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Weapons of Choice (The Axis of Time Trilogy, Book 1) Paperback – June 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"This book has everying: time travel, the British royalty, things that go boom, and unrelenting action. Read the opening at your own risk: you won't be doing anything else until you finish it."–Sean WILLIAMS, co-author of Heirs of Earth and Star Wars: Force Heretic: Reunion
Top Customer Reviews
That's the case here - a 21st Century Naval Fleet winds up in WWII, and while they could've eviscerated the Japanese Navy "midway" through the book (heh, heh) they don't. Yeah, there are story reasons why they didn't but the main reason seems to be so that the Japanese navy will be around in books 2 and 3.
When all 3 books are published, the series itself will probably rate 4 or 5 stars. However, ya gotta rate the book as a standalone entity.
Good things in the book:
- Nice forward looking history. The fleet is from 2021 and an ongoing war against Terrorism and Militant Islam has shaped its men and women
- Nice treatment of the mismatch between 1940/2021 mindsets
- Great techno warfare stuff, especially how body armor/advanced ammo changes the land battle paradigm
- Recognition that the characters from 2021 would hold certain 1940s characters in awe - Spruance for one, others you'll have to find out about - and how the 1940s characters react to this
- Great overall update on the "Final Countdown" scenario
- Subtle nods throughout the book at other alt history characters and scenarios. You'll know 'em when you see 'em.
Things which hacked down the star rating
- The scene in which the fleets first meet is just ~too~ drawn out in some places and too short on description in others.Read more ›
We discussed the whole aspect of the racism/ignorance of the Temps. He did not deny it was rampant, especially since many sailors did not know better. And what's more, he was certain they would not have been receptive to wartime "sensitivity training"; since fatalism was rampant. Why pay attention to it, when a sudden torpedo or kamikaze could end it all? Besides, there was a war to win. This "lack of sensitivity" carries over to Spruance and Halsey's discussion (in the book) as to whether a POW rescue is a wise use of resources.
My dad's only gripe, the name of the futuristic supercarrier, and the fact it wasn't sunk at the onset. But I think he is willing to forgive!
Then there are books like "Weapons of Choice", by John Birmingham, which are so dreadful that they bring the real world mercifully crashing back around us. What's worse, I will reveal to you at the end of this review that the main idea of the book isn't even original!
Our heroes are a multi-national naval force from the year 2021. Thrown together are mostly Americans, some Brits, some Japanese, some Indonesians, and some Australian ships, all (predictably) under a U.S. commander. Through a scientific experiment (predictably) gone terribly wrong, most of the fleet gets sent back in time to June 2, 1942, two days before the Japanese were about to attack Midway Island, a battle which in real life was a decisive U.S. victory and pretty much turned the tide of the War in the Pacific gainst the Japanese. Because we all know that time travel backwards makes one physically ill (unless one is a Terminator), all of the future force characters (predictably) find themselves in various states of incapacitation upon arrival in 1942 and, thus unable to man their respective stations or defend themselves.
This is important because the future force people materialize in the middle of U.S.Read more ›
by John Birmingham
Time travel books rank very high in my list of favorite genres and this one combines the inherent time travel fascination with a strong military thriller gloss. Good stuff folks, very good. Birmingham provides a lot of plot-many different events- with an ensemble cast of players that he draws well, vividly and with a genuine sense of humanity. We like that, it makes the action mean something if we have characters that seem real to us-and characters who seem to be likeable or at least understandable.
In the not so distant future, a flotilla of allied warships assemble in the port of Dili on the island of Timor, prior to an assault upon the newly established Caliphate in Islamic majority Indonesia. Among them as a matter of happenstance rather than design we find a huge scientific vessel engaged in research at the very frontier of scientific possibility, research that goes terribly wrong.
The mixed nationality force suddenly finds itself transferred catastrophically into the past, into the midst of WWII and into the middle of an American navy fleet-in wartime. Many die before things can be sorted out.
The shooting and bleeding most will find very exciting (in good military fiction mode) but the social interaction between the mid-20th century folks and the mid 21st century folks holds the most interest. We have naval officers from several nations and even a few imbedded news writers. We meet such historical figures as FDR and Albert Einstein. Admiral Yamamoto has a prominent place to play and we even encounter Adolph Hitler. The smoothly portrayed interaction among these players and our characters give the book its main interest.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent Book, I have not read any of Mr. Birmingham's books prior to this, I will now be working through his other works. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Kachad
A wormhole has opened, the 21st. century...but it's now 1942. A multi national naval task force, with extraordinary advanced weaponry, in world war II? Read morePublished 17 days ago by Kindle Customer
I don't like writing reviews because I don't want to give away any plot issues or unusual directions that the author takes the story. Which John Birmingham does. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Snowman
This is an awesome series. I love time travel and how things might work out. This one seems to work against those coming into the past and how they will figure out their lives... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pam
A very enjoyable book. A fun concept of time travel and real world historic events we are know what happened.Published 3 months ago by idol8492
Maybe it's just not my thing. I was hopeful at first, but then it just turned into one big bloodbath that went on and on. Really, not my kind of book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by harborsparrow
I have not finished it yet, as I'm about 2/3 through. It's an entertaining book thus far. What I expected.Published 6 months ago by Beefz
Complex yet fast moving, this sci-fi spy thriller is well-written and highly enjoyable.Published 7 months ago by Seaberry11