 1940s/1950s, the hotel staff would have been confused by the alibi!
I note from a reviewer of book 1 that he heard an interview with the author who stated his aim with book 1 was to write the "dumbest book out", so this series must be read with this in mind. However, he must be getting worried as book 2 is receiving some good reviews here!; still, if he gets rich from these books, good on him.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrillingly Awesome & Spectacular Alternate History, July 28, 2006
This novel was better than the first one! It was explosive and daring. Some of the concepts regarding the treatment of terrorists/war criminals is daring and chilling (if only we could do that now without receiving world condemnation). Good thing all of the historical named characters are dead, because the depictions of such individuals like Hoover and MacArther are, what I believe, dead on but if they were alive now, would be refuting everything. Some items were predictable, like finding LT Kennedy, Elvis and Marylin Monroe before they were big names and exploiting them; however, the exploiting was for the benefit of raising funds for the future people so they could win the war and hopefully recreate the device that took them back in time (that may come out in volume 3).

It was overall an excellent book and if anything else, learned a lot on combined arms strategic combat and up-in-coming defense and offensive systems that are just now being tested. Good job John Birmingham!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first one (mild spoilers), June 19, 2006
This book is the sequel to "Weapons of Choice." I recommend that you read that one before you pick up this one, as there is no recap (at least not in the e-book version that I purchased) and the novel begins about 6 months after "Weapons of Choice" jumping straight into the action. The Russians are wildcards, having made an uneasy peace with the Nazis that both sides know will not last. The Japanese have invaded Australia and are holding a seemingly untactical position along the Queensland coast, held back valiantly by Douglas McArthur's troops. The Nazis are massing for an invasion of Britain, and the Americans are spreading thin to counter Japanese aggession in the Pacific. Everyone is also coming to grips with the culture shock of 21st century social attitudes vs. 1940s social attitudes.

I found this book to be a much more engaging read than the first book. The action flowed much better and the characters seemed more real (plus it was easier to get a handle on who was who). The sequence of events is quite believable, and I was eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next. It all has a strong feeling of authenticity...I think it is significant that I did not have a strong conviction or belief that things may turn out ok for the Allies, and the events that end this book do nothing to make me believe either way. Thus, I'm waiting for book 3 to show me how things are going to end up.

This series is a great combination of alternate history, science fiction, war novels, and WW2 fiction. I highly recommend it to all fans of any one of these genres.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great look at clash of culture--but was the military side too easy?, October 1, 2006
The World War II allies are working hard to integrate 21st Century technology into their armies, but Hitler and the Japanese are doing so as well. Although the bulk of the United Nations task force, and the huge majority of its fighting men and women, ended up together, in allied territory, the Germans, Japanese, and Soviets all have their own ships to investigate. Unlike the allies, whom history showed winning the war, the Germans, Japanese, and Soviets know the judgment one timeline's history made on their rule--and are committed to changing it.

The Japanese have pulled their armies out of the quagmire of China and have launched an offensive against Japan--but are quickly bogged down by futuristic weapons. The Germans have patched up a cease-fire with the Russians and are massing on the channel, and the Japanese are preparing for another go on Hawaii. If they are successful, they'll move America out of striking range--giving their own scientists breathing room to integrate future technology into their forces.

The allies aren't standing still. The UN forces have taken over the San Fernando Valley, creating a zone where their own laws apply. Working with Douglas, Boeing, and other engineers, they are building better planes, introducing technologies that didn't actually arrive until late in the war or even Korea. Still, with so many of their forces involved in training, and so many of their munitions depleted, their force effectiveness is highly degraded. J. Edgar Hoover and others in America, like Hitler and Stalin, see their doom in the future and are as intent as the axis leaders to eliminate the threat--no matter what the cost.

Author John Birmingham continues his Axis of Time series with the second novel. In DESIGNATED TARGETS, the axis powers hold the initiative, by virtue of reacting more quickly to the future technologies than did the allies. Yet, even where they hold advanced technology, their efforts to use it are sabotaged by the future warriors who came with them.

As with WEAPONS OF CHOICE, the first book in the series, this book is strongest where it shows the clash of civilizations between the Americans of the future and those of the 1940s. Hardened by decades of 'war against terror,' the future warriors are indifferent to death, torture, summary executions, and the use of weapons banned by the Geneva accords. As a few of them recognize, their war has made them become more like the enemy they once faced, and more like the enemy they currently face, than the Americans, Brits, and Australians of the 1940s. On the flipside of this clash of cultures, 1940s America remains a segregated and sexist nation, with a perverse pride in the way it oppresses its minorities and a horror of the future the future warriors display.

With powerful social forces at work, and plenty of cute cameo appearances by historical figures (John F. Kennedy on his PT Boat, Marilyn Monroe, etc.), there's a lot to like about DESIGNATED TARGETS. I thought the actual battles were a bit of anticlimax. The Japanese and German attacks were sabotaged and betrayed a bit too completely; Prince William showed up a bit too often to save the day; and the US domestic issues were dismissed too quickly. While a military conflict between past and future generation weaponry would be one-sided, surely the Germans could have done better.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read, October 28, 2005
R W Warren "robert27545" (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
As others have mentioned, this is part two of a three-part series, which is perhaps the only grudge I hold against this book. Serial books are what, in my mind, make the speculative fiction genre so tedious. I know that trilogies have a long and old history: Plato wrote them, as well as Shakespeare (HENRY IV, parts 1 and 2, and HENRY V). Tolkien got away with it, and Stirling seems to thrive on the series concept. Nevertheless there is a fatal flaw here that punishes the reader and the author. If one hasn't read the WEAPONS OF CHOICE, then DESIGNATED TARGETS will make no sense, which can be a big problem for readers. That, for example, WEAPONS OF CHOICE is not in stock at Borders Books or Stacey's Books here in San Francisco causes a problem for the author. Mr. Birmingham might be in a situation of ever-diminishing returns simply by absence of a prior book on the shelf. What motivation would a buyer have to purchase a book, if the first is unread and out-of-stock in the bookstore? I like Mr. Birmingham's story-telling, and to continue telling stories he needs to sell books, boxes and boxes if not truckloads of them. That marketing problem might give his truckload of books a flat tire.

I do hope that after Mr. Birmingham completes this series he does write a blockbuster (and I think he has the storytelling talent to do so). Perhaps then his publisher will bind WEAPONS OF CHOICE, DESIGNATED TARGETS, and the subsequent novel (to appear when?) together. The whole thing might be a great feast.

If the presentation of Mr. Birmingham's work does seem to suffer at the hands of Del Rey's marketing department, his writing and storytelling doesn't. DESIGNATED TARGETS has several interesting sub-themes, one of which is a sort of social calculus: the rate of change and the rate at which the rate of change changes. The 'temps--people of the 1940s--try to leapfrog their technology as quickly as possible. Making social change, such as racial equality and breaking the glass ceiling for women, is more difficult for them. The characters who are from the 21st century seem most confident of their position, yet they don't seem to change at all. Executions without due process are entirely acceptable to them. They have no qualms about releasing future history to the individuals involved. The subtext here is that the culture of the 21st century is better than that of the 1940s. I'm not certain that's always true: sometimes change is for the better, sometimes it is just change--the result is simply different, not necessarily better. Social evolution, like biological evolution, is not a pyramid with the best on top; many times the top is not better, just different.

The action sequences in the book are very entertaining and reminiscent of Larry Bond and Tom Clancy's RED STORM RISING as well as some of the better books by Clive Cussler. Many of the characters in the novel manage to break out of the cardboard-cutout mold and actually become human, which is all the more poignant when they are lost to the war, which really does happen in real life. Not everyone who dies in DESIGNATED TARGETS is like an anonymous Red Shirt of Star Trek. This book is thankfully not that formulaic.

In short, if you liked the first novel of the series, I think you will like this one. The reviewer here on Amazon who criticized the first book because of an aircraft carrier called the USS HILLARY CLINTON will be relieved that she plays no major part in this book. Perhaps, though--and this is speculation--she will play a major part like the real Hillary Clinton in the rest of the story, which is yet to unfold. Who knows?

Perhaps these series novels aren't all bad--we have something to look forward to, and Mr. Birmingham is quite an entertaining author.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long-awaited and fascinating sequel, November 1, 2005
S. Chalmer "supine stuart" (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) - See all my reviews
Browsing, I found "Weapons Of Choice" in my local library in December 2004. I thought this book such a good read, I bought a copy. It's been a long wait for "Designated Targets", but well worth it. John Birmingham has maintained the quality and depth of his fiction, and now I eagerly await the final volume of his "Axis of Time" Trilogy.

The action scenes are as good, if not better than Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, and I found the Characters fleshed out. I am fascinated by Mr Birmingham's use of real people as the Characters in his trilogy, for example in WoC the Australian author Mathew Reilly is cast as the USS Leyte Gulf's meteorological officer until he meets a sticky end, which happens to a lot of his characters. In Designated Targets we meet a couple of Australia's prominent right wing columnists Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman fittingly metamorphosed into SAS demolition experts, while fellow sports columnist and former Wallaby Peter Fitzsimons becomes a one-legged RAF base commander. I wonder if the presence of Senators Jerry Springer and Bill O'Reilly on the Armed Services Committee will cause as much controversy as the naming of the CVN-21 class super-carrier after the late great President Hillary Clinton did?

With the benefits of twenty/Twenty-One hindsight Hitler and Stalin purge their countries of future traitorous elements and the allies are given an opportunity to correct future mistakes, an opportunity many do not want.

The depth of research and historical authenticity that underpins the novels is admirable. Mr Birmingham takes you from a believable Lubyanka interrogation scene of Nikita Khrushchev by Blokhin, chief executioner for the NKVD, to a ringside view at IG Farben's Monovitz facility in Auschwitz where Otto Skorzeny tests the efficacy of bullet proof vests protecting Sonderkommandos. You are taken on a mission with Lieutenant Kennedy aboard PT 101, his motor torpedo boat "The Grassy Knoll" 101? Watch as troops under the command of Masaharu Homma the Poet General commit atrocities against the populace of Bundaberg and feel the clinical detachment as Sanction 4 field punishment of Japanese officers is carried out, as per 2021 rules of war promulgated by President Clinton in 2009. Be there as Admiral Yamamoto invades the Hawaiian islands with the help of sub-fusion plasma yield Laval Cruise missiles fired from a captured French Stealth destroyer. Muse with Reichsführer Himmler as he ponders the benefits of a Riefenstahl soundtrack to accompany his Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. Find out the destruction hypervelocity caseless ceramic bullets cause to human flesh, and what a round of Nytrilium fragmentable hollowpoint ammunition does to a koala.

I rated "Weapons Of Choice" as the novel I most enjoyed in 2004, and so far I rate "Designated Targets" as the best piece of fiction I have read for 2005. Having reread both books, I now await for 2.3: "The Last Good War" hopefully to be released in early 2006. I want to read Mr Birmingham's graphic description of the Sanction 5 Karma that awaits Commander Hidaka the Japanese Governor of Hawaii.

If you have read "Leviathan" - the unauthorised biography of Sydney, then you know the detail and depth of research John Birmingham enters into. In the acknowledgement for Designated Targets, John reveals the help he gained from the inhabitants of the Newsgroup soc.history.what-if so buy his books, then contribute to the newsgroup or post to his Cheeseburger Gothic Blog, and who knows you may see your name in 2.3 like Midshipman Linthicum.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turtledove was never this good., March 29, 2006
This is literally the first alternate history series I've ever read that is actually a good novel (collectively, so far) and not just an intellectual curiosity. Turtledove's famed work really drags in comparison to this series and Turtledove writes more for the nitpicking geeks than for the general public as does Birmingham. I don't care to go into the plot - enough reviewers have already done so - I'm just expounding on the quality of the written word here. I'll state this simply for those who know what I mean: Birmingham is to alternate World War Two history what Stephen Ambrose has been to World War Two history.
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Designated Targets (Axis of Time)
Designated Targets (Axis of Time) by John Birmingham (Mass Market Paperback - December 26, 2006)
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