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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars40
3.3 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 November 2012
NIce little edition to the Axis of time trilogy. Brought up to date with mention of Apple & Google products and gives it a more "modern" feel to it.

The story centers around Prince Harry & Vaisilov with a few supporting characters such as Duffy & Stalin thrown in for good measure. The story is quite pedestrian and plods along at a decent pace.

It's a good way to expand John Birmingham's universe and works well but it's not really that in depth and no major shocks or surprises but it's a good old read. I paid £1.94 for this and it's okay value, but if it was below 99p or free then it would have got five stars. I read this in a couple of hours on the plane and was entertaining while it lasted.
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on 20 March 2013
I wanted to give this book a good review, I really did but I can't. I read it on my Kindle and loved what there was of it but no sooner had I settled in to a good read the book finished. It's that short that there is no way I can recommend it even at the Kindle price, let alone £7.99 for the paperback. It's good, but it's nothing more than a taster, the next book needs to be a finished one.
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on 12 November 2012
Birmingham back to what he does best, tight thriller with lots of imaginative asides on how the time traveling fleet has changed the world. The ebook format makes it like Charles Dickens and his serialized novels are taking on the technothriller. Looking forward to seeing XXXXX return in "Stalins Hammer: Cairo".
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on 23 September 2015
When I received a notification of John Birmingham's long awaited sequel to his Alternative World War II histories, I was so excited that I bought the first three novels on Kindle to read again so that I could remind myself of how good they were before moving on to Stalin's Hammer.

The first three books were true roller coasters of novels which I and my friends who have also read them say that they would make wonderful movies. Their complexity and insight into the differences between modern and mid 20th Century attitudes was rather thought provoking. Not to mention the intrigues of the upsetting of the balance of world power with the introduction of advanced technology and weapons.

Stalin's Hammer however, is nothing like these masterpieces. It starts off with a tantalising hint at a new super weapon being developed by the Russians and then the rest of the book shifts to a farcical pseudo espionage chase around a segregated 1950's Rome. At best it reminded me of a cross between The Ipcress File and the Casino Royale movie with David Niven and Peter Sellers. The book doesn't even have an ending, it just stops with no conclusion! Truly abysmal.

I gave it one star only because give zero stars isn't a selectable option. However if it got a star every time the narrative mentions a character's testicles contracting into their body through fear, it would probably have eight or nine. A truly over used cliché in this terrible book.

Sorry Mr. Birmingham, but you have just lost your magic touch.
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on 27 December 2012
I love his three full size "World War 2.1" books, and this is a continuation, with the same characters. Its just too short, unless it is followed up quickly (or is this what genre-busting is all about?)
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on 14 November 2012
Having first read Weapons of Choice years ago I was eager for the series to resume, I was not disappointed the book is part 1 of a larger collection, hopefully we will not have to wait too long for the next book!

The story resolves around 3 of the up timers, Julia Duffy, Prince Henry of Wales and Vaisilov in Rome 10 years after the end of the war, Rome is the Berlin of this time with a divided city. The soviets to the north, the allies to the south with a covert war waging in the back ally's and Vatican City.
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on 10 October 2013
After hugely enjoying the Axis of Time series, I was delighted to find that Birmingham had returned to that world for a sequel. Forewarned by some of the luke-warm reviews, my expectations were set accordingly, but even so, it was a little disappointing.

So, plus points - it returns to the AoT world, set 10 years after the events of the last trilogy. The book focuses on two of the characters from the previous series, giving most of the highlight to one who was mostly a secondary character before. And, it's kind of alright - rollicking, high tempo adventure, as you would expect from the previous books.

But... it's short, and because of that, it lacks depth of both plot and characterisation; it doesn't have the multiple ongoing strands of the other, longer, books, and it suffers in comparison.

Overall, it's OK, but it's really half or a third of a book - a couple of hours reading and it's gone, leaving you wanting for more.
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on 12 December 2012
After what feels like far too long, we're back in the world of Axis of Time, and with some ingenuity and inspiration, John Birmingham has managed to open a whole new chapter with the intensity of the original trilogy.

It's a pleasurable (if quick) read, and he's done a great job of bringing the characters up to date. If I have two gripes, they're that the main thrust of the book, a chase through an occupied Rome, feels drawn out and not quite engaging enough, and that there's not enough of the witty juxtaposition of 20th and 21st century that made the originals so entertaining.

Still, it's a great read, the characters are as good as they ever were, and it teases future installments perfectly. Bring on Stalin's Hammer: Cairo!
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on 13 January 2013
The story is focused more on several characters we know from the original trilogy and doesn't have the same breadth of scope. It's a good story, and an interesting look into how the Emergence/Transition has affected history with time having moved forward a bit, however not as good as the other books in this universe.
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on 13 May 2015
Well this is a jolly romp round a divided Rome (think Berlin) in John Birmingham's Axis of Power alternative universe. Stalin has developed a nasty weapon and the implication is that details are going to be passed to the West. This is predominantly an action-packed, explosive spy thriller involving two of the characters from the series; the anti-Communist Ivanov and (much to my disgust as a British anti-Royalist) jolly Prince Harry. It's a short read and will probably end up as part of a bigger book but it's fun... and games.
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