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Charles Jackson lives with his wife and daughter in Sydney, Australia.
He works full time to help pay the bills and spends his spare time writing speculative fiction.
Beginning his lifelong love of writing at the age of twelve with the completion of his first attempt at a full-length novel, he has been an avid writer ever since.
His interests include reading, music, movies and online gaming, and has had many different and varied experiences in life ranging from performance in amateur stage productions to service as a private in the Australian Army Reserve and, more recently, the most strenuous and rewarding experience of all: parenthood.
on July 19, 2013 :
"the RAF pilot was quickly becoming desensitised to surprise to the point of simple acceptance...most things he’d seen that day had been unlike anything he’d seen before and he’d basically used up his capacity for amazement to the point that he was willing to hold it in check until some suitable explanations had been provided."
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the best alternate history novel I have ever read. Very long, which is great and with only a few minor proofing errors, it's evident that the author loves the subject and knows his topic and period in exquisite detail. This book is clearly a labour of love, and I admire the detail, the reality and the prose to the point where I went out and bought more copies, just to show my support for the author (which I would of course have been less inclined to do if it had cost more). Still, the sequel will be hear soon and I can honestly say that a fivefold increase in price wouldn't put me off in the slightest: the amount you get and the quality of the material is nothing short of astounding.
“I badly needed to remember where I’d come from... remember what I’d left behind.”
This book also packs emotion. The thirteenth chapter and the date of August 17 1940 haunted me for ages, and the sobriety and solemnity of the post mortems also impacted greatly. Something about the way this book is written somehow captured and held me and, for all that I've been doing other things than reading over the last week, my mind has been at the Orkneys, in German airspace, and savoring each salvo in this war.
Trumbull's introduction to Hindsight is extremely exciting of course, but the impact of it from the other side of the fence in chapter 15 is unparalleled. And as if superb and engaging writing in both the aforementioned chapters hadn't utterly captivated me enough, the actual invasion is also spectacular and left me dry-mouthed.
"Of course, there was always the occasional possibility of random chance or the unpredictability of others, a perfect case in point being the circumstances of that night ultimately leading to the rather inconvenient fact that he was now quite definitely deceased."
The other characters are also quite intriguing; Schiller especially comes into his own as the story develops and I'm almost tempted to reread it, so I can focus more on him in the earlier parts of the book. Brandis somehow didn't quite strike the same chord, so Rupert's future actions will be most interesting to observe now that things have been set in motion there.
One reviewer of this book pointed out the "Huge" nuclear revelation. Somehow, I wasn't too surprised by it myself, I think because of the temporal effects on aging which sort of put me on the lookout for changes to ongoing natural processes. Still, there's no doubt it had a massive impact on the story and it was handled brilliantly.
Downsides? Well, every book has them. For me, the abbreviations - street, road etc were used inconsistently and I'd have preferred they werent used at all. But that's really a tiny quibble on a work of such scope and length that it's hard to take the issue seriously.
"Will there ever be a time now when anyone looks on a German without fear?"
The devastation and damage done is certainly huge in this novel and the impact heavily felt. I'm not ashamed to say that I also shed a tear as Eileen performed the requiem for the character I'm deliberately not naming so as not to spoil anything. The writing was - beautiful and heartfelt and painful. Truly, if you'll pardon the excursion in a nod to my regular readers, an Eolian moment.
I am eagerly awaiting the sequel and seeing where everything ends up and ties together will hopefully keep me coming back for many more books to come. Thank you, Mr Jackson.
(reviewed the day of purchase)