2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Really good alternative history debut novel,
This review is from: Bitter Seeds (Milkweed Triptych) (Paperback)
I was lucky enough to find Bitter Seeds in Scotland at the house we were staying in on our vacation. Of course I grabbed the opportunity to read something that has been on my wishlist for ages!
It's a very good alternative history book although it's pretty dark and depressing and doesn't really have a happy ending. At times it reminded me Lightning by Dean Koontz, although the latter is written better.
I don't think there is only one main character in Bitter Seeds, it's much more complicated than that.
On British side there is Marsh, a secret agent, whose chance encounter with a strange gypsy woman with the wires from her head, starts the whole Milkweed project - a reconnaissance mission to find out what the Germans experiment with and how Brits can stop them. There is also Marsh's old friend, young warlock Will, whose aristocratic family passes the skill from father to one of his sons each generation.
From German side there are brother and sister, Klaus and Gretel. He is the invisible man, and she is a precog. And let me tell you something about Gretel. She is beautiful, clever, strange and very, very unhinged. She is perhaps a mastermind in Bitter Seeds, a catalyst for a lot of very tragic events, and in a way she is more terrifying than the evil German scientist who first starts the project that increases the strength of human will and turn children into X-men. She is more terrifying than The Indolans - universal magical entity who just want to destroy humanity but can't without the warlocks marking their way with our blood...
This is a dark book, violent and at the same time fitting to the whole topic of Second World War. The only happy end you'll get is the inevitable victory of the Allies, but the people involved into the project would never be normal again.
I especially felt sorry for Will, who destroyed himself, his psyche and his vitality, so Britain could win the war, and for Klaus who only wanted to protect his sister and for them both to survive.
Bitter Seeds is... well, a bitter, but very interesting debut novel. Recommended.