Sunday, May 28, 2017

1632 - Eric Flint

1632 - Eric Flint1632 (Ring of Fire)
Eric Flint
Baen Books
Copyright: 2001

The product description:

1632 And in northern Germany things couldn't get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religous war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy.
2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn's sister (including the entire local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time.
When the dust settles, Mike leads a group of armed miners to find out what happened and finds the road into town is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell: a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter attacked by men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don't have to ask who to shoot. At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of the Thirty Years' War.
It's been a while since I read any of the Ring of Fire series, but I was loading my Kobo a couple of weeks ago and discovered that I had the first two books of the series hiding away on my computer (thanks to the CD-Roms that Baen included with their books for a while (also the source for the first thirteen of the Honor Harrington series - note to self: load the first book in this series to the kobo to join the rest soon).

Anyway, I'd been hunting something to give me a bit of a break from The Mists of Avalon and Circus of the Damned/The Lunatic Cafe (Marion Zimmer Bradley and Laurell K. Hamilton respectively) and 1632 seemed to fit the bill. Suffice it to say, it did! - I went racing through it over the last four days, while continuing to read the other books (the biggest advantage of the Kobo is being able to switch from book to book at will).

I'm not a hundred percent certain on the way history is used in this series, however I'll admit that a lot of that is due to the fact that the sixteen-hundreds are not exactly my area of expertise - nor are the military tactics used. However, my memory of what I've read in By Sword and Fire some years ago says that yes, what is suggested in this book and the rest of the series is quite reasonable.

Either way, I found myself captured by the story and the characters.

One thing I hadn't realized on starting 1632 is just how large this series has gotten - three or four screens of titles on and several authors contributing too - both short stories in the many anthologies, and full novels set in this world too. There are a number of authors I recognize from other books too, including David Weber, but also quite a few authors whose names I don't recognize.

Honestly, at this point I'm not sure whether to hope I really get into this series or not. There's certainly plenty of reading here - but that's also the downside, trying to find about 17 years worth of books in one series and by different authors when the library might not have all of them.

For sure though, I'm looking forward to reading 1633 at the least - and any other of the earlier books in the series that I can find. I'm also finding myself inspired to try and hunt down the time-travel novels by S.M. Stirling again too.

One final note: At least at the time I'm writing this review, 1632 is free as a Kindle e-book. That means that there is absolutely no excuse to not give it a try.

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