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Two Fronts (The War That Came Early, Book Five) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 23, 2013

Book 5 of 6 in the War That Came Early Series

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Product Details

  • Series: The War That Came Early
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345524683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345524683
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Turtledove’s new variation on the theme of WWII is departing more and more from the original, sometimes in subtle ways (the Tiger tank is the Mark V instead of the Mark VI) and sometimes in less subtle ones (Sergeant Fujita flies on missions to drop bacteriological weapons on Hawaii, making life uneasy for marine Pete McGill, and Herb Druse gets a certain research project in Tennessee canceled). The lot of the poor bloody infantrymen, however, does not change—it’s still miserable, and for Wilhelm Deming, fatal. Meanwhile, British sergeant Walsh, French lieutenant Demange, and Czech sniper Vaclav Havacek are still full of fight, the first two on a French front bolstered by lend-lease supplies and the third in Spain. Hans Rudel continues to enjoy a charmed life in his tank-busting Stuka, while Julius Lemp takes his U-30 into Arctic waters, where he unbolts his record by sinking a British aircraft carrier. The real pressure for an explosion is building up in Germany, as dissatisfaction with the progress (or regress) of the war is building. The center of the dissent is in Münster, where newly widowed Sarah Bruck is dealing with it up close and personal and finding that not all Germans think of Jews as untermenschen. What’s next is anybody’s guess, except that it will almost certainly be more surprises. --Roland Green

Review

Praise for Two Fronts
 
“[Harry] Turtledove has another major twist in store for the readers and his alternative world.”SF Site
 
“Turtledove’s new variation on the theme of WWII is departing more and more from the original, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in less subtle ones. . . . What’s next is anybody’s guess, except that it will almost certainly be more surprises.”Booklist
           
“Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history.”USA Today

Praise for Harry Turtledove
 
“If you like alternate histories, you’re going to like this series a lot.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
“Turtledove is the standard-bearer for alternate history.”USA Today
 
Coup d’Etat
 
“This is what alternative history is all about.”Historical Novel Society
 
The Big Switch
 
“The Hugo Award winner continues to delight in exploring the world of ‘what if?’”Library Journal
 
West and East
 
“There’s plenty to satisfy fans of military strategy, tactics, and armaments.”Publishers Weekly
 
Hitler’s War
 
“Turtledove is always good, but this return to World War II . . . is genuinely brilliant. . . . The characterizations in particular bring the book to extraordinary life.”Booklist

Customer Reviews

Nothing really HAPPENED in this book.
Chris Swanson
Turtledove tends to come out with interesting ideas then bogs down in two many characters doing too little over too long a time in too many sequels.
No BS guy
Turtledove is the best there is at Alt. history, setting standards for the genre.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Dave on July 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sadly the high hopes I had for this series when the first novel came out have diminished with each new novel. Turtledove's writing has in the past been quite repetitive in previous series but "The War that Came Early" series and Two Fronts in particular take this repetition to new heights. No longer content with merely repeating certain similar phrases or subjects, in Two Fronts Turtledove replicates entire paragraphs almost exactly, from earlier in the series and within the book itself. Most readers would agree that he would be better served advancing the plot as opposed to repeatedly discussing the same topic: the Stukas and Russian bombers were outclassed by modern fighters; that anti-tank rifles made fantastic sniper rifles. The character of the Czech sniper's story is almost reduced to a version of wack-a-mole, with no drama whatsoever.

Here's hoping that the wheels start turning in book 6.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm beginning to think that Turtledove has tried to make a feast out of a light snack. The idea of World War II starting up early, before either side was really prepared for it, was a good one. But I'm beginning to see that without major, MAJOR twists to the timeline, it doesn't seem to have much potential for an ongoing series.

This is book five in the "The War That Came Early" series and really, that series should have ended at around book three. Book four tried to produce the major twist to the timeline by having England and France ally with Germany, but by the end of that book, the twist was undone and there were no real consequences. That book could have been skipped entirely without really missing much of anything.

Sadly, so can this one, or at least about 95% of it can. If you want to know what happens, I'll tell you: one character dies and gets replaced by another, something bad happens in Hawaii (though even that gets brushed aside as more annoying than anything else), and...that's about it. There's no real character development, which while not unusual for a Turtledove story, is particularly notable here. Almost every single character is the same place (mentally, physically and emotionally), at the end of the book as they are at the start.

And really, that's the problem with the series as a whole at this point. Nothing really HAPPENED in this book. Oh, there were plenty of scenes and lots of battles, and of course Turtledove's problem of telling you the same thing constantly, as well as his problems with telling you the same thing repeatedly, and his problems with constantly giving you information you have already, but there wasn't much plot.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MarkK VINE VOICE on July 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The fifth volume in Harry Turtledove's "The War That Came Early" series begins with the two sides dealing with the aftermath of the reversal of the "Big Switch" in the last volume. With Britain and France having resumed their war against Nazi Germany, the German leadership finds themselves facing a drawn-out two-front war with no end in sight. Yet the situation for the British and French is no less complicated, as they prefer to wage a bombing campaign to the bloody and politically dangerous alternative of a ground offensive. Meanwhile, the United States finds itself on the defensive in the Pacific, with Japan deploying a dangerous new weapon in their effort to maintain their hold on their enlarged empire.

The entries in Turtledove's ongoing series seem to alternate between torpidness and something that amounts to a crawl. With the end of the series (and presumably the war) in sight, this volume definitely fits in the latter category; the pace is greater than that of the previous entry, Coup d'Etat (The War That Came Early, Book Four), and some interesting events do take place. That being said, Turtledove still has not addressed the problems with the repetitiveness of the writing and the similarity of perspectives offered by the selection of the characters. Were they better fleshed out this might not matter as much, but the result is a book that mostly offers multiple viewpoints from the perspective of the grunts, which with Turtledove's writing usually means much of the same, regardless of the side.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Sommer on August 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Harry Turtledove since The Guns of The South, and even I have to say this book is as dull as watching paint dry. He is good at describing battle scenes generally, but here you get the impression that he's being paid by the word. If I had a sip of beer every time he used the word "beast," I'd be passed-out drunk.

The thing that bothers me is how he avoids drama. The Japanese drop germ bombs on Hawaii. Is there panic as people start dying of the Plague? Nope. It's brushed off in two pages with mandatory vaccinations. Pfft. Even I could write better than that. He did the same thing in the last book, by completely avoiding telling how the pro-Fascists in London were overthrown. One day they're with Hitler, and the next, they aren't. Yawn. Next!

He did better with the Timeline-191 series, because it was at least dramatic and didn't shy away from telling a larger story. But this series has become downright boring, and--I hate to say this--not worth reading.

Seriously, it's simply a drawn-out soap opera. Will Peggy become an alcoholic? Will Chaim ever have sex with the Communist cutie again? Will anybody shoot Awful Arno in the back? Tune in next time for As The World War Turns---at $35 an episode.

As Chaim might have said, "Feh! Who needs it?"
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More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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