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Striking the Balance (Worldwar Series, Volume 4) Mass Market Paperback – July 30, 1997

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Frequently Bought Together

Striking the Balance (Worldwar Series, Volume 4) + Upsetting the Balance (Worldwar Series, Volume 3) + Tilting the Balance (Worldwar Series, Volume 2)
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Product Details

  • Series: Worldwar
  • Mass Market Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (July 30, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345412087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345412089
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Turtledove's grand tetralogy of an alternate WWII interrupted by an alien invasion draws to a satisfactory conclusion in this follow-up to Upsetting the Balance, and with a few surprises to boot. The Chinese woman Liu Han, for example, is seen climbing the hierarchy of the Chinese Communist Party as it comes under the control of Mao Zedong. Moishe Russie helps negotiate the final armed truce between the alien Lizards and the humans, with the Lizards withdrawing from most human territory in return for being allowed to settle many deserts in anticipation of the arrival of their colonists. (Neither side can survive an indefinitely prolonged nuclear exchange, and the Lizard edge in technology has been rapidly vanishing.) Readers will be happy to see Ludmila Gorbunova and Heinrich Jaeger reunited, and to note their roles in the final disposition of the heroic lunatic Otto Skorzeny. Turtledove's historical scholarship, narrative technique, dry wit and deft characterization distinguish this novel just as they did its predecessors, making it a rousing wrap-up to a monument of alternate history from a master of the genre.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this fourth book and conclusion to the alternate World War II history series (the prior installment was Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance, LJ 12/95), Turtledove mixes historical and fictional characters in a war of combined Axis and Allied forces against invading reptilian aliens. Recommended for collections with the earlier books.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

Too many loose ends were left hanging.
Frank F
If you haven't read the rest of the series, don't bother reading any farther For those of you that have, this book is the best in the series by far.
As usual for Mr Turtledove, the book provides a very good story with known historical figures in unexpected roles.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. L. MILLER on March 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first book of this series ("In the Balance") struck me more as a prelude, and perhaps shouldn't have taken up a whole book. Succeeding volumes have tightened up the story and brough into more importance characters and mini-plots that seemed to be more in the way of digressions when alluded to in the first book. The aliens have computer technology, while the closest most Earthmen can even come to the word "computer" is the word "calculator". There's laser technology, and with it comes CD-roms and DVDs. They have cruise missiles which can fly down a street and go around a corner to hit a specific building when we, half a century later, haven't gotten quite that far with such missiles. But the big lessons here are that it's a big mistake for a superpower to assume too much about their scentific superiority and its ability to prevail no matter what. The "what" in this case is guerilla warfare--it works. Period. In the real world, both my country and the Soviet Union learned that the hard way--us in Vietnam and the Soviets in Afghanistan. And in this story, it's how us primitives on Earth make what was supposed to have been a walkover invasion by the aliens a long drawn-out agony. They end up having to make choices and concessions. Like keeping a human baby as an experimental subject when her Chinese mother joins Chairman Mao's revolution and they ain't gonna cool it unless she gets the kid back. So the military types tell the science wonks that keeping the kid ain't worth the grief. That's how guerilla warfare works the best--as time goes on, the invader finds it less and less worth it to hang on as a matter of ego. More and more in this series, the planet Earth is becoming the alien invaders' Vietnam or Afghanistan.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alex Krylov on November 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So, Striking The Balance finally sums up all the lines Turtledove had started in his first book of the Worldwar series.
For those who have already read first three books, the further development is quite predictable. After over two years of fighting all around the world, with its fronts spread too wide, and its lines becoming yet thinner from day to day, with too many cities levelled down to eatrh, and several of them lying in radioactive ruins, the Race stands now before two unpleasant options: either they will have to turn all this world together with all its inhabitants into a radioactive desert unsuitable for colonization, or make peace with Major Forces of this world (USA, Third Reich and USSR) and those who were able to prevent their occupation by Race's forces (Great Britain and Japan) on conditions of status quo. And this means that all these nations with all their Tosenite's ability to pick up and introduce innovations into technologies they develop on basis of what they've stolen from Race, and with all thier aggression, will have time to prepare themselves for a new round of fighting. This very idea alone should make Atvar feel uneasy...
Historisn by profession, Turtledove has a brilliant insight to predict what would have happened if...
What will happen with the main characters of the novel? Will Ludmila Gorbunova and Heinrich Jaeger meet at last? Will Liu Han become a promimemt leader of of Chinese Red Force? Will Reich's terrorist No.1 Otto Scorzeni become "Osama BenLaden" of this alternate world, or will he fail, and only one thing can make him fail - his death? Read the book, it's worth reading.
And finally, a remark from the reader from the other side of "iron curtain", which has finally (and fortunately) fallen.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Cohen on July 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This initial offering of Turtledove's first WWII alternative history tetrology (amazingly, there is more than one) is, regrettably, the best that will be offered. Alternatingly fascinating and draggy, the four books could easily have been condensed into two. This first installment presents intriguing premises, e.g. what if extraterrestrial invaders came to Earth expecting the late middle ages, only to find a technological global war in progress? What if they could not find a way to use their superior technology to vanquish the combined armies of Earth without ruining the environment for their upcoming colonization fleet (see next tetrology)? The reptilian invaders owe a great debt to Niven and Pournelle's pachyderms (Footfall) in their persistent inability to understand the complexities of human behavior. Unfortunately, these premises are often poorly realized and insufficient to carry even one book, let alone four.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is as far as I've gotten in the series. I admit that these books often had me immersed and rapidly turning pages, but it's really starting to get repetitive, and I'm tired of the whole setting that's been created. There were some good human and alien characters, and lots of action in spots. It's what I'd call "light reading".
There's something about the lizard technology that doesn't make sense: A species like this wouldn't have this sort of weaponry. Think about it: The other two worlds in their empire that they conquered were primitive, easily-defeated tribal societies. So why would the lizards have tanks and air-to-air missiles? Their home world has been unified since ancient times. Things like tanks are invented due to the circumstances of particular types of warfare. In WWI, there was a need to cross trenches and barbed wire, and the tank was developed in response to this. The lizards never fought a war like this, so how would they have thought of something like this? Same for fighter aircraft.
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