Well, it was worth the wait. Four years after The Afrika Reich, we get a sequel - and what a sequel! While TAR was a fine book, The Madagaskar Plan is its superior in almost every way. The characters are deeper, more faceted, particularly the antagonist, Hochburg; we see so much through his eyes that he almost becomes likeable. The other characters are also interesting, with a lot of conflict and distrust even between allies making for a tense read. The action scenes are great; very cinematic and visual, with lots of destruction. It's easy to see this being made into a film. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't spoil the details, but suffice to say that the action is fast and furious. Special mention must go to the integration of plot and setting, too. Far too often in alternate history books we get a cool concept married with a limp, predictable plot and cardboard characters. Not here. The Nazis' African domain is well-realised and fascinating, with some things only hinted at (what happened to the black population? Book 3 has the answers, apparently). I liked the scenes in the German holiday resort in Roschershafen/Dar Es Salaam, based on the actual Nazi beach resort at Prora in the Baltic. Details like this really add to the book, giving us a fully-fleshed out world for the action to occur. Most of the book is set in Madagaskar, which is based on the Jewish ghettos of WWII, but transplanted to the tropics. It's not a good change for the Jews. The details of life in Madagaskar, again, are based on life in the ghettos, including the uprisings, Jewish collaboration with the authorities, and the difficulties of daily existence. The result is a convincing backdrop for the action. Overall, I can't really think of any serious flaws with the Madgaskar Plan. It's a superb read in the best thriller tradition, drawing on a whole host of classics for inspiration - The Man in the High Castle, The Wild Geese, Where Eagles Dare...if you enjoy any of these, you'll almost certainly love the Maagaskar Plan. I know I did. Roll on Book 3!
I don't normally read alternate history books, or know much about WWII or the surrounding politics, yet none of that mattered. I was gripped, and devoured the book in just a weekend, a tissue in one hand and a stress-ball in the other.
The story doesn't, and can't, shy away from the horrors of the grandiose Nazi plans, but the way it's entwined with such emotional tenderness is what makes this novel stand out. There's so much depth to the characters' own stories, I couldn't help but be behind each and every one of them (even the characters for whom I know I shouldn't find empathy). I cared for them; ached with them. Felt, somehow, as if I knew them.
And those chapter-endings - wow! Impossible to say 'I'll just read to the end of this chapter ...'. Be prepared to keep reading. And reading!
The writing is achingly raw. The story, expertly crafted. It's an absolute epic tale of love and revenge in a world that nearly was. A world that I can't seem to shake off and doubt I will for a very long time.
I really enjoyed this sequel to The Afrika Reich. It was well worth the wait! The love story takes centre stage amidst the thrills, spills, blood, guts and gore - all as uncompromising as ever - and it is all the better for it. In AR I fell in love with Neliah. Here, I totally fell head over heels with Madeleine who makes a fleeting appearance in AR but comes into her own in The Madagaskar Plan. She is another amazing heroine - flawed, brave and complex! I was rooting for her and Burton all the way. But they are surrounded by such evil and pessimism that the course of true love never did run smooth - and Lord Almighty do things go extremely awry for these two! Great stuff!
Great alternative history. I had heard of the Nazis plan to send the Jews to Madagascar before but this book brings it to life. Interesting characters in an alternative Europe and Africa. Looking forward to the third part.
I'm a massive fan of Guy's work. His first book in this series was awesome and this follow up doesn't drop the pace and excitement for one minute. If you like alternative history then you'll really enjoy this. Excellent plot and great characters.
A worthy successor to The Africa Reich, but don't expect a happy ending !!! Guy Saville has, cleverly, left this open for a third sequel which I hope he produces soon as I'm hooked on the characters both good and bad.