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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Drive to the East by Harry Turtledove

Settling Accounts: The Drive to the East by Harry Turtledove. New York: Del Rey, 2005. ISBN: 0-345-45724-2

The second in Turtledove's "Settling Accounts" trilogy, in which the South, having won the Civil War, but having lost WWI, sets out to do just that. Basically, Turtledove has created a fascist regime in the Confederacy, replete with tinhorn dictator, concentration camps for the former black slaves, and even the beginnings of a “final solution” for the unfortunate blacks.

Meanwhile, the South is failing in its attempt to knock the North out of the war with one savage blow, despite having cut the U.S. virtually in half with a massive surprise attack using tanks, infantry, air power, and everything else they could throw. Jake Featherston, the southern dictator is starting to show his fallibility, and just like WWII Germany, his generals are beginning to plot against him.

As usual with Turtledove, the story is told through vignettes illuminating the lives of many different protagonists scattered over both sides, on land, sea and air. If there is a complaint, it could only be that the close parallels between Turtledove's Confederacy and Nazi Germany are a little too obvious, and make the ending a little too certain. Still, it's an entertaining ride while it lasts. Recommended for fans of the series.

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