Down to Earth (Colonization, Book 2)

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9780345430205: Down to Earth (Colonization, Book 2)

In 1942 Hitler led the world's most savage military machine. Stalin ruled Russia, while America was just beginning to show its strength in World War II. Then, in Harry Turtledove's brilliantly imagined Worldwar saga, an alien invasion changed everything: alliances, technology, commerce, and--most of all--the nature of life and death. Nuclear destruction engulfed some of Earth's great cities, and the invaders claimed half the planet before an uneasy peace could be achieved.

Colonization takes us into the tumultuous 1960s, as the reptilian Race ponders its uneasy future on the planet it calls Tosev 3. The United States has prospered since the war, and has sent a manned spaceship deep into space. On the other side of the globe, the German Reich remains bloodied but unbowed, brandishing a frightening new weapon and always poised for war. China strains under alien occupation, and from Poland to Jerusalem, Jews must choose between aiding the Race or the Reich. Now, the invaders have been joined by their colonization fleet--millions of newcomers who seek to incorporate our world into their far-flung empire.

A violent black market erupts around ginger--the one substance that deprives the alien colonists of their ability to reason--and a new war threatens, one even deadlier than the last. The clamoring, bellicose tribes of Earth form new alliances and play dangerous games of diplomacy, but the ultimate power broker will be the Race itself. For the colonists have one option no human can ignore. With a vast, ancient empire already in place, the Race has the power to annihilate every living being on Tosev 3 . . .

In Colonization: Down to Earth, Harry Turtledove continues the breathtaking tale that has established him as one of alternate history's leading practitioners. Populated by a cast that includes the famous, from Khomeni to Himmler, and the unknown--drug smugglers, soldiers, and lovers--this novel continues the excitement of Colonization: Second Contact, and weaves a spectacular tale of tyranny and freedom, destruction and hope.

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Review:

Colonization: Down to Earth marks part two of part two of Harry Turtledove's epic alternate history in which WWII gets interrupted--and violently abridged--by a hostile alien invasion. With some of the same characters introduced in the four-volume Worldwar series and Colonization: Second Contact, the story arc continues through the 1960s, as the Lizards (along with their second fleet, composed not of soldiers but of colonists) continue to grapple with their not-quite-subdued conquest, Tosev 3 (a.k.a. earth). And Turtledove's alt-'60s are not--to say the least--about peace, love, and understanding.

Now the reptilian ETs must face off against three world superpowers in an uneasy truce: the United States; Molotov's SSSR; and the psychotic, nuke-wielding Nazis under Himmler. Elsewhere, the U.K. flirts with fascism, Red China (commanded by none other than Chairman Mao) wages a bloody resistance against its scaly oppressors, and the Arab world does likewise under the guidance of Ayatollah Khomeini. As ever with Turtledove, plot takes precedence over characterizations, but his suspenseful twists and turns don't disappoint. And while Down to Earth proves a bit less martial than its predecessors, the action still satisfies--if nothing else, the bang-up finale is worth the wait. --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

Harry Turtledove was born in Los Angeles in 1949. After flunking out of Caltech, he earned a Ph.D. in Byzantine history from UCLA. He has taught ancient and medieval history at UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, and Cal State L.A., and has published a translation of a ninth-century Byzantine chronicle, as well as several scholarly articles. He is also a Hugo Award-winning and Nebula Award-nominated full-time writer of science fiction and fantasy. His alternate history works have included several short stories and the novels A World of Difference, The Guns of the South (a speculative novel of the Civil War), and the Worldwar tetralogy that began in 1994 with Worldwar: In the Balance.

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