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Weaver (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 14 Feb 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082045
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,017,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Baxter's' portrayal of occupation, which mixes dreary monotony and sullen resentment with staccato bursts of violence, is all too horribly convincing. Impressive stuff. (Jonathan Wright FOCUS)

Baxter's picture of occupied England [is] horribly believable. (Jonathan Wright SFX)

Weaver is arguably the strongest book in a series that has systematically improved with every volume. Weaver is an interesting and worthy companion piece to Jo Walton's Farthing and Ha'penny, albeit with very different takes on some of the same material. Indeed, by taking on a German invasion of Britain, Baxter shows his willingness to take on counterfactual history's most popular setting and make it his own. (STRANGE HORIZONS)

"Weaver is not only a thrilling culmination of the series, but a satisfying novel in its own right. Baxter's real triumph is in presenting a detailed account of occupied England and convincing psychological portraits to the individuals caught up in the nightmare." (Eric Brown THE GUARDIAN)

You've got to hand it to Stephen Baxter... he manages to find a new seam within the much mined-ore of Nazi-occupied Britain. (Anthony Brown STARBURST)

"'What if' scenarios centred around WWII are certainly nothing new, but rarely have they been done with such deftness as in 'Weaver'. Plenty of well defined characters lend a human touch to the tale. Recommended." (Dean Mortlock DEATHRAY)

"Weaver is a forceful, well-reasoned conclusion to one of SF's most ambitious interactions yet with the laws and potentials of history." (LOCUS)

Book Description

Stephen Baxter's superb historical thriller series tips over into alternate history as the German's invade Britain in 1940

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Format: Paperback
Although I enjoyed the whole series I have to say Weaver was by far the best. The characters are with us throughout the book (unlike the other books which developed a new cast every few generations) and we get to know them much better.

But this story is not about developing character realism. It is a meticulously researched and imaginatively constructed narrative concerning one of the biggest and most written about "what ifs" of our modern times: Could the Nazis have invaded the British mainland? And not only that it weaves, as it were, the unashamed meddling with key episodes of our history into its narrative fabric.

This book is not just a page-turner it holds you in its thrall as German and Allied forces clash, not in distant France, but in places like Richborough, Dover and Guildford. This is how it could, possibly even should, have happened.
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Format: Hardcover
(Minor spoilers)
I'd very much enjoyed the whole Time's Tapestry series but wasn't sure whether Weaver would provide a satisfying conclusion to the story. The first three novels created an atmosphere of intrigue and wonder around the Weaver's identity through intriguing clues and half explained mysteries. Once the possibilities are resolved into a concrete solution (like a magician's trick once you know the secret) then the spell will be broken. This problem made Baxter's recent young adult novel H Bomb Girl, set at the time of the Cuba crisis, just a little disappointing (though still a very good read).

However Baxter avoids making the reader feel let down in Weaver, partly because this is a rather different kind of novel from the earlier volumes. Whereas Emperor, Conqueror and Navigator spanned a thousand years, Weaver is focused on just one brief moment in (alternate) history, the aftermath of a partial invasion of England by the Nazis. This means that tying up the series' loose ends is only one aspect of the novel, because we get caught up in the adventures of a new set of characters in a perilous situation. Baxter certainly makes the most of one of the most gruesomely compelling "what if" scenarios of all time.

He's very good at invoking the realities of invasion and resistance and the novel is full of intriguing and convincing details. As in Navigator, he avoids cultural stereotypes very scrupulously, except in the case of the evil (but fatally glamorous) English SS officer, Julia. Lower ranking Nazis are treated fairly sympathetically, especially Ernest, who meekly endures the insults of the English farmer he is billeted with, and reacts with conscientious alarm to the advances of the farmer's rather forward 15 year old daughter.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable (and exciting) novel. It would I think work perfectly well as a stand alone alternate history novel as well as being a fitting conclusion to an excellent series.
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Format: Paperback
Baxter brings this series to a rather satisfying conclusion as the final book in this quartet hits the reader's shelves. Rather than continuing to look at the broad history as he has in the other series, he zeroes in to one particular timeline in an alternate world. A book to more than amuse readers and will make this series something that will more than please readers of the genre. Its well written with a emotional impact for the reader throughout with characters that they will genuinely care about and whilst not a just a good end to the series it does open things up for him to continue writing an alternate history in this world demonstrating that he has multiple strings to his already highly decorated bow. Although you can read the book without having read the others you'll miss a treat.
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Format: Paperback
I read "Times tapestry" in sequence having bought all four together. As has been said, Weaver is by far the best, probably because the alternate history approach is much more explicit in this book. You will of course have to suspend some belief and accept that such predictions would be passed down or that characters would keep bumping in to one another in the way that they do but read it as a ripping yarn and it's great fun with enough history to make you think.

the real problem is in publishing the tale as four books instead of as one as I could imagine some readers not bothering to pursue books 1 or 2 which would be disappointing.
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