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Angels of Vengeance Hardcover – April 10, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Disappearance Series

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for John Birmingham
“[Birmingham] describes military hardware with an exuberance and virtuosity that’s positively Clancyesque.”—Time
After America
“Interesting geopolitics, incredible action, and pirate battles make this a perfect end-of-summer read.”—io9
“Ingenious and engrossing.”—Publishers Weekly
Without Warning
“A real page-turner . . . [rips] the reader along on the ride.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Shocking . . . replete with full-throttle action.”—Booklist

About the Author

John Birmingham is the author of After America, Without Warning, Final Impact, Designated Targets, Weapons of Choice, and other novels, as well as Leviathan, which won the National Award for Nonfiction at Australia’s Adelaide Festival of the Arts. He has written for The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone, Penthouse, Playboy, and numerous other magazines. He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345502933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345502933
  • ASIN: 0345502930
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concluding books of a trilogy are usually a bit disappointing because much of the novelty of the saga's "universe" and much of its plot and character development have been told in the first two books. The familiarity starts to wear thin by the last book.

That is definitely true here. I thought the first book of the trilogy WITHOUT WARNING rated five stars, and the second book AFTER AMERICA was even better, being flawless in plot, action, and characterization...and especially enlightening as to the chaotic world that would be left if 96% of the U.S. population suddenly disappeared.

Because the first two books are so excellent, there is a bit of a letdown here. The first few chapters move very fast and then the pace slows down. There's just not that much to add to the story line that hasn't been told in the first two books.

Despite being on the slow side toward the end, the book does have its high points. Here is what I liked:

* The exploits of the Echelon operative Caitlin Monroe are well told. Caitlin's character is fleshed out and gives us the feeling that we're reading about a real person instead of a plot device.

* The infiltration and combat sequences seem realistic without being cartoonish in a James Bond sort of way.

* The characters are complete. Birmingham knows how to portray characters as real human beings. The "good guys" have their weaknesses and most of the "bad guys" have some virtues. No human being is all-white or all-black. The book shows how people make difficult compromises to cope with dreadfully difficult circumstances.
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Format: Hardcover
"Angels of Vengeance", by John Birmingham, is the third in a series of related books. I read it as a stand alone since I have not read earlier books by Birmingham. In the early pages this looks like a near future military ops thriller - heavy on the specs and tech, but with a post war collapse having happened. However, the book is set in the year 2008, but this isn't "Our" 2008; we have an alternate history happening here. I felt at a disadvantage as a reader through much of the book, not having more backstory on the political situation in the Americas and especially the event that decimated the United States, presumably, from the earlier novels. Some books in a series are nearly impossible to read and enjoy as a stand alone. Luckily "Angels of Vengeance" is not one of those. We are given enough information as we read this to appreciate and enjoy the plot.

As a reader I was pulled right in to the story. The book has action and adventure - we start right off with an operative being dropped from a Black Hawk chopper into the jungle in enemy territory, but the story also contains a full measure of drama and politics and some intrigue. This isn't all wham/bam military SF - it is a well rounded story. I do think I would have appreciated more action than we get however. The political part of the novel really did not interest me much, and I think it should have. I wasn't able to identify/sympathize with the characters surrounding and including the President and for the most part the intrigue was lost on me.

Birmingham is a descriptive writer and we get a good sense of our surroundings. The operative, Caitlan Monroe, is a strong character in the book and I was caught up in her story quickly. Overall, I think I appreciated the story arc of another main character, Sofia Pieraro, more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the first three books, I liked the first book in this series, less so the second, and this one has been phoned in while sipping the odd brew or throwing another kangaroo on the barbie.
This guy s a really talented writer - too bad he has stopped working at it.
The last six I bought as soon as they came out - next I wait for the second hand copy.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Birmingham's latest opus follows a group of characters including a tortured young Latina seeking justice for her family, a sort of super female assassin working for "Echelon," a rogue general on the verge of taking Texas out of the union, and an everyman President determined to somehow make sense out of the shambles of the United States. Sound like a witch's brew with lots of opportunity for plot development? It is. Alas, following all of these characters, and more, as they try to make sense out of their new world, somehow just isn't as interesting for me as I found the earlier "Axis of Time" trilogy. This is to take nothing away from the author. His mastery of characterization is particularly impressive, but the whole "Without Warning" series seems to me to lack the punch of the "Axis of Time." Very occasionally, as for example, when he comments on the changes to Australian society as a consequence of the Wave, does he go off into the innovative territory so tellingly explored in the "Axis of Time." For me, this is a disappointment, and of course, as a military fiction junkie, I find the personal combat of his protagonists less inherently interesting than some of his large set pieces in earlier works. All that said, the book is still interesting and fun, and while I found the first half rather slow, I found the last half to be paced far better to the point where I really did want to know how the problems set up would be resolved.
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