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Worldwar: In the Balance (Worldwar, #1)
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Worldwar: In the Balance (Worldwar #1)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  4,051 ratings  ·  149 reviews
From Pearl Harbor to panzers rolling through Paris to the Siege of Leningrad and the Battle of Midway, war seethed across the planet as the flames of destruction rose higher and hotter.
And then, suddenly, the real enemy came.
The invaders seemed unstoppable, their technology far beyond human reach. And never before had men been more divided. For Jew to unite with Nazi, Amer
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Paperback, 565 pages
Published December 28th 1994 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
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3.5 stars. This is Book 1 of Harry Turtledove’s massive alternate history WW2 epic and I will say at the outset that I definitely enjoyed this enough to go on to the next book. I was really torn between 3 and 4 stars on this one as I loved the premise and the set up but there were some slow parts that were less than compelling. I decided it was either going to be a very strong 3 or a weak 4. I ended up going with a strong 3 since the first book in the series and I wanted to give the next book r
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Ben Babcock
Without a doubt the Second World War is one of the most influential and significant events to occur in the past hundred years. The scope of this war was magnified and bigger than ever in every way: in the countries involved, in the technology and tactics developed and deployed, and in the atrocities committed. And so World War II has seared itself onto the collective consciousness of our species as something never to be forgotten. It was a watershed time, and it acted as a catalyst for some of t ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This book sucked me in. It was such a good idea and the opening of the book was done so well....

The idea behind this book is wonderful almost inspired.(view spoiler)
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Shelly
Parts of this I really liked but it was sooooooo long that I kept getting antsy for the plot to move along. The story is set up as an alternative history where aliens invade the Earth right at the height of World War 2. I think the way Mr. Turtledove ties in all of the various warring countries into new factions based on the invasion is excellent. There were just so many point of view characters and so much going on that I never got a sense of momentum to the story. It was good and I am curious ...more
Allie
I found this book hard to get into, and never really forged any sort of attachment with it until the last 150 or so pages. The characters seemed at times more like devices to demonstrate 'ideas', for want of a better word, rather than robust, developed characters. This is the nature of the book and, to some extent, the genre, however. I probably didn't enjoy it as much as other people for this reason, the military aspects not really grabbing my attention, and the political interactions and aspec ...more
James
The beginning of one of the best alternate history/science fiction sagas around - in this story, World War II is interrupted when an alien invasion fleet shows up to disrupt the human war, forcing the countries to postpone their war with each other to combine forces against the aliens. A large cast of characters, both real historical figures including politicians, soldiers and scientists, and fictional people; extensive period detail showing meticulous research and a real love of history on the ...more
David
An interesting premise...reptilian aliens invading earth in the middle of WWII. But there is a definite lack of authorial skill at work here. Characters, plotting, story, dramatic incident are all flat and predictable. Dialogue is the worst kind of popular tripe. In the end it was a painful challenge just to finish the book.

I gave it two stars rather than one because the premise was amusing. If the writing had spent more time on constructing characters and fleshing out these I would have given i
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Jordan
This is a nice mix of historical fiction/counter factual history and sci-fi. Harry Turtledove is good at mixing the genres, but he makes a few minor mistakes (i.e. inaccurate military references). If you are able to ignore these mistakes (which most people probably wouldn't pick up on anyway) this is a well written series. It is a commitment though as it takes a while to read.
Michael Atkinson
I've read alternate history series before, where the point of divergence is something like Lee winning the Battle of Gettysburg, or JFK not being assassinated. Here, the point of divergence is what would have happened if alien lizards invade during World War Two. ....okay then. Granting that premise, this is an interesting opener to an interesting series. The catch is that the alien lizards expected humankind to evolve and develop as slowly as they did, and the last time they checked on humanity ...more
Mark
If the sentence "Aliens invade during World War II" doesn't make you want to read a book, then there is nothing more I can add.

I would have filed this under three stars, guilty pleasure sort of thing, except for one thing that's not the particular book's fault: the eBook copy I purchased through B&N is one of the worst I have ever seen for typographical mistakes. These are all small things, but numerous, approaching and perhaps passing one per page.

The mistakes include things like extraneous
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Bryan Alexander
An entertaining alternate history, _Worldwar I_ shows the pleasures and limitations of the genre.

It's simply fun to follow the working-out of implications and details, once the divergence (alien invasion) appears. Will underground movements ally with the new invaders? How will Axis and Allied nations join to stop the initially overwhelming foe? How do various historical characters appear: Patton, Molotov, Churchill? The invasion's conceit (aliens scoped us out centuries ago, and thereby didn't p
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Chip
Having read the second in this series inadvertently first, I went back to enjoy the beginning and some of the detail I was missing. Again, Turtledove has created a wildly expansive book about multiple fronts of World War II. Our enemy is a powerfully alien race here to conquer the human race. Faced with superior technology, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, American, British come up with unique ways to attack the naive Race. We get exposed to soldiers, generals, world leaders, scientis ...more
Joel
Jun 04, 2007 Joel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: alternate history/WWII fans
Excellent book by an excellent author. Turtledove isn't afraid to approach sensitive subjects--in any of his novels. This one is no exception.
Foraging through the fascinating accounts of war and conflict, Turtledove presents this novel in a way that the reader can also interpret human nature from a different perspective.
And again as in "Guns of the South" he does his research. He finds the tiny pebbles of often ignored history and facts, and builds a dam with them. But instead of holding back w
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Don
I really wanted to like this - I usually enjoy alternative history stuff. But I found the pace too slow for my liking and it spent more time coming back to points than I cared to read. Yes, we get it, the invaders are put off by our pace of technological advancement. Showing me that would be fine, but too much telling.

It made me sufficiently curious to know how it wound up but not enough to slog through 3 more books. The summaries on wikipedia satisfied my curiosity and freed me up to read thing
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Nick
I think I'm being trolled with this book; it's a retelling of World War II where Earth is invaded by very slow lizard aliens, and as the author kept stopping to drive home how slow the lizards move and react, all I could think about was how slow this book moved, almost as if it was written by one of the lizards and published without going through an editor. The only reason that humans have any chance against the aliens and their advanced technology is due to this slowness, which the author repea ...more
Zivan
I was a bit weary of reading In the Balance.
I imagined that when the warring nations of WWII united against a common enemy, the Jews would be throne under the buss.

Well that's not exactly what happens.

In the Balance is my 14 year old WWII fantasy, with aliens coming in to save the day.

The aliens themselves are Imperialist bastards so the fantasy goes on with Humans fighting to preserve their freedom against superior technology.

As with Niven's Footfall, the aliens have to be a bit dumb for humani
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Don
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James
565 pages of build up to a climax that starts in the sequel. The aliens in this book were not portrayed as fearsome or dominant which makes it seem even more unrealistic for them to be competent of distant space travel. I've liked some of Turtledove's other works but this one is pretty bland all the way through. I will not be reading the 2nd book.
Weylin
Beside some half decent battle scenes, this book seemed to be chalked full of pointless dialogue and characters that are bland tools for the author to progress his story and ideas. I wanted so much more from the premise this story presented, but I had to give up after 275 pages.
Catherine
This is the first time in a long time that I've read any of Turtledove's alternative war novels. Even with the dated references and language, the underlying characters and story caught my attention. The concept is a powerful one, what happens if we had been invaded by aliens at the start of WWII? I didn't actually READ this book, but listened to it as an audiobook to and from work. I am considering listening to the second volume in this series, the author left me wanting to know the "rest of the ...more
Robert
The premise of Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series is simple: Aliens land on Earth to take over the planet during World War II. In the Balance is the first in a series of four books. Everything changes quickly as all of the various countries have to put aside their differences and hatred for one another in order to combat the alien threat. I enjoyed the premise of the book itself and the neat twist involving the aliens coming to Earth in the first place. The rest of the execution for the book how ...more
Mathew Whitney
The first book in the Worldwar series takes on the task of addressing the question "what if aliens attacked earth during World War II?" The book does well taking on a number of questions beyond the basic "what if" plot line. The human factions in the war have to put their differences aside against the alien threat, and they all struggle with it. The aliens are confronted with a race of beings which is as difficult to understand as they are to the humans.

I took a great deal of interest in the ali
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Hyann
Second reading.
I don't have the chance to read a book more than one time, too many waiting in line but I read this one a few years ago and I wanted to re-read it before continuing the series... but I'm not sure I will do it.

Not that the book is bad, Turtledove a really good writer but it didn't reach me.

First, too much repetition. Alien are 30-40 years more advance with weapons than humans had in the WWII area: Jet, helicopter, guns, tanks and even atomic bomb all they need to crush humanity.
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Rafal Jasinski
Książka z maksymalnie niewykorzystanym potencjałem, którego założenia mogą wydawać się nieco banalne - Ziemia roku 1945 w obliczu ataku "jaszczurów" z kosmosu - jakkolwiek dają one spore pole do popisu. Niestety, autor strasznie rozmienia się na drobne - zamiast skupić się na głębszym zarysowaniu historycznych implikacji ataku obcych w gorącym okresie Drugiej Wojny Światowej - już na samym wstępie wprowadzając do historii masę mało interesujących, jednowymiarowych, odstręczających wręcz swoją ni ...more
Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
Il ciclo dell'invasione di Harry Turtledove, lo scrittore statunitense nato a Los Angeles nel 1949 che è comunemente considerato un autore di allostorie, è una saga fantascientifica che è stata scritta tra il 1994 e il 1996 e ambientata nel corso della seconda guerra mondiale, mescolando elementi storici e ucronici al tema dell'invasione aliena.

Il ciclo è composto da quattro romanzi: "Invasione anno zero", "Invasione atto secondo", "Invasione atto terzo" e "Invasione atto finale". Dopo il ciclo
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Yupa
L'idea sarebbe stata grandiosa.
Gli alieni invadono la Terra nel bel mezzo della II Guerra Mondiale! Riusciranno i belligeranti a unirsi contro il nuovo nemico, superando quelle enormi differenze che li dividono e che avevano dato origine al conflitto?
Ma dopo poche pagine la domanda diventa: riuscirà l'autore a scrivere un libro decente, superando quelle enormi incapacità letterarie che appaiono ben evidenti?
E la risposta, purtroppo, è negativa. Intreccio debole e scrittura piattissima, e tutt
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Johnny
If I were to list names like Patton, Groves, Molotov, Churchill, Hitler, Marshal, and Rommel while telling you that they played a prominent role in a series of novels, your first assumption would probably be that it was a series about World War II. In the case of WorldWar: In the Balance, you’d only be partially correct. The book (and indeed the series, since this is the initial volume) begins in World War II but swiftly escalates into an intergalactic war. While offering a taste, perhaps merely ...more
Christopher Slater
The following review is from my blog, Cure My Writer's Block:

World War II is raging. The Germans are taking Paris. The Battle of Midway changes naval warfare. Any observer would have to wonder if humans were going to wipe themselves out. Some observers have no intention of waiting. They’ll help push them over the edge. A huge alien invasion fleet has reached Earth with the intent of conquering it and preparing it for colonization. Can humans put aside their differences to fight off these visito
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Sara
So, it's 1942, and World War II is in progress, with all its strife and misery...when reptiles from another planet attack!! This is the premise of Harry Turtledove's alternate history series that begins with this book.

I read this for my book club. While it was not really my cup of tea, there were definitely good things about it. At times I would get curious about whether something was a real event or not and look up some history, so I learned some things while reading.

I will not go into detail
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Dr Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, who has produced a sizeable number of works in several genres including alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.

Harry Turtledove attended UCLA, where he received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977.

Turtledove has been dubbed "The Master of Alternate History". Within this genre he is known both for creating original sce
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More about Harry Turtledove...

Other Books in the Series

Worldwar (4 books)
  • Tilting the Balance (Worldwar, #2)
  • Upsetting the Balance (Worldwar, #3)
  • Striking the Balance (Worldwar, #4)
The Guns of the South How Few Remain (Timeline-191, #1) Tilting the Balance (Worldwar, #2) Striking the Balance (Worldwar, #4) Upsetting the Balance (Worldwar, #3)

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