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Bronze Summer (Northland 2) Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575089229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575089228
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 813,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Thought-provoking, the characters within fascinating....Add to this Stephen's own unique writing style, cracking prose...a piece that demonstrates the futility of war, [and that] creates a story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned."--"Falcata Times""
""An interesting world and a compelling narrative."--Solarbridge.com


"Thought-provoking...a story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned."--"Falcata Times"
"A super alternate history from an SF master."--Risingshadow
"An interesting world and a compelling narrative."--Solar Bridge

Thought-provoking a story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned. "Falcata Times"
A super alternate history from an SF master. Risingshadow
An interesting world and a compelling narrative. Solar Bridge" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

An epic wall has been built to keep the sea out. And the history of the world has been changed. A superb alternate history from an SF master.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent sequel to Book 1. I admit feeling a bit squeamish with the repeated descriptions of violence, of many different kinds, and sometimes wondering how much they add to the narrative. But the rest of the book is very good, and full of imagination. It made me go for Book 3 straight away.
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Format: Paperback
Bronze Summer continues the alternate history begun in Stone Spring, where the British Isles remains joined to continental Europe, and what in our history became the North Sea became instead home to a prosperous Mesolithic community. Bronze Summer fast-forwards 8000 years to the Bronze Age, where Northland has become a cultural and economic power on a par with Mycenae, Troy and the city states of Mesopotamia.

Bronze Summer shares many of Stone Spring's flaws, but few of its qualities. On the positive side, Baxter does write good prose, and keeps the story moving along at a brisk pace. He writes interesting characters - the "goodies" have fatal flaws, and the "baddies" have plausible reasons for doing what they do. But the main dynamic of the story is almost identical to Stone Spring, just with a bronze age setting rather than a stone age one, and a different world-altering natural catastrophe.

But the biggest turn off for me - so much so that I just gave up reading about four-fifths of the way through - was the relentless depiction of sexual violence and cruelty that permeates the story. Scarcely a chapter goes by without men, women or children being raped, mutilated or otherwise violated and abused. The depictions are clinical rather than voyeuristic, but they add little to the story, and just make it harder to pick the book up again once you've put it down. For contrast, about the same time, I was reading the second book of S.M. Stirling's "Island in the Sea of Time" series. This also deals with the everyday horrors of Bronze Age life, but at least in a way that helps his narrative rather than hinders it.

So on balance I will probably give the third book in the Northland series a miss.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Third in series. Found the beginning hard going and gave up after 60 pages, so disappointed as the first two were very good. Might come back to it but hell, there's a lot of other books I want to read. Shame, Baxter is a good author generally.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read the first novel in the series I was looking forward to returning to Northland in this title for quite some time as I pondered what the changes to Neolithic Britain would mean in the sense of having a land bridge to the rest of Europe. What Stephen does with this title is fast forward in time in much the same way he did in his Time Tapestry series picking times that he felt would mean major changes, in this case fast forwarding to a time when the Greeks would look at invading this rich and fertile land.

As with his other books it is thought provoking, the characters within fascinating and I think that its easy to forget what a subtle change to one part of history would have meant to the world as a whole. Add to this Stephen's own unique writing style, cracking prose and a piece that demonstrates the futility of war which creates a story that will stay with you long after the final page is turned. The third part is definitely going to interesting and I suspect that the second world war will never be the same.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Haven't quite finished it yet but it has been an interesting read throughout. It can be a little frustrating trying to work out exactly where in the world all the events are happening. Fortunately I am a sucker for an exploding volcano so that bit was particularly thrilling! Overall an excellent read with a host of interesting characters.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was very interested by a prehistory in which Doggerland had been preserved for habitation. I had not seen Stone Spring but the concept was immediately attractive so I gave Bronze Summer a try.

By now the North Sea has been kept at bay by a massive wall - sounding too large for such an ancient world - but for no reason that is explained the people of this land are still hunter gatherers and fishers while the communities on either side, Britain and France / Spain, are farming. They have brought potatoes and corn from the New World - the potatoes particularly puzzled me as I did not think they had been developed to large enough tubers to sustain such a large community. There is no mention of oats which, when it arrived, enabled the early British people to keep horses over winter and to plant hardy grain in Scotland. And the potatoes and grain are traded to Europe and Asia as 'mash' not viable seeds... how did they stop mash from rotting? Was it partly fermented? This is not described and we don't see the cask makers or potters who would have been needed for this work, or the trains of animals to carry the casks... and what roads? I also found it hard to believe that a second sea wall would not have been needed on the south of this Northland.

Anyway the society has had to stratify, clans skilled at stonework, canal work and boats have arisen and writing has been developed, on the supposition that a society like the Egyptians or Mayans would be need to sustain such a massive build. Bronze is the usual weaponry and armour but light hardened iron arrows are being made by the Hittites - called Hatti - and the Northland leaders decide to find some way of working easily available iron, which means stealing secrets.
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