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Opening Atlantis Hardcover – December 4, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Hardcover; First Edition edition (December 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451461746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451461742
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Even in his lesser efforts, like this start of a trilogy about the Lost Continent of Atlantis, Turtledove is still the master of alternative history. Helped by the cool understatement of Todd McLaren, who makes all the "What ifs?" of the genre fresh and believable, listeners should plunge right into this predictable but intriguing story of the discovery of an unknown island during the reign of Henry VI by a wandering English fisherman. Fed up with political repression, the fisherman, his family and a few friends head for the promised paradise-only to find themselves pitted against an exiled nobleman who wants to rule the island. McLaren makes all the voices distinct and identifiable, from lowly Brits and smarmy lords to the foreigners flocking to Atlantis. There's not much magic or even the startling hooks on which Turtledove has hung earlier books (like the sudden arrival of repeating rifles during the American Civil War in Guns of the South), but Turtledove fans will appreciate McLaren's efforts. Simultaneous release with the Roc hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 1).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Todd McLaren reads with a deep, commanding voice that keeps listeners' attention, deftly handles a variety of accents, and gives the story the broad sweep it needs." ---AudioFile
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This is so real it makes you believe that it really happened.
Also, Atlantis had no people, so the colonists pretty much settle and begin carving their own little niches into the wilderness.
Serene Night
I am a big alternate history fan, and I have to admit Harry Turtledove is my favorite alternate history author.
J. S. Klein

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Sam Vimes on December 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A few years ago, a friend introduced me to early Turtledove, the Videssos series. Since then, I have read every one of his works, even those now out of print. It was therefore a matter of natural course that I pre-ordered this book.

The title of the first book of the new trilogy, Atlantis, refers to an eighth continent discovered in the Atantic. At some time in the past, the eastern portion of North America split away, and was therefore discovered much earlier, shortly before the War of the Roses. Different nationalities settle, conquer the land, and eventually bring their homeland differences to Atlantis. It is a strong premise.

Of my collection of 69 Turtledove works, this was the fourth in which I actually skipped and skimmed my way through the middle. The key events were entirely predictable, the writing tired, the subplots meandering. His tendency toward repetition was unedited.

If you are new to Turtledove, I would recommend instead his classic work "Ruled Britannia" or "The Guns of the South." If you are experienced in the ways of the Turtledove and are looking for a fresh read, I would recommend you track down the out-of-print "The Two Georges" or "A World of Difference." Both are outside the mainstream and are excellent.

Would I have read this book, given what I now know? Absolutely. I don't intend to miss a one. Would I recommend this book to someone who had not already read all of the other Turtledoves? Absolutely not. Look to his better works.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 13, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book kicks off yet another "alternative history" series from Harry Turtledove which is actually a slightly different rewrite of real history.

The basic premise is that there is another small continent or very large island in the middle of the North Atlantic, with massive natural resources, and which at the time of its' discovery by European fishermen in the late middle ages (in the 15th century) had no indigenous human population.

The new land, named Atlantis after the legendary lost continent, is fertile and quickly settled by British settlers, along with French, Spanish and Dutch settlements. The continents which we call North and South America are found a few years later at about the time they were really discovered, and named "Terranova" (e.g. "New Land"). Their history from that point, judging by tangential references in the book, appears to follow roughly the same track as in real history. But the main emphasis is on the story of the first three hundred years of the colonies in Atlantis.

In form this book consists of three linked novellas set at the time of the Wars of the Roses, 17th century pirates and buccaneers, and the Seven Years War respectively. Each tells of a key stage in the development of the colonies in Atlantis, as seen through the eyes first of Edward Radcliffe, who founds the first English settlement in the new land, and his descendants.

Turtledove once wrote that alternative history provides a "funhouse mirror" through which we can take a different perspective on real history. He has put this into practice: others have described his novels as having taken their plots from actual events but with different historial and fictional individuals and races playing the same roles.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chris Swanson VINE VOICE on December 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Harry Turtledove has gone out to milk the alternate history cash cow once again. I can hardly blame him. It makes him money and, to a great extent, he's the best in the business at it. Which is why I was somewhat let down by this book.

I went into this story with high expectations. An 8th contenient in the middle of the Atlantic? Full of exotic beasts? The Brits are the first to colonize it? This could get interesting!

What we get instead is an extension of the War of the Roses, a re-tread of every pirate story ever written, and the French and Indian War taking place on Atlantis. None of this is really bad, per se, but it wasn't what I'd hoped for.

Also of note is the fact that for an alternate history, there's not a lot of alternate. One would think the presence of this land would change the weather patterns somewhat, but apparently not. Also, though the point of departure is in 1451, European history seems to flow pretty normally. We still have a Charles on the throne of England in the 1600's, and someone who is obviously George III on the throne during the 1700's. One would think things in Europe would get butterflied a bit more than that.

Plus it's quite clear that Atlantis is being set up as an analogue of America. I'm sure that in the sequel we'll see some sort of revolution against England, and probably a civil war over slavery.

Surprisingly, the book also doesn't include a map, which would have been very useful. I know roughly where Freetown, Hanover (Stuart), and some of the other towns are in relation to each other. Perhaps in the sequel we'll get one.

Still and all, this was a good read, but not a great one. It does do a sufficent job of setting up the next book or two in the series, and I do look forward to reading those. But I can't help but think there could have been something more here.
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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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