Top positive review
A cracking read
2 August 2015
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!