Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reviews from Jim

Have been without phone and internet service for almost a week.

Here are some reviews from Jim to introduce you to a couple of good books.

HIMMLERS WAR, Robert Conroy, Baen, $25.00, 368 pages, ISBN: 9781451637618, reviewed by Jim Brock.

HIMMLER’S WAR is one of those exceptional alternate histories that don’t take a big stretch of the imagination to accept the premise. That’s not to say that I’m unwilling to take big stretches or giant leaps of imagination for a good alternate history. You just don’t have to in this case.

Adolph Hitler survived a series of events that could have wiped his evil presence from our planet and possibly prevented at least a part of his murderous rampage. Of all his followers, SS leader Heinrich Himmler was perhaps the best positioned and capable of assuming the role of Reichfuhrer should that have happened.

Conroy postulates that very thing occurring shortly after D-Day when, in a comedy of errors, an American bomber dumps its bombs and unknowingly, at the moment, blasts Der Fuhrer to bits. From this beginning, Conroy takes World War II on a believable and exciting course with a blend of the true historical heroes and villains of the time and a cast of likeable and diverse fictional characters. Their stories set in the backdrop of this great conflict are engrossing. Robert Conroy’s HIMMLER’S WAR is truly excellent.

EXPEDITION BEYOND, Roger Bagg, Fiction Studio Books, $26.95, 404 pages, ISBN: 9781936558223, reviewed by Jim Brock.

This is Roger Bagg’s first novel in what I hope to be a long string of them. EXPEDITION BEYOND establishes “The Anderson Theory” which offers a unique and imaginative idea about what’s inside the Earth. When a rift opens in the Artic and a corresponding rift appears in Australia the doors, so to speak, are opened for the proof of that theory and the discovery of an exciting world ripe for exploration and adventure in future novels.

This first venture into that world focuses on the surface as two rescue operations. The one in Australia is to find the son of a rich and powerful man who disappears in the area when the rift opens. The operation near the North Pole is to rescue the leader of an expedition sent to explore the crevasse who fell in and dropped miles into the Earth.

What really gripped me weren’t the rescue operations as much as it was the adventure of the North Pole leader and the world in which he finds himself. It is a world inhabited by Aztecs, Anasazi and Neanderthals. There he finds love and chaos and fights for his life and that of the people he finds. This world is imaginative and engrossing and this book is difficult to put down. I can’t honestly say Bagg handles the mechanics of storytelling as well as came up with terrific ideas for that story, but that matters little because EXPEDITION BEYOND is one good reading experience.

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