2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
a book of two halves,
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This review is from: 1636: Seas Of Fortune (The Ring of Fire) (Paperback)
This book expands the 1632 universe to both the new world and to the far east, looking at the "butterfly effect" as the arrival of Grantville creates a new history as the ripples from it expand. The first half (looking at the efforts of the USE/Dutch to establish a presence in south america) is by far and away the better of the two, its very well written on the whole, has an excellent sense of place, and has some great characterisation. It also has a brief spell in Grantville itself and one "uptime" character- which i think helps it along- its always easier to have Uptimers as a point of view character to comment on the world they are encountering, it gives the story (and contrasts in world view) more power. The second story does suffer from not having a direct link to Grantville or an uptimer- theres only rumours and a few books/items made it to Japan- so we see the world exclusively through the eyes of contempory people and it lacks the culture clash that is such a feature as a whole of the series. I also had considerable problems telling one character from another with all the Japanese names/titles flying about and its distracting to be flicking to the appendices all the time. The second half of the book also has a very strange ending- not a cliffhanger, not a resolution it just sort of ends.
Overall though Mr Cooper has done a very good job on these, much better than almost all the recent contributors to the series. Can we PLEASE have some main timeline books out soon though!