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The Disunited States of America (Crosstime Traffic) Paperback

3.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
Book 4 of 6 in the Crosstime Traffic Series

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A18FBTQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,872,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a way, the Crosstime Traffic books are some of Turtledove's finest creations.

Not only are the histories he creates truly unique, but I've always felt that Turtledove is a much stronger writer when he limits the scope of the story to a minimum of characters. I can read his Guns of the South or In The Presence of Mine Enemies repeatedly while his sprawling epics tend to feel muddled. In these books, we have a loosely connected series of self-contained novels that focus on two or three characters at most with enough time to easily explain the difference in histories with a minimum of fuss. I've enjoyed the series so far despite being a decade or so older than the target audience.

Unfortunately, I found this installment to be a direly weak book that leaves me reluctant to see what he does next.

In the first place, this book does not explore the inner workings of the true locals. We don't see the inner workings of a character who was born and bred in an independent, Virginia with institutional racism. Instead, we are given two characters that are essentially tourists, who are quick to judge what's going on around them without considering the society as a whole. I'm not saying that there's much to admire in the Virginian society, but I felt like I was being bludgeoned by a steady stream of conversations and monologues decrying the way things were, something that I didn't feel needed to be spelled out so blatantly.

Second, I was bothered by the lack of use of obscene language, especially in the middle of a war zone. Admittedly, this is a book for young adults and I wouldn't want to see it peppered throughout with foul language just for the sake of verisimilitude, but Turtledove is too coy with it here.
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Format: Hardcover
The Disunited States (2006) is the fourth Alternate History novel in the Crosstime Traffic series, following In High Places. In the previous volume, Annette Klein manages to escape from slavery and returns to her home timeline. Crosstime Traffic undergoes a harsh public scrutiny.

In this novel, Beckie Royer and her grandmother are visiting relatives in Ohio and they are en route to Virginia to visit still more. Beckie is getting tired of the differences between her native country of California and these eastern states. Her anxiety level has just shot up as she realizes that the odd-shaped things in the floorboards are assault rifles.

Just then her Uncle Luke drives the car up to the Virginia border station and states that he has nothing to declare. The Virginia border guards take their passports and are surprised when Beckie and her grandmother hand over California papers. After a short discussion of their visits to family members in both states, the guards wave them through the station.

The next stop is Elizabeth, Virginia, population 1316. Uncle Luke drops them off in front of the courthouse and pulls out headed for Charleston, Virginia. Beckie is not sorry to see the white Honda leave, particularly since the rifles are going with it. Beckie briefly mentions the rifles to her grandmother, but nothing gets through Gran's fixation on the inconveniences of life.

Justin Monroe and his mother are coming to this timeline for a standard tour of duty. Randolph Brooks is their local contact. The natives believe that Justin's mother is Randolph's sister.

When they arrive at the Charleston Coin and Stamp Company, Justin notices a white Honda parking in front of the donut house and the driver carries a blanket wrapped bundle into the shop.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Did not realize this book was intended for young adults. I found it preachy- telling us how horrible slavery/racism and war are and that a federal govt fixes things. Sorry Mr. T., slavery was proven economically unsustainable especially with modern technology. Racism exists in every culture, even between different groups of Chinese. And the federal govt fixes very little, including healthcare. The conversations between the characters were well-done and truly reflective of the region (I grew up in the Virginia mountains). That is the only reason I give this book 2 stars, but I won't be buying anymore in this series.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here is the fourth of Harry Turtledove's exciting Crosstime Traffic series. Its alternative history with a twist: Crosstime Traffic is a giant corporation in the late 21st century US which controls the secret of traveling to parallel worlds through transposition chambers. The science is a bit woolly and largely goes unexplained by Turtledove, but it doesn't really matter.

Each of the Crosstime Traffic books thus far has had teenage protagonists who deal with difficult ethical situations in different timelines. The Disunited States of America is set in a world where the US Constitution was never written and the Articles of Confederation failed to work, meaning that North America is split into dozens of sometimes warring nations.

Justin and his mother are Crosstime Traffic workers who do business in the independent nation of Virginia. Unfortunately, while they are at work Ohio goes to war against Virginia and unleashes a manmade plague that sickens and kills nearly everyone exposed. The other major character is Becky, a native of California who is caught by the war on a visit to Virginia with her crotchety grandmother. The two teenagers become friends (but no more) during the weeks they spend dealing with war and illness.

All of the Crosstime Traffic series are well written with plots aimed at high school and younger readers. The stories are imaginative and thought provoking and (I hope) will inspire an interest in history within their target audience. I've enjoyed all four Crosstime Traffic books thus far and hope Turtledove will continue the series indefinitely. I only wish that I could get a job at Crosstime Traffic myself!
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