31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dramatic start for Birmingham's new series
John Birmingham's latest novel wastes no time launching its premise: on March 14, 2003, as the world awaits the impending start of the Iraq War, a massive energy bubble appears in North America, instantly wiping out every lifeform within it. In the weeks that follow, the world faces the consequences of the loss of the world's sole superpower. The military attempt to...
Published on 6 Feb 2009 by Mark Klobas
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the earlier Axis of Time trilogy, but still entertaining
14 March 2003. The world watches on as the United States and her allies prepare for the controversial invasion of Iraq. What happens next is totally unexpected: a field of energy materialises over the North American continent, stretching from north-east of Newfoundland to just north of Acapulco, and from just south-east of Seattle to a few miles north of Guantanamo Bay...
Published on 18 Feb 2009 by A. Whitehead
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful premise,
This review is from: Without Warning (Paperback)Loved the book and two subsequent stories John Birmingham is top of my 'must have' list. Long may he continue to enthrall us.
4.0 out of 5 stars Future history or is it...,
This review is from: Without Warning (Kindle Edition)The book has a very interesting premise, what would happen if the USA wasnt there anymore?
Now I bought this hoping for something a little deeper, thought it would explore a little more deeply what the world would be like if the USA was wiped of the face of the world. Instead what I got was a very good Future/alternative history, though it is a potted alternative history.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, its a good piece of scifi and the only reason it didnt get 5 stars is its a little rushed at the end. Now there are 3 in the series but i really wanted a little more depth from the characters. If it was always planned to be a series then there was no need to rush the end, if it wasn't then that's unforgivable. A missed opportunity.
OK the story revolves round a sudden energy wave taking out the USA, you have a number of characters to follow and it all blends in very well. Ask yourself what Israel do if it was all alone and surrounded by enemies? How would the UK turn out? France would it celebrate or implode? as for the survivors in what is left of the USA what would they do? can the Constitution still be effective or will it be mob rule?
John Birmingham speculates on some of these answers, though not too deeply.
Its a well written story that could have been a brilliant story, Some of the characters I didn't care about but some i did. Its hard to tell a story from multiple view points and the characters I liked others wont and visa versa. that said I have bought the next one in the series and another book by Mr Birmingham. So no worries on his writing style.
But Mr Birmingham if only, if only.
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but a little bland,
This review is from: Without Warning: The Disappearance Novel 1 (Kindle Edition)The concept is a sound one and the writing is strong but unfortunately the story side tracks into some conspiracy theories & then politics that make the overall premise stagnant unfortunately this leaves the reader feeling like the overall story stalled.
4.0 out of 5 stars techno-thriller with a twist,
This review is from: Without Warning (Paperback)Author John Birmingham enjoys producing "what if?" novels with interesting themes. His first trilogy was about a modern battlefleet being caught in a time warp and dropped back in WW2. And the subsequent impact on WW2.
In this we have a mysterious energy wave that drops on the most of the US (and bits of Canada and Cuba) and wipes out all humans leaving an impenetrable barrier. That is the early set up and the book then gives us a perspective of a few set characters and a vision of what would happen to the world if the US suddenly was no longer in the picture. It is also set back in the time when the coalition forces were sitting in Kuwait about to kick off he invasion of Iraq, so this happens when significant American forces are outside the US but suddenly have no command structure.
So along with individual stories, we have how the world economy reacts, how different countries react and how the isolated elements of the US deal with their new position. It's very dark and felt very well researched with considerable thought. It essentially is the story of a world in collapse through the eyes of a number of individuals. The author also gives real people roles and reactions (for instance Blair as UK Prime Minister basically seals up Britain after chucking out any `undesirables') which made it feel very realistic. It is in essence a techno-thriller but a very intelligent one.
So I thought this was a well written page turner which also made you think a bit.
4.0 out of 5 stars Without warning,
This review is from: Without Warning: Without Warning Series, Book 1 (The Disappearance) (Kindle Edition)Very good, just the right amount of interwoven plots to make it so you won't put it down. One of the better " what if" books. Can't wait to down load the next one.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!!!,
This review is from: Without Warning (Mass Market Paperback)As a fan of what if? books,this hit the spot.If you like end of the world stories this is an interesting take on that scenario.I particularly like how the "event" happens almost as soon as you start reading.
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing story and interesting premise,
This review is from: Without Warning: Without Warning Series, Book 1 (The Disappearance) (Kindle Edition)I read this following on from a previous John Birmingham trilogy as I thought the story would be interesting. I wasn't wrong, the concept of this book is that most of America has vanished/vaporised and this is the real strength of this book. However the real let-down of this book is the characters, a real mix of believable and unbelievable people.
At the beginning I loved how the book jumped around, but towards the middle it began to get irritating. People would be left in certain predicaments and you would have to read 5/6 chapters to make sure they were ok. Dont mind reading a few pages, but think best part of a 100 and you've forgotten what the problem was.
Overall a good read.
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good JB book,
This review is from: Without Warning: Without Warning Series, Book 1 (The Disappearance) (Kindle Edition)Having discovered birminghams books by accident I have now read 5 in 3 weeks !!. Looking forward to downloading the next 2 books in this series in the next few days.
5.0 out of 5 stars He's getting better and better.....Spoiler alert!!,
This review is from: Without Warning (Mass Market Paperback)Wow can't wait for the next instalment.
This is one great book...and compared with his old series..a great improvement.
What i found wonderfull is that he doesn't pull any punches when analysing what will happen with such an event. For example Australia's immigration laws has a certain realism to it. But this is not always the case.
Some plotlines are really far fetched. For example the downfall of france descripted here and the antagonism between the anglo world and french spyworld. The description of the pro arab secret service of france sounds so weird and unrealistic to me. I mean france was colonial masters of muslim north africa. Saying they sympathise with moslim world because of that is crazy. And we are talking about the french here.
Still its a great read and like always he's not afraid to let people die. And to me pure fantasy escapism.
Btw after reading an exerpt of the upcoming sequel. Seems there will be even more interesting storylines coming up.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic gripping view of the world with USA.,
It clearly shows the role that the USA as major world power plays in the current environment. It reminds us of our place in the world and domination of USA culture and the importance that it places. I found the large number of characters all rich and detailed. I could not but it down. There were a few sub plots that I felt were a over used like the female assassin. Also the over emphasis on the importance of the American constitution. But guess being a Australian Brit that it was a little distant for me. It's a real insight in to sociological and political fallout from such a rapid change and decline that would follow.
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Without Warning by John Birmingham (Hardcover - 24 Feb 2009)
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