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Settling Accounts: The Grapple by Harry…

Settling Accounts: The Grapple

by Harry Turtledove

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I sometimes confuse HT's WWII Alternates and get some characters from the Flying Dragon set, the Invading Lizard set, and the Confederacy wins, are mentally wandering through the wrong landscapes. I suspect others do as well. It is quite a familiar trope in HT's works, and I was a little tired when I got to this volume in the "Confederacy Wins" set. We are a long way from the very good "How Few Remain", and deep into formula fiction here. But I think it's 1944, for this series. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 17, 2014 |
While not an entry point, this is actually one of the better novels in this series. Rather than a static - and sometimes unconvincing - recreation of European WWI trench warfare on America soil, a Fuehrer rearming the Confederate States of America in the interwar years, and the Battle of Stalingrad retold as the Battle of Pittsburgh, this novel has a lot of mobile warfare as the USA drives into the heart of the Confederacy. Turtledove continues, from earlier novels in the series, bringing in tactical innovations not seen in our version of WWII. There is also more attention to the other theatres of war outside of North America. And, in this harsher alternate to our world, a lot of thought is expended on what to do with various rebels be they Canadian, Mormon, or the soon to be vanquished Confederates.

Genocide is irrefutably exposed in Camp Determination where one characters meets an unexpected end and another one meets an all too expected end.

In short, this novel feels more like an alternate history - and not just a retelling of history with changed names and places - than any other book in this series apart from its stellar start, How Few Remain. ( )
  RandyStafford | Jan 18, 2012 |
Ah, the penultimate volume of the Timeline-191 series! I am such an addict! By this time, I have to admit that these alternate history books about the ongoing conflict of the United States and Confederate States have devolved into hackwork. You get the same ideas swirling around and around throughout the tale. Highly competent soldiers on the front lines can (and should) get away with mouthing off to their superiors. Confederate tobacco is much superior than the crap the USA produces. The superior numbers and manufacturing capability of the USA can win the war if it's drawn out... unless the CSA manages to split the atom first. So why do I keep reading? Well, I've come this far. 10 volumes as of this book. I want to see how it ends. Who lives? Who dies? And will Jake Featherston get the nasty death that he truly deserves? Guess I'll just have to get the next one to find out. (And pray that Mr. Turtledove hasn't decided to embark on an alternate Cold War epic....)
--J. ( )
  Hamburgerclan | Sep 29, 2009 |
This book continues the long-running Timeline-191 series in which the Confederate States gained independence in the Civil War and have had numerous wars with the United States ever since. The Settling Accounts series recounts an alternate version of World War II with the USA and CSA on opposite sides. In this third volume, the US has repelled the Confederate invasion and is now beginning an offensive into Confederate territory, which ends up looking a lot like Sherman's plan in our actual Civil War. Meanwhile, Confederate leader Jake Featherston's plan to eliminate all the blacks in the south continues with the expansion of the concentration camps.

This book is unlikely to be of interest to anyone who has not read the previous books in at least the Settling Accounts series, as it has nothing that distinguishes it individually. It continues most of the flaws of the earlier books, especially repetitiveness, although thankfully some of the more common repeated phrases have been mostly eliminated. We still get to hear many times about how bad US cigarettes are though. The biggest issue with the book is just general bloat. Most viewpoint character segments have one little nugget of information to provide that moves the overall story forward, but they spend five pages doing it by padding the segment out with some usually irrelevant conversations. There are whole segments such as the Loanard O'Doull ones which seem to serve no purpose at all. The book also continues to imitate WWII too closely. The Confederates develop new weapons such as rockets at this point in time because that is what the Nazis had at a similar point in WWII, not because it is logical that the Confederates would have a lot of skilled rocket scientists. Towards the end of the book, momentum is starting to build up in the story, and I hoped that some surprises would be coming, but instead the story stalled out and very little happens in the last couple of hundred pages. Despite the flaws, I did find this book somewhat more interesting than the first two books of Settling Accounts. Hopefully, the final volume will have some surprises, but I am not too confident that it will. ( )
  sdobie | Sep 9, 2008 |
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Funereal music poured out of the wireless set on Brigadier General Clarence Potter's desk.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345464079, Paperback)

“A profoundly thoughtful masterpiece of alternate history.”

It is 1943, the third summer of the new war between the Confederate States of America and the United States, a war that will turn on the deeds of ordinary soldiers, extraordinary heroes, and a colorful cast of spies, politicians, rebels, and everyday citizens. The CSA president, Jake Featherston, seems to have greatly miscalculated the North’s resilience. But as new demonic tools of killing are unleashed, secret wars are unfolding. The U.S. government in Philadelphia has proof that the tyrannical Featherston is murdering African Americans by the tens of thousands in a Texas gulag called Determination. And the leaders of both sides know full well that the world’s next great power will not be the one with the biggest army but the nation that wins the race against nature and science–and smashes open the power of the atom.

“Turtledove never tires of exploring the paths not taken, bringing to his storytelling a prodigious knowledge of his subject and a profound understanding of human sensibilities and motivations.”
–Library Journal

“One of the strongest books in the extended series.”

–Publishers Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:15 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It is 1943, the third summer of the new war between the Confederate States of America and the United States. CSA President Featherstone has miscalculated the North's resilience. In Ohio, where Confederate victory was once almost certain, Featherstone's army is crumbling, and reinforcements of uninspired Mexican troops cannot stanch a Northern assault on the heartland. The tide of war is changing, and victory seems within the grasp of the USA. Still, new fighting flares from Denver to Los Angeles. As air, ground, and water burn with molten fury, new and demonic tools of killing are unleashed. The U.S. government in Philadelphia has proof that Featherstone is murdering African Americans by the thousands in a Texas gulag. And the leaders of both sides know that the world's next great power will not be the one with the biggest army but the nation that smashes open the power of the atom.--From publisher description.… (more)

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