32 of 34 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 MarkK
64 of 67 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
Most Helpful First | Newest First
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!!!,
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,
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,
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!!,
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.,
I loved this book I am a huge fan of John Birmingham and this book does not disappoint. A grim view of those Naïve and short sight people who would just wish American away.
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.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary,
Having read the author's "Axis of Time" trilogy and quite enjoyed it, I approached this, the start of a new trilogy, with reasonably high expectations. Overall I found it a bit of a let-down.
The technique used is that much used by Harry Turtledove:
(a) Invoke a premise that stands the world as we know it on its head; and
(b) Tell stories - lots of different (and completely unrelated) ones from different people in different places - about its consequences.
In this case, an energy wave of unknown origin and bordered by a vast curtain stopping just short of Seattle on the one hand and Guantanamo Bay on the other, wipes out all of life in those parts of the USA, Canada and Mexico that are behind it (in some ways it reminds me of the change in physical laws in S.J. Stirling's "Dies the fire"). This happens just prior to the planned invasion of Iraq, which, as you can imagine, spoils somewhat the preparations for that particular affair. And, as can be imagined, the sudden removal from the scene of the world's major heavyweight causes all sorts of other nasty things to crawl out of the woodwork to exploit the vacuum.
The idea is no more preposterous than that of the transport of a 21st century battle fleet to the WW2 Pacific theatre, but somehow I found the story-telling more pedestrian and the characters and events less engaging than those of "Axis of Time". Indeed, I found myself reading it at least partially out of determination to try to get something more approaching my money's worth. As a result, I'll buy the other two books only if offered at a price I can't refuse.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant book from Birmingham,
A great new story from Birmingham - a world without the USA! For some people this seems the dream they have been waiting for but the vaccum that this leaves causes world wide chaos! My only complaint was that I was hoping this was going to be a continuation of the Axis of Time series. But this looks like a promising series too.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Without Warning,
Having enjoyed Mr Birmingham's prevous work I was pleased to find that this latest book was both fast paced and easy to read.It is clear that there is more to come on the subject of a world without the USA and I await the next instalment with keen anticipation.Without Warning
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars,
excellent novel. well written. Gripping srory.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Without Warning by John Birmingham (Paperback - 4 Jan 2013)