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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Present in Turtledove's alternative past
There is a good deal to like in Turtledove's latest installment of his ongoing alternative history saga of a divided America. The second volume of the 'Settling Accounts' series picks up right where the last one left off, with the United States and the Confederate States at war once again. The American president is dead and the Confederate drive through...
Published on 17 Mar. 2006 by MarkK

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to meet expectations
I've always like Harry Turtledove, particularly the world war and great war series. Unfortunatley, this latest series fails to live up to expectations. I find the central plot, the war between CSA and USA, is nothing more than a rehash of Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. I strongly feel that in an alternative timeline, one should not follow genuine history so...
Published on 19 Feb. 2006 by A. Bailey


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fails to meet expectations, 19 Feb. 2006
By 
A. Bailey "tonybailey99" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
I've always like Harry Turtledove, particularly the world war and great war series. Unfortunatley, this latest series fails to live up to expectations. I find the central plot, the war between CSA and USA, is nothing more than a rehash of Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. I strongly feel that in an alternative timeline, one should not follow genuine history so closely, after all, what is truly alternative about that?? The plot also does not seem to be true to itself as much as I feel it should be, for example, despite being an obviously unpleasant person, Jake Featherston at least acted within the boundries of reason, perfectly capable of listening to others when they told him an obvious truth. However, in Drive to the East, he suddenly, without explanation, becomes completely insane, utterly incapable of following the advice of a General (Bedford-Forrest) that he has previously shown a great deal of respect for!
As for the genuinely alternate stories, those of the occupation and Canada and the Mormon uprisings, one finds that they are given nothing more than sideshow status, with very little detail of why the Mormons are so militant, or exactly what is happening in Canada.
Having said all of that, I will buy the final two books in the series on release, no doubt with great anticipation, I only hope Mr Turtledove's imagination enables hime to tell a genuinely alternative history the next time!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Present in Turtledove's alternative past, 17 Mar. 2006
By 
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
There is a good deal to like in Turtledove's latest installment of his ongoing alternative history saga of a divided America. The second volume of the 'Settling Accounts' series picks up right where the last one left off, with the United States and the Confederate States at war once again. The American president is dead and the Confederate drive through Ohio has split the U.S. in two. Yet with a new president the war continues, and Turtledove entertains with his own version of the Second World War, following a number of characters from the previous volumes as they fight and live through the conflict.
There is an interesting new note to this volume. The Mormon revolt in Utah - an ongoing subplot that dates back to the start of the series - produces a new weapon that is more familiar to readers from today's headlines than from histories of World War II. It seems that Turtledove has decided to introduce an element of 21st century warfare to his 1940s battlefield as a way of commenting on current events, suggesting his own attitudes to today's violence. It will be interesting as well to see if he develops this idea further in the next volume.
Yet as enjoyable as the novel is, it suffers from a degree of sloppiness. Some of the sloppiness is error borne of too little research - I doubt that his alternate U.S. would name a destroyer escort after a Southerner, for example - while some seems to be of exhaustion. Compared to the initial volumes of the series there seems to be a growing degree of repetitiveness in this book, not just of the last installment (a little understandable due to the need to refresh readers from what happened previously) but within the book itself. Observations and even plot developments are recycled and rehashed almost as if Turtledove is simply trying to fill space. While I'm as eager for the next volume as any other fan of the series, I would be willing to wait a little longer if it led to a novel of the caliber of the first volume of the series, 'How Few Remain'. Though this book may develop the tale he started with that work, it seems to be a little hollow by comparison.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Alternate??? History, 19 April 2006
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
Writing an alternate history gives an author the opportunity to use his imagination to see what might have happened. What Turtledove is doing more and more in this series is not using his fantasy at all. He simply rewrites WW2 with replacing names and cities from the actual ones with the ones in the US.

While I normally like to read his books I have to confess that I didn't even finish this one when I came to the part that 2 Confederate generals start plotting against their President.

I will probably buy the next volume jist to see if just before his final defeat, the Confederate President will also marry his secretary and commit suicide, after which his body will be burned.

Some of the characters in this volume should be written away a long time ago. Why do we have to keep on reading about a US doctor when the only thing he experiences is trying to heal woudned soldiers (what a surprise in a war!). He really doesn't add anything to the overall story, and this goes for more characters.

In my opinion this volume was just written by Turtledove because he knew it would be a bestseller, regardless of what he wrote.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Snoozeville, 31 July 2012
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
This is book 9 of an 11 book series that I can no longer be bothered to summarise. I had been reading them consecutively but despite the fact that I only had about a hundred pages to read I left this one at home and took some other more interesting books with me on holiday. It's fair to say I needed a holiday from this series.

The story is plodding along and is paralleling what actually happened during WWII in Europe and setting it in North America instead. That's it in a nutshell. No originality. Loads of recapping what has gone before.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's getting a bit predictable!, 8 Mar. 2006
By 
Steven Wood "Steven" (Twickenham, Middlesex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
As a big fan of the genre, I have been following the Turtledove books for a while and there are some gems in there - Guns of the South and Ruled Britannia to name but two. The Settling Accounts series makes easy reading and is certainly entertaining. However, this book more than most is padded out with these tedious stock phrases that all the characters continuously utter, for example the phrase 'tell me that I am not wrong' or the one about Confederate tobacco being so much better, or the one about bad teeth on the British characters - really, what is that about? However, what really lets this down (other than the above cut-and-pasting) is the tendancy of Turtledove to follow real events so closely. It makes it all a bit predictable. So, for example, once you realise that Pittsburg = Stalingrad you know exactly where this is leading and it makes reading to the end less interesting!
I have recently discovered Anthony G Williams' book "The Foresight War". This is far better than Turtledove and makes a more intriguing read!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yes I know that already, 18 Aug. 2006
By 
RedPete (Dorset, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
This was the first Turtledove book I'd read after seeing him recommended in a number of places. I have to say that I was very disappointed.

Looking at other reviews of his books it seems that he is addicted to repeating a small number of 'colour' points throughout the book. I lost count of the number of times he, or a character, mentioned that Southern cigarettes taste much beter than those from the US, or that medics wearing red crosses occasionally get killed, or that fresh young officers are a danger to themselves and their men. This annoying habit really spoilt the book for me.

Another issue was that the plot is so closely tied to the real WWII - down to the gas used for mass-murder was called Cyclone. This is not so much alternative history as the same history transplanted to a different location. There were a few interesting differences - such as the evolving relative position of the Mexicans and Blacks in Confederate states.

One thing that differed from real life was that in Turtledove's world tanks (tracked fighting vehicles) are called 'barrels', which might not be so irritating if he'd not chosen a name that was also used for an important part of the tank (i.e. the barrel of the gun).

Turtledove needs a more effective editor to cut out much of the repitition - for instance I lost count of the number of times we were told that Southern cigarettes taste so much better than those from the US, or that young officers are a danger to their men and themselves, or that medics are sometimes killed by enemy action even if not deliberatly targetted.

He did make some interesting points regarding the use of propaganda by both sides, for example regarding the 'people bombs'.

The constant repetition of some points spoilt the book for me - for instance the danger posed to their men by young officers, or the risks faced by medics, or the superior taste of Southern cigarettes.

Overall the good points were outweighed by the bad ones, and I won't be bothering with any more of his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative History, 15 July 2013
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
As above.
One of a series of alternative History books setting WW2 in the context of the American Civil War.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition, 18 July 2006
By 
Bill Kelly "willireid" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
A wonderful step in the long settling accounts sequence. I accept other reviewer's points about some of the storytelling, but this is dwarved by the sheer vision. His reasoning is ,on the whole, precise and the fact that fascism can arise anywhere - CSA, UK, France is quietly compelling -and worrying.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one, 15 Feb. 2006
By 
SJ SMART "Smartie" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
I am a great fan of alternative history books and have read a lot of Turtledoves book from his brilliant "Guns of the South" up to this latest offering. (Also the brilliant S M Stirling who everyone who likes this genre should try.)

I bought this one with some doubts because I did not really enjoy the previous story but I wanted to see how it panned out and what happenend to the various characters, and found it much more readable and enjoyable than the last one. It picked up pace towards the end as the tide starts to turn against Featherston in a parrallel of Stalingrad this time fought in Pitsburgh.

However Turtledove still can't do battle scenes very well in my opinion and his characters love to say "Tell me I'm wrong?" in every chapter they appear, this gets a little tiring and predictable. Also its far too long with little really happening most of the time despite the fact that its an alternative World War Two! Plus why are the Mormons always rebelling? I never realised they were such a militant bunch, I will bow to Turtledove's historical knowledge on this one but I do wonder.

Have a look but read S M Stirling's Peshawar Lancers or Dies the Fire. Or John Birmingham's Axis of Time, they are brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 31 May 2013
By 
G. Richardson (Consett. Co Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Settling Accounts: Drive to the East (Paperback)
Turtledove does it again
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Settling Accounts: Drive to the East
Settling Accounts: Drive to the East by Harry Turtledove (Paperback - 13 Feb. 2006)
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