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Against the Tide of Years

(Island in the Sea of Time #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  4,309 ratings  ·  148 reviews
In the years since the Event, the Republic of Nantucket has done its best to recreate the better ideas of the modern age. But the evils of its time resurface in the person of William Walker, renegade Coast Guard officer, who is busy building an empire for himself based on conquest by technology. When Walker reaches Greece and recruits several of their greater kinglets to h ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 454 pages
Published May 1st 1999 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 1999)
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,309 ratings  ·  148 reviews

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May 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Assyrians! Hittites! Babylonians! Egyptians! In a non-fiction book, I would be completely drooling over these subjects. But what I want to read about are the cultures. Instead I got battles, battles, battles, a few more battles, and then some more... battles. And holy crap, it got old. I think that out of the 454 pages of this book about 400 pages was spent on... battles! I'm dreading book #3.
This is the second book in the Nantucket trilogy in which the island of Nantucket is thrown back in time from 1988 A.D. to 1250 B.C. Without the newness factor from the first book, I had slightly more mixed feelings about this one.

I’m still enjoying the general story, and it’s great fun to read about modern-day Americans meeting and interacting with ancient cultures. I still enjoy reading about the challenges they face with limited modern supplies, and their innovations as they try to make up f
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2007
I read the first in this series, Island in the Sea of Time, back in 2000 on the recommendation of my brother. I really loved the duck-out-of-water story of modern-day Nantucket, pulled from our time and transported to sometime in the B.C. 800s. I actually started this second book not too long after the first, and put it down because it just didn't capture my attention. This time--though I wanted to put it down-- I persevered. I just couldn't get into it. I just didn't care. I was so done with th ...more
I really enjoy the premise of this series (which is much like the 1632 series only in the Bronze Age) but the execution is less perfect than could be desired. To first cover the elements he handles well: the cultures and speech of the various groups feels amazingly authentic. These are alien cultures and he introduces them with aplomb. The technological innovations are plausible and the complexity impressive.

The issues I have with the book largely come from the scale, speed, and characters. The
The second book of the Nantucket series picks up a couple years after the first book, though there are bits and pieces set during the intervening years as well. The Nantucketers have spread further around the globe with numerous bases in North and Central America as well as the British Isles, South Africa and the western Indian Ocean.

After the events in book one Walker has established himself firmly in ancient Greece where he is building an empire. It is up to the Nantucketers to find and recru
Nov 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Island in the Sea of Time more as I went along, so I'm willing to give this one a chance. But really, the writing style and over-all plot seem to coincide just a BIT too closely with the 'dark and mysterious stranger' bio pic the author included that CLEARLY indicates his position as ren-faire roleplayer extraodinaire. And the social commentary and revenge of the nerds mentality DOES get a little heavy at times.
May 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
James Tullos
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
See my full thoughts here:

Island in the Sea of Time is a fascinating look at a town pulled into a new world and how they change that world. Against the Tide of Years is, in some ways, a perfect sequel and in other ways a clunky follow-up.

So here's what I liked: I liked how there was more of a focus on trading and peaceful relations between the Islanders and everyone else. Seeing them work with their neighbors and have everyone come out better allows for much more nua
Jun 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
As much as I enjoyed other books by this author, this one was as disappointing as the first of this series.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been about 8 years since the 20th century island of Nantucket found itself transported to the Bronze Age. Since then, they've expanded and thrived, and incidentally spread changes and advanced technology and techniques throughout the ancient world. But they still have enemies, including renege William Walker, who has set up a power base in Greece, under the ostensible rulership of Agamemnon, and Nantucket must make an alliance with Babylon.

So, this is part of a series, and has many of the
Jonathan Palfrey
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5star
The first volume of the trilogy took us up to the beginning of year 3 A.E. (After the Event), but we last saw William Walker in year 2. This second volume takes up Walker's story from year 2, when he escaped from England and went by sea to Greece, stopping briefly in Spain to help his ally Isketerol usurp the Kingdom of Tartessos.

Years 3 to 7 are relatively uneventful in Nantucket, so the Nantucket story skips ahead to year 8. However, rather than giving us chapters of pure Walker, Stirling choo
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stirling continues the saga of the time-displaced Nantucket Island, swept back in time to 1250 BC by a still unexplained Event. As in the first title Island in the Sea of Time the Republic of Nantucket is making technical strides, reaching out to the Bronze Age cultures in North America, England, Africa, and the Middle East in the hopes of surrounding and catching the renegade William Walker, who is making similar strides in Greece, Sicily, Eastern Europe, and Anatolia.

Stirling does an excellent
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I think that I have a soft spot for alternate history and I know I have a soft spot for all things about the Bronze Age . . . so maybe I am biased but I can't help but rate this as an all around amazing book! Although, I think that the Coast Guard is most likely not as hard core as they're portrayed . . . the Marine Corps of the Bronze Age kicks freaking a**!

I can't wait to get caught up on this series and see how how it ends! S.M. Stirling is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers and as l
May 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: wplc-holdings
plot with forgone conclusion, some interesting twists but wanted more "what is it like to bring modern attitudes and practices to ancient times" not just "how can modern warfare be translated to ancient times". Not sure the infantry techniques and air strategies are accurately described - the same sentences are rewritten endlessly to describe how advancing infantry moves - but I skimmed so much of the battle scenes that I actually lost track of which ancient groups were fighting. rather boring i ...more
Kat  Hooper
Nov 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
It’s been several years since “the event” which pulled the island of Nantucket back in time to 1300 B.C. (We read all about this in Island in the Sea of Time, the first book in S.M. Stirling’s NANTUCKET trilogy.) The islanders have been busy learning how to live without all the modern conveniences of the 20th century. They are successfully learning how to farm and fish, breed animals, acquire fuels, build ships and dirigibles, harvest morphine from poppies, make textiles, and develop vaccines an ...more
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is the second of the Nantucket Trilogy and it seemed more like the middle chapters of a bigger story than a separate book. The story didn't really progress well and I found it a difficulrt book to get through. There were no major plot changes and the book just stopped...didn't realy ahve any sort of ending. I have the third book in the ttrilogy already so I'll read it...but not for a while. This was a disappointing book.
Good followup on the first book, although this definitely suffers from middle book syndrome. A lot of it is building up to the final blowout in the end, and I almost wish some of the only barely touched on storylines bore more fruit.

It also has a terrible chapter organization, instead of the dates at the beginning of the chapters, they should have been at the beginning of the sections of that date, made it hard to keep track of what exactly was happening when.
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This one got a bit lost in the details, really a 3 1/2 star book. A typical second book in the series it wades through lots of setup for the third book conclusion. Still very enjoyable and the continuing story of favorite characters along with some fun new ones kept it engaging.
Dec 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Just when I thought this series could not be any more awesome, they started FARMING MOAS. \o/
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2017
There's a lot of details about the military of various middle-Eastern cultures; if I knew enough to assess the book for historical accuracy, I might have been impressed. As it was, it was cool, but the endless descriptions about the battles/tensions over state boundaries just left me cold. Furthermore, I was left with an impression that the cultures were vaguely similar: priests, king, nobility, slaves. I didn't get a clear idea of the differences between each culture mentioned.

The first half of
Sarah J
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi
Stirling continues the story of when Nantucket Island disappeared from the 20th century and reappeared in the Bronze Age. After ten years, a new generation is coming up, while making inroads with the ancient civilizations of North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Near and Far East. While the story is good and exciting, its a bit confusing, jumping from one group to another, with some groups getting very little time and explanation on their activities. Stirling is also light on detail and descrip ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Continues the swashbuckling series. The characters progress in reasonable arcs. The story keeps a solid foundation. The contrast between Walker and the Islanders is slightly shaded so it's not so ham fisted "Nazi vs. USA" but it goes with the genre.

*spoiler: Had to google "son of Laertes" but it was pretty exciting to meet our wise king.
Melissa Yael Winston
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
What I want to know is, how in the WORLD could 20th century Nantucketers bring smallpox to the ancient world? There is no possible way any of them carried the disease, what with smallpox existing only in labs in Atlanta and Koltsovo, Russia.

Alice Hong remains the most intriguing character, in a "don't stand too close to the glass, Clarice" way.
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome book of the Change

Damned fine writing. Great characters and plotting. This is a completely realistic imagining of what could happen if 1998 Nantuckett were ripped out of time and deposited into 1250 BC for the rest of the world.
Fred Fifield
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The second of the Nantucket alternate history series. The action moves from the British Isles to the Mediterranean and Middle East as the two warring factions from the future slug it out in the Bronze age.
Michael Nalbone
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Bang, Boom, Crash
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Such a good writer, such good characters, good villains, great adventure, such an interesting universe. This is just great stuff. I'm looking forward to the next book.
Nicholas Bobbitt
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a solid follow-up to Island on the Sea of Time. I love the series as a concept, and Stirling continues to do it justice.
Lavenia Otts
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really inspired

For the second book, the story was ever bit as good as the first book. If you enjoy reading alternative history, you will love this book.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't like this one as much...seem to go in a number of very "dark" directions
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Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.

(personal website: source)

I’m a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalizat

Other books in the series

Island in the Sea of Time (3 books)
  • Island in the Sea of Time (Nantucket, #1)
  • On the Oceans of Eternity (Nantucket, #3)
“We had to become other than we were, or cease to be at all,” 1 likes
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