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Final Impact (Axis of Time, #3)
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Final Impact (Axis of Time #3)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  2,389 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
“The action is nonstop, the characters very real–and very different from each other–and, to coin a phrase, it makes you think.”
–S. M. Stirling, author of Island in the Sea of Time

In the year 2021 a multinational fleet–experimenting with untested weapons technology–pitched through time, crash-landing in 1942. The world is thrown into chaos as Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill,
Paperback, 343 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Del Rey (first published August 2006)
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4.0 to 4.5 stars. As a whole, this series is an incredible achievement and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND it to anyone who likes military fiction. This last novel, while very good, was not quite as good as the first two novels in the series (which I thought were AMAZING). Even so, it was a very satisfying ending and left the door open for the author to come back to this "alternative" history in the future. I hope he does!!!
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
The Axis of Time series is superb, not just because of John Birmingham's ability to pack his writing with tension and excitement but also with the way he keeps us on edge throughout. You think you know how things are going to work out but you're left with enough doubts and misgivings that you just have to carry on to the next page, the next chapter... The outcome isn't predictable; there is enough mayhem and destruction, intrigue and chaos (enough cliffs to hang from by your fingernails!) that y ...more
Jan 13, 2017 Paul rated it it was ok
A bit disappointed really. Started out with a great concept and an interesting look at the cultural and social interactions involved in the 'Transition'. By halfway through book 2 and all of book 3 I felt an inevitable drive towards a minimalist ending....good guys win, bad guys lose and we can all have a good night sleep. I had such high expectations and feel that this series of books is an opportunity lost for a great exploration of alternative realities.
Mar 21, 2010 Garth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: escapism
Fun if you enjoy a 1% Sci-Fi, 99% alternative history mix.
Lots of military action as WWII forces are injected with future military and communications technology.
Abounds in stereotypes, but what the hell.
Thots so far:
I do like how the author has mixed 'old' tech with the 'new' [modern] tech in the series, especially this book. He has done a good job of it so far.

I also like how the author has included dates with each chapter. I think it helps the narrative; it helps create a sense of what is happening and how much time has elapsed. The first two books did not have this 'feature' and it showed.

It bugs me to no end that the Allies 'are so far behind' in the technological race [as it were] and yet
Aug 02, 2010 Nicci rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like military alternate history.
I really enjoyed reading this series consisting of Weapons of Choice, Designated Targets, and Final Impact. The format is setup like a diary with date and time, a leading topic sentence in metaphoric style to start the scene. Then there is the background information immersed in the details of the actual events giving the readers a flavor of actions. The author introduced a slightly different format for Book Two: Designated Targets. I read some complaints some readers missed the format of the fir ...more
Celesthe Story
Feb 23, 2017 Celesthe Story rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind bending

I read many, many, many books - John Birmingham pulls you in after the first chapter and doesn't let you go until the very end. This leaves you wondering where to now? I have only read the trilogy and I'm looking forward to the other offshoots to the series
Tim Hicks
Dec 18, 2010 Tim Hicks rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allen Garvin
Feb 19, 2008 Allen Garvin rated it liked it
inal book in a trilogy that included Weapons of Choice and Designated Targets. A fleet from 2020 gets thrown back in time to 1942 right before Midway. The first two books were very intelligent, but were basically alternative-history-technothrillers. This last one is darker and ambivalent. It's two years since the previous book. At the end of the last, the Soviets and Germans agreed to a cease fire because of the threat of the western democracies. Now, 2 years later, the Japanese invaded Australi ...more
Feb 27, 2007 Jeff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard core Alt History fans, Military Sci-fi fans
Shelves: sciencefiction
Axis of Time Trilogy: a Next Generation United States Carrier Battle Group (next generation from the one in which we currently inhabit) ripped out of time from fighting a World War on Terrorism and Terrorist states and plopped down right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in World War II.

An unsatisfactory conclusion to the otherwise acceptable alt-history trilogy by John Birmingham. The ending was far too rushed. Several compelling story lines that had been nurtured in the first two books were s
Jan 25, 2016 James rated it liked it
Much of the story-line and logic does not hold true for me, even if the speculation is interesting. The finale wrap up of the murders from book one was long overdue, not convincing, and really never a secret. However, the motive, details, and others involved was simply left hanging. Why play with this for three books and dump it with a few sentences in the epilogue of the final novel?

The commie thing was a bit of a bedevilment also. Stalin's last words are "I have decided", but there was no foll
Everything that I was weak in the 2nd book was magnified in this book. Too many things going on in too many different places, with confusing jumps in timeline. I felt the characterization was weaker than the other two books, in part because of all the action Birmingham tried to get through. I got the sense that for the author, the characters were not people in their own rights but plot points to hinge the story on -- a very weak writing tool that leaves me feeling ultimately very unsatisfied.

Nick Brett
Jul 09, 2012 Nick Brett rated it liked it
The final book in a clever and entertaining trilogy. A number of warships from 2021 are thrown back into 1942 and will have a devastating impact. (Think the film The Final Countdown). By the time we get to this final volume, the race for nukes is on and modern technology and weapons are spread over all the participants.
This could have been a typical pulp alternative future series, but it has more depth than you might think. The leaders of the past have access to historical histories showing what
Nachman Kataczinsky
Oct 26, 2014 Nachman Kataczinsky rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookmarks Magazine

What of a writer who once penned a book called He Died with a Falafel in His Hand? The conclusion to John Birmingham's Axis of Time trilogy is another imaginative and logistical tour de force (previous volumes include Weapons of Choice and Designated Targets). Birmingham has credited fellow Aussie and adventure novelist Matt Reilly (Ice Station, Contest, Seven Deadly Wonders) as an influence in his foray into popular fiction. The result garners broad praise from critics, who compare Birmingham's

Dec 06, 2014 Anightlater rated it liked it
While this novel is decent, it dips in quality when compared to the two previous novels. Essentially what happens in this novel is a deus ex machina plot save when there is anything involving the Allies. The Axis and Cominterm eat it at specific points but there is no more irritating than Admiral Kolhammer's nearly omniscient ability to discern threats or somehow choose the correct plot of action. His plans always succeed with minimal loss of life, even in the most unrealistic circumstances. It' ...more
Dec 14, 2009 Steven rated it did not like it
Ultimately underwhelming - the Japanese characters are largely caricatures, the 'temps (contemporary people) exist at best to accept the all-knowing wisdom of the 21st century refugees and clear the path for them and at worst to be obstacles or opponents. OK, that's not fair - Brasch is a 'temp who matters.

Birmingham does sensibly limit the gains the Allies are able to make - not everyone wants to listen to the newcomers, WWII ends early but the Cold War starts earlier, etc., problems of racism
I ended up liking this book less than the previous two. The plot was still fairly well done, but I'm disappointed that so much time was skipped over in between the previous book and this one. It would have been interesting to see a lot of the events that happened in that year and a half, since it seems from the small hints we get there was a lot of stuff that diverged from the original timeline. In contrast, the plot of this book eventually starts to return to a only slightly altered version of ...more
Apr 11, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it
I had some trouble getting into this one and caring about what happened. Some of my favorite characters were no longer around, it was clear that there wasn't going to be any way to return home for those who remained, so all that was left was to see how the war turned out in this alternate world, but I found I didn't really care, because it didn't feel like my world or the world that mattered. ALS, once the ammunition and missiles and things start to run out on the future weapons, the thrill of w ...more
Mark Bond
Aug 21, 2015 Mark Bond rated it it was amazing
Another cracking read! Birmingham keeps the action and suspense in top gear and you can't really predict where the story is going. All of the characters from the previous installments are here as well as a few new ones. A thrilling end to a great trilogy. Or is it? I have just found 'Stalin's Hammer - Rome', another Axis of Time novel, but at only 45,000 words, quite a short one. Where will it end? I don't know but you need to read these books if you like military thrillers or jus like a fast pa ...more
Brad Schoenfeld
Mar 16, 2015 Brad Schoenfeld rated it did not like it
Another trilogy by this author with a fantastic first book and then two progressively awful books ending with no conclusion this isn't TV or some movie where somebody decides they want to move on these are FICTIONAL characters killing off one of the main ones probably most integral to the non war aspects of going back in time with every race imaginable and then not even really explain the consequences or even the events surrounding his death this is a lazy author with talent I doubt he writes an ...more
Aug 12, 2012 Lindsay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With impossibilities and plots leaving you wondering how the new war could possibly turn out even remotely like the original timeline, the story keeps you hanging to the end with it's twists and turns and growing brutality as the many different theaters become more and more desperate to either keep the reality they remember, they're told happened, or told didn't eventuate the way originally desired. Another story deserving of Hollywood blockbusters that I can only hope one day becomes a reality.
Jan 02, 2009 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
A big gap between books 2 and 3 threw me off at first. At the end of Book 2, the Japanese have control of Hawaii, Julia and Dan are together. As Book 3 starts, the Allies have retaken Hawaii and Dan is dead. These were significant events that shouldn't have happened "off-camera."

Once I got past that, it was a great tie up to the series in most respects. It left me wanting more from these characters in a "post-war" setting. Any chance Birmingham revisits "this world?"
Billy Roper
Apr 28, 2016 Billy Roper rated it did not like it
As a writer, it's disappointing to read a book with such promise as a premise that is shackled by its own slavish devotion to the political trends of the time while using modern socio-cultural mores to flail on those of previous generations. It's like writing a book about going back in time and lecturing Jefferson about racial equality. Who was Birmingham trying to placate by writing this p.c. dross?
Dec 17, 2009 Stefan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Final Impact, the third novel in the Axis of Time series, was my favorite book of the series. John Birmingham succeeded in the difficult task of satisfactorily concluding the series by wrapping up the numerous sub-plots and resolving a large number (but not all) of the major conflicts. The final surprise, the identification of the murderer of two military personnel (who were part of the time traveling taskforce) was a fitting end to the series.
dennis barron
May 17, 2016 dennis barron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Final Impact. John Birmingham

The final chapter? Nazi Germany is gone, Japan also, nuked. Is Russia , Stalin finished? This is beyond an atomic powered action thriller of epic proportions! Technology is a mixture of the twentieth and twenty first century...thanks to the accidental opening of the wormhole. I suggest you read these novels in order, but separately they are magnificent reads. Action, vengeance, betrayal, and honor are all in abundance. A fantastic read!!
Tony Calder
Mar 19, 2014 Tony Calder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book brings to an end Birmingham's time-travel affected version of World War 2. It maintains the excellent quality of the first two books - plenty of action and more character development on the interaction between the people from the future and the contemporary people. As in life, not all the loose ends are neatly wrapped up, but most of them are. The few that aren't may be addressed in the next book in the series - Stalin's Hammer - which was released 7 years after this one.
Michelle O'flynn
Mar 06, 2010 Michelle O'flynn rated it it was amazing
Once again Birmingham has found a way to bring a war story that kicks arse! The characters are by now well understood and old friends to the reader, and wile one can be immersed in the action of the war going on around them, we are just as caught up in the relationships that have developed between some of them. I love Birmingham and his sotry-telling style....and the ending leaves us with the potential promise for more????? What do you say John????
Oct 09, 2013 George rated it really liked it
#3 of 3 all read within a couple of weeks on Kindle. Our multiple 21st century heroes continue to fight WWII as the story line diverges from the baseline truth. The characters also develop private lives and emerge as their own persons. Conflicts continue between historical and fictional characters and WWII ends in a slightly different way. I sure wish that the author had written another installment.
Tom Loock
Sep 10, 2014 Tom Loock rated it really liked it
Final Impact is a great finish to a great military SF slash alternate history trilogy.
John Birmingham obviously knows what he is writing about - politics, history and military issues - and he knows how to write as well.
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John Birmingham grew up in Ipswich, Queensland and was educated at St Edmunds Christian Brother's College in Ipswich and the University of Queensland in Brisbane. His only stint of full time employment was as a researcher at the Defence Department. After this he returned to Queensland to study law but he did not complete his legal studies, choosing instead to pursue a career as a writer. He curren ...more
More about John Birmingham...

Other Books in the Series

Axis of Time (6 books)
  • Weapons of Choice (Axis of Time, #1)
  • Designated Targets (Axis of Time, #2)
  • Stalin's Hammer: Rome (Axis of Time, #4)
  • Stalin's Hammer: Cairo (Axis of Time, #5)
  • Stalin's Hammer: Paris (Axis of Time, #6)

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