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4.7 out of 5 stars34
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2012
'Crucible of Fate' stands as both a fitting end to the trilogy of books by Andy Johnson and as a tribute to the actual soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought and died during D Day.

Once again, the level of authenticity is as high as the previous novels in the series and the action is relentless. The great thing about these novels is that the war isn't seen as one sided. Neither does it wrap itself in a flag. Both sides are portrayed with honour and respect allowing the reader to understand both sides with a great deal of depth and emotion. The book does not shirk its responsibilities, painting a true picture of the nature of war; bloody, chaotic, tragic and at times unfair. Although 'Crucible of Fate' is a fiction, the author has gone to great lengths to use fact to lead his characters through a narrative that actually happened barring their own action which sits in the middle of history. Characters from each side of the story are well drawn with depth allowing the reader to understand their fears as well as their reasoning.

Again I couldn't put down the book as I wanted to know what happened next, even though my own knowledge of the period told me exactly what happened. My favourite moment is towards the end when the British Major Smithson comes across the Padre seeing to a fallen soldier; a very touching moment. I wont describe what that scene entails but for me it's a brilliant moment of humanity amongst the chaos.

I hesitated to give this five stars thinking that might be over the top but then I can't really fault this book. It is a fiction, it's faultlessly researched, the characters were great and most of all I enjoyed every page.
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on 4 August 2012
Andy Johnson is one of those few authors I keep checking on amazon for new releases. overjoyed to find this third offering for download.
Set during Overlord, Mr Johnson sets his focus on a narrow front but seen from a range of viewpoints of RAF crews, British Paratroops, Infantry and a DD Tank Crew also from that of the opposition - The German defenders a Panzer Crew, a veteran crippled Feldwebel and a Norman Family caught in the midst of war.
He once again excels in capturing the organised chaos of combat with his knowledge of infantry practice and period weapons which is so sadly lacking in many other authors.

I've read more war fiction than I care to remember from Sven Hassel, Leo Kessler et al to more recent offerings from the entertaining James Holland and the like. Andy Johnson is in a whole different league.

I look forward to his next novel.
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on 3 June 2015
I have a couple of issues with this book that really should drop it to 4 stars but I was so pleased to read a book about Sword Beach with particular mention of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars that heart rules head and 5 it is. For the benefit of the review I would take a little disagreement about the order that various units arrived on the beach although this could be put down to authors licence. The one area I did struggle with till I made a conscious effort to ignore it was the authors using modern military 'language' for his characters. Most of his idioms or vernacular whilst easy enough to comprehend are more suited to the infantry of the late 20th early 21st century not the soldiers of 1944. Equally the fact that infantry German & British used similar terms was disconcerting not to mention the fact that cavalry (or armoured if you prefer) have an entirely different method of speaking. But enough of this pedantic carping the story was well told and the book a real page turner. Thank you Mr. Johnson. Please take a moment to remember Bandsman Fullbrook, Tprs. Atkinson, Gascoigne, Green, Hockley Hughes, Lovell, Miller, Pickard, Schofield, Smith, Telford, Whittaker, L/Cpls Kershaw & Robinson. Cpls. Booker & Singleton, L/Serjeant Gillibrand and Sgt. Norris who all died on 6th June 1944. Viret et Aertenum
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on 29 March 2013
This was a terrific end to the trilogy! I've read Seelowe Nord and Thunder in May back to back with Crucible of Fate and all three make a brilliant read! The level of detail, authenticity and action are very,very good and all three books share out the plot and story line to both sides very well. Its very easy to actually get involved with the characters and be bothered about their fates and all 3 books bring the action and its consequences home-you get a glimpse of the reality of conflict. All in all a cracking read for all 3 books! I would love to see if Mr Johnson could take the series any further along and would look forward greatly to a fourth book.
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on 18 November 2012
Another good book from the author who is obviously experienced in what he writes about and shows the battle described from various accounts from the scared private soldier to the officer who has to master his own fears and get on with the job. The nice thing about this book is it doesn't automatically demonise the Germans and gives a chance to view the landings from their point of view. Only reason it's not 5 stars is he keeps dropping praise for his beloved coalies in it and we all know the womens auxillary balloon corp were the real pride of the British Army.
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on 26 December 2012
I have read Mr. Johnsons previous books, (Seelow Nord and Thunder in May), on Kindle and thought they were fantastic, very well written with some excellent characters, so when I saw this one I didn't hesitate in getting it. Once again, I was not disappointed, it deals with the Normandy Invasion from both the British and German viewpoints of soldiers on the ground. An excellent read, well researched and well written. I hope that there's more to come from Mr. Johnson.
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on 20 October 2012
A cracking read - I am a fan of military fiction and really appreciate the level of realism that the author brings to the subject - I am trying my hand writing fiction and find Andy Johnson's works quite inspirational. I look forward to more of the same. (PS I gave 4 stars rather than 5 as I believe only true classics like 'For whom the bell tolls' deserve 5 stars, it gives everybody something to work towards.)
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on 4 August 2014
The 3rd book I have read now by Andy Johnson and I always come away from them wanting more. Once again I enjoyed the military banter from both sides and the story is fast moving and you just cannot put it down sometimes. Thoroughly enjoyed, if I had one criticism it would be that SGT Jackson did not appear, but the appearance of the RAF pilot was great to see. 5 Stars..... we want more Andy.........
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on 4 December 2012
This was another great story.

It was not quite as gripping as Seelowe Nord - although it referenced that battle. This makes it a strange mix of history/alternative history but did nothing to detract from the plot.

I liked the British/German perspective. The only criticism is the modern langauge/terminology used by the characters. It sounds out of place. Still worth reading.
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on 24 November 2013
Fantastic read seen from both sides on D Day with no holds bard. You feel that you are actually there with them.
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