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V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History [Hardcover]

Allen Steele
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 15.90
Price: 15.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books (4 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425259749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425259740
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 829,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars V-S Day 11 Mar 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book is “a novel of alternate history”. It tells the story of a German World War II plan to render America’s involvement in the War impossible and the Americans’ desperate attempts to circumvent the German plot. Set mainly in the period 1941 to 1943, this is a novel which is very evocative of wartimes. I like the blend of history with conjecture/possibility, and the way in which historical characters are written into the story. There is a certain amount of American ‘gung-ho’ patriotism and bravado, but this is nicely offset with the glimpses into the German war effort, with scenes with von Braun and the German leaders, including Himmler and an audience with Hitler himself.

This is a pretty good book, a pleasant read and a good ‘alternate’ view of how an aspect of the war could have been. I could not help feeling, though that it could have been much better. However, I enjoyed the book, and would happily read more of the author’s works in this genre.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hungry for more 7 Feb 2014
By Rob54 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I eagerly awaited this book as Allen Steele has done some fantastic work at times but "V-S Day" left me hungry for more than cartoon characters. Werner von Braun realizes the horror of what is happening and what he is causing (slave labor at Nordhausen) and other then a few sentences we get no more than that for his reaction. Dr. Goddard as written as just a name and a few historical references and I got no "feel" for the man. Sanger and Bredt are barely mentioned yet they created the weapon that must be stopped. The story is sprinkled with historical figures, but most seem to be dropped in there for their names and little else. The other characters (like Skid) don't get a chance to show us the hard work and the wonder of this project.

Something else - and a big else. Where are the slide rules? Where are the hordes of engineers and technicians working day and night (as happened on the Manhattan Project) to save the world? We never see them nor are they mentioned other than thru vague subcontracts. Where else was the science and engineering to make the story seem real?

So at the end this novel is more of a long short story, and a 25-year-old one at that, stretched into a not very fleshy novel. It read like more of a "Tom Swift and his Rocket Ship" tale then something I'd hoped Mr. Steele would write. If you're expecting another "Lunar Descent," which I loved, this novel is not it. Save your money.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 2 Mar 2014
By Cycist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I do have to agree with the 2 and 3 star reviews but in addition the "alternate history" here is flimsy at best. With the really good Alternative History there is a big and obvious event that would change the future (what if the Japanese bombed the fuel depots at Pearl Harbor, what if a leading Nazi general died early, etc.). I don't want to give away the plot in case you want to read this but it just didn't capture me. The science also didn't really add up (rockets with minimal radar able to line up on commands from a spy in Germany.......No ground radar....). Certainly not a page turner, a book I was easily able to put down and felt I had to finish rather than I wanted to. Mr. Steele disappointed me here where his earlier novels didn't.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and erudite alternate history, lacks personal story 6 Feb 2014
By Alan - Published on Amazon.com
V-S day was a fascinating speculation on what might have happened if the US had invested in the race to create intercontinental attack rockets instead of the nuclear bomb. The historical research is admirable and the story telling is smooth. What I missed was a focus on a personal story -- I think I would have found V-S day more engaging and meaningful if the story included a counterpoint that explored the effects of doing the work on one or more of the characters. For example, there is a brief subplot about the effect of secrecy on one researcher's relationship with his girlfriend. This could have been expanded through the story to look at different effects of war, aspiration, and secrecy on this man's life. Without that sort of focus, V-S Day feels like an interesting History Channel documentary rather than an exciting story.

I listened to the audio edition narrated by Ray Chase. I enjoy the richness and clarity of Mr. Chase's voice, but I find his delivery always left me expecting a disdainful remark at the end of every paragraph.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Second star only for the great cover art. 26 Mar 2014
By Philip A. Carlson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Few moments of tension and many scenes of meetings with a bunch of characters just telling the reader what was, is, and will be. I could only slog through half of this snorefest.

For a great example of alt-hist that is fast paced with characters you will care about, try "Liberty: 1784" by Robert Conroy. And if you have not read the master, Harry Turtledove, I envy your future enlightenment.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it wasn't bad, but... 27 Feb 2014
By J. meyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a short story, or perhaps a novella that drags on page after weary page. No point in writing just a descriptive paragraph for this author, not when six pages of walking through Paris can pad the old word count.

The story is good although very unlikely considering the mindset in Germany (at the top anyway) at that time. But really, fifty pages less wouldn't have hurt the story and might have let me read it without falling asleep two consecutive evenings.
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