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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War on the west coast, 5 May 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Mass Market Paperback)
A new novel of alternate history from a writer who specialises in that particular genre. It runs for four hundred and eighty eight pages, and is divided into twenty three chapters plus an epilogue.

It's a complete and self contained novel and not part of any series or trilogy.

The departure point from established history, as they say, is explained in a quick introduction from the writer. The Battle of Midway was, in reality, a stunning American victory against all the odds that changed the course of the pacific war. It was a monument to the vagaries of fate as things could have go so very differently if certain things had worked out other ways. Such as Japanese submarines failing to get into position on time beforehand to make contact with the American fleet.

Thus the book is about how things would have gone If they had. If America had lost three carriers and Midway island. Which would have left Hawaii in peril. And the entire west coast of the American continent under threat.

But the Japanese leaders did know that things were going better than they'd expected, and that America would eventually have the strength to build up and attack with overwhelming force. So in the meantime, could they do enough to force them to the negotiating table? And what help can their Nazi allies provide?

As with all books in this genre, the cast of many viewpoint characters are either creations of the writer or historical figures. And the narrative jumps between them. Many will be caught up in the middle of events. Others will hear about things happening from far away. All creating a picture of what it's like to be caught up in history.

The main characters are Tim Dane, an initially inexperienced naval officer who ends up having to learn fast. And Amanda Mallard, a nurse who starts out stationed in Hawaii. The two quickly meet, and, since they do follow a pattern the writer has used a fair few times before, you can tell where their relationship is going. But it's a good one because they are both believable as ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times, and the romance is most certainly earned, not least thanks to what Amanda has to go through to get away once the islands come under threat. This is a compelling section of narrative.

The book is also pretty good at showing things from the other side, as Japan strives to press home it's advantage, and the axis characters are pretty convincing.

It's a compelling read for the bulk of the narrative because you really can't be sure how it's going to work out, this not being an area too many alternative histories have explored before. It does start to feel a little overlong in the last quarter, but some good descriptions of aerial combat and submarine warfare do then grab the attention.

There's no flag waving patriotism. It doesn't pull it's punches in describing inter service rivalry and the problems with torpedoes that America had, and the secrecy that the times required, or what the Japanese Americans went through. The writer does sometimes come under stick for a perceived anti British attitude but you will find none of that here. And the ending does provide a decent sense of closure for all concerned.

A very good read if you like this kind of thing. There are some bits of strong language and a few moments of an adult nature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 18 April 2014
By 
Michael G. Annis "Sassenach" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Mass Market Paperback)
Having, sadly written a poor review of Harry Turtledove's War That Came Early series it is a pleasure to write a review on a writer who can make counter factional history come to life. The characters are believable. the plot moves along at a cracking pace and you get a good sense of the world picture and how it affects the action. If you like this genre or even good action novels then this is well worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars another cracking Conroy Read, 16 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
Another cracking What if from Conroy, all the characters are believable and the action sequences are clear and keep you wanting to read, the only problem is you just cant put the book down, a fascinating period of time where anything could have happened and we all know how the real event unfolded, but to see it from a completely perspective opens your eyes to precarious world freedom was at that time, all the more reason to admire and respect the sacrifices that were made by that generation.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the mirror ?, 17 Jan 2014
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Watchman (Horndean, Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Mass Market Paperback)
A fast-moving adventure in a parallel world where WW2 takes a different path. Great for reading while travelling or if visiting Japan.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good one, 1 Mar 2013
This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
The author can do very little wrong as far as I am concerned so this is fine reading. Ridiculous battle plans that always work of course but that is the appeal of alternate history. Do not take it too seriously and its grand entertainment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read, 17 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
Robert Conroy never fails to produce a good read and leaves me looking toward his next novel. Ok for some of his plot lines you have to suspend a little bit of logic but his take on alternative history is always entertaining
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 27 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
Well researched and thoughtful 'what-if' fiction. An excellent read, better than Turtledove' s recent efforts. Robert Conroy is quickly becoming a must read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternative Fictional Historical, 11 Oct 2013
By 
David Halahan (Wallisellen Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
Good beginning to the story, but then direction and focus gets lost - As a story good, as an alternative fiction it is clear that writer is from the good old US of A
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 10 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Rising Sun (Kindle Edition)
i like Robert Conrays boojs and stsrted this just after reading Himmlers War, thought this was a great booj, good story and i couldnt put it down ntil i had finished it. Made me want more!!!
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Rising Sun by Robert Conroy
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