Mike's Reviews > Into the Darkness

Into the Darkness by Harry Turtledove
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Apr 15, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, war, epics, reviewed

So I first encountered Turtledove's Darkness series at the height of my fascination with WWII(late middle school/high school) and was sucked in immediately. I mean, who wouldn't like to see WWII played out with dragons and sorcerers? Certainly not me.

While Turtledove obviously drew most of the action and plot from actual WWII events, I liked how he adapted them for his setting as well as changing a few things up that I did not expect (such as the Holocaust analogue). Turtledove does a nice job giving all the countries in the world he creates unique cultural characteristics that in some ways mirror their real world analogue and in others are completely novel (such as the Finland analogue being a desert peninsula where everybody complains about how terrible roofers are). Doing this really help the story avoid being a 1:1 conversion from real events and cultures into their fantastical counterparts.

One of the main strengths of this book is the multiple POV characters. Turtledove does a masterful job giving each their own unique voice/outlook while conveying the events of the war or occupation through their eyes and experiences. And just as good: he is willing to kill off characters (hey, it is war after all).

These books are, however, behemoths (see what I did there people who have already read this?). Tons of characters to keep track of across thousands of miles of space. Thankfully there is a character list at the beginning of the books and a very useful map as well. I could see how some folks would be put off by the size and scope (not to mention the subject matter). But if you are a fan of WWII and fantasy epics you will really dig this series.
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