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The Psyche of War #2

The World Asunder

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“Cold War espionage…with psychic powers! The World Asunder manages to be both thrilling and poignant at the same time!”
D.J. Butler, author of Witchy Eye

“Meticulous historical detail…sparkling storytelling…an amazing, addictive ride.”
Robert Buettner, bestselling author of My Enemy’s Enemy

The war had taken everything from Lina Sucherin—her parents, sisters, a fledgling romance…even her faith in herself and her psychic abilities. All of it, ripped away with the fall of the Third Reich and the brutal Soviet sack of Berlin.

Three years later, amid the suspicion, paranoia, and fledgling brutality of communist East Germany, danger threatens the only people Lina cares about, forcing her to overcome her lingering self-doubt. In order to save the only family she has left, she will have to rise above her past and learn to trust an old enemy—and herself—if she is to be successful.

But does she still have enough of her psyche left to do so? Or has the war torn her world too far asunder for it to ever be whole again?

Dragon Award Finalist for Best Alternate History Novel!

313 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 5, 2019

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About the author

Kacey Ezell

74 books65 followers
Kacey Ezell was born in South Dakota in 1977. Her parents joined the US Air Force in 1984, and she grew up around the world on various military bases. When she was seven, her mother gave her a copy of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragondrums, and shortly thereafter, Kacey decided that she wanted to be a dragonrider when she grew up. In 1999, she followed her parents into the “family business” and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy before going to pilot training. As dragons were in short supply at the time, she reasoned that flying aircraft was the next best thing. She earned her wings in 2001, and has over 2500 hours in the UH-1N and Mi-17 helicopters.
From the time she was a small child, Kacey made up stories to tell to her friends and family. In 2009, while deployed to Iraq, she wrote the military-themed supernatural story “Light”, which was accepted for publication in the Baen Books anthology Citizens. She was asked to consult on John Ringo’s 2015 novel Strands of Sorrow, and wrote the cover story for the Black Tide Rising anthology set in Ringo’s zombie apocalypse universe. That story, “Not in Vain” was selected for inclusion in the “Year’s Best Military SF and Adventure Fiction” anthology produced by Baen Books.
In addition, she’s written a story called “Gilded Cage” for the Four Horsemen Universe anthology A Fistful of Credits, and her story “Family Over Blood” will be included in the upcoming Forged In Blood anthology set in Michael Z. Williamson’s Freehold Universe.
She and Christopher L. Smith are currently collaborating with John Ringo on a new post-apocalyptic steampunk trilogy from Baen.
Kacey writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, noir, romance… etc. fiction. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.

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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
21 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2019
One of the best books I’ve read this year!

Wonderful alternate history story. Well researched, masterfully written! If you like military history, or a strong female protagonist, or gripping suspense, or love stories (or any combination), this books is for you! The first book (Minds of Men) was great, but The World Asunder is even better!

We continue with the villain from the first book (and Kacey write wonderful villains), but this book will completely change your perception of her!

I recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a well-crafted story set in a plausible near past!
June 7, 2019
A new look at post-WW2

I really enjoyed this story, and hope for more in this universe. Kacey has taken a subject that has been written to death -WW2- and given it a new spin.
Profile Image for Pat Patterson.
323 reviews6 followers
June 10, 2019
The World Asunder Book Two of The Psyche of War By Kacey Ezell

I obtained this book through the Kindle Unlimited program.

The first book in the series, “Minds of Men,” was a finalist for the 2018 Dragon Awards. The headlines in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution read “First time novelist hits it out of the park!” Well, they WOULD have read that, if I had owned/operated the paper, but regardless, it was still a significant achievement. (If this one doesn't make Dragon, I'll be surprised. BADLY surprised.)

It's also confirmation of something I've been saying for some time, which is that the DCL (Dear Chopper Lady) is a great writer, and a great story-teller. And those two aren't the same!

Lina Sucherin was introduced in the first novel in a secondary story-line. Portraying an interrogator for the German Secret Police as a sympathetic character HAS to be a tough assignment, but by keeping a tight focus on her personal motivations and needs, Ezell pulled it off. Now we see her story in full, and it's not a pretty one.

She's living in the Soviet Occupation zone in Berlin, and things are bad, and getting worse. She is fortunate to have a job as a typist for the State (all jobs were for the State), and a little apartment, even if utilities aren't always available. Best of all, she has good friends who live across the hall, husband Rolland, wife Isa, and their three daughters Ginette, Aleda, and Johanna. They represent all that she values in the world.

At the start of the book (in 1948), Lina is shocked into a rediscovery of her abilities to communicate through her mind, by a sound that she originally interprets as a return of the American bombers that took so much from her. It throws her back into a time when she regularly used her psychic abilities. A gradual reveal shows us how she closed the door on her powers, after she used them to kill someone during the sacking of Berlin at the close of the War.

Her journey is triggered when she gets home to find that the StaPo, or their predecessors, have taken away Rolland, while Isa and the girls hide. She agrees to help them get to safety, by crossing the border into the American zone, where Isa has a sister. And there, she meets an American intelligence officer, but only if Lina helps him rescue Rolland for extraction to America, where his (secret) background will be exploited.

That's the core story set-up, although there is much, much more. I leave the discovery of her adventures, torments, and conflicts as an exercise for the reader. You may anticipate losing sleep over this one. I found it to be an AWFULLY absorbing read. I was in the middle of a bout of insomnia when I started reading, with about 75 hours or so since I last slept. Usually, by that time, I am not able to concentrate well enough to read, but I had no problem staying with “The World Asunder.” I do not recommend that you wait until your next bout with insomnia; get the book, and read it NOW.

And we come to the entire point of this review: an examination of the degree of intimacy experienced between couples in popular fiction. I think I started paying attention to this several years ago, with one particular Mel Gibson film, Lethal Weapon 2. In that delightful romance (NOT!), Gibson and the girl meet, share attraction, share a bed, then share a murder attempt which the girl does not survive – all in one day. Ummm...nope. It takes longer than that.


There ARE exceptions though, and Ezell has found one.

The PURPOSE of a courting period is to discover the other person. You have to spend time with them in order to distinguish between attraction, which is fast and fairly common, and a determined commitment necessary for a healthy, mature relationship. Usually, that period of getting to know the other person takes months, or longer. And it is ESSENTIAL in Western culture, which doesn't accommodate arranged marriages.

But! Ezell's “Psyche of War” series postulates something closely akin to telepathy. It's not just thought transfers, though; there is a sharing of emotional states, and beliefs; it's a dreadfully intrusive act, if not voluntary. Hence, Lina avoids doing it, even after her powers return, out of respect for the others. However, Paul Rutherford, the American intelligence officer, not only opens his mind to her, he INSISTS that they maintain a continuous link, and as a side effect, they come to know each other, thoroughly.

And, having accomplished that in a very short period of time, they fall in love, and ...not spoiling further.

And it's LEGIT!

How do I know it's legit? Because Poul Anderson addressed the Very Same Issue of knowing another via telepathic communication, in his 1957 story, “Journey's End.” True, that one has a different ending, but it doesn't matter.
The essence is the same: via the type of communication Ezell describes, two people can come to know each other much faster than is possible with mundane forms of communication. For one thing, there is no hiding secrets, and no possibility of deceit. Each person, even if unwilling, brings nothing buy the truth to the communication. For another, the ever-important issue of trust is quickly laid to rest. Lina is instantly able to discern what Paul's intentions are toward her, and will encounter no surprise betrayals.

True, there are other elements necessary to the formation of a mature relationship, but the most important aspect has very little to do with the body; it's almost entirely a decision, a choice. And, while for the mundane world, bad choices can be made, because the proper evidence is hidden or ignored., that's simply not possible with the mind-to-mind connection in this series.

SO: the romance works, and I don't want to hear anyone whining that it isn't realistic. Got that?
Profile Image for John Davies.
518 reviews10 followers
June 7, 2021
This is the second book in the series, and it tells the story from the viewpoint of the antagonist of the last book, after the events in that book. Lina Sucherin has survived the war.. and saved the lives of some young girls from drunken Russian soldiers intent on rape, thanks to her psychic abilities.

Now the Russians are blockading Berlin, and Lina's adopted family has had their father arrested by them. She persuades them to seek out the American side of Berlin, and gets involved with Paul Rutherford, who is a spy.

The Americans offer to send her family to America, but in return, Lina has to help Paul find the father, who was a scientist involved in the Nazi V2 rocket research. Because of her psychic abilities, Paul mind-links to her, and because of this, they slowly and inevitably fall in love. After a few close shaves, they rescue the father, escape back to the American sector, and end up in America, where it is revealed that Paul's "sister" is none other than Evie, who injured Lina during her escape, and whom Lina hates more than anyone.

There was a third book planned, set in Vietnam, but I'm not sure what happened to it.
1,668 reviews
September 17, 2019
I was surprised at where this book started out... the war's been over this past 3 years, and all that's left is occupied Germany, and the Americans are trying to put the country back on a road to recovery. Initially I had difficulty getting into this book, as the story is told through Lina Sucherin's POV and if you read bk 1 Mind's of Men, Lina was a big part of the Nazi regime. She IS the enemy! I don't want to sympathize with her, I don't want to know her... But, leave it to Kasey Ezell... it only took a few chapters for me to not only know her, but I became completely vested in her life and what was going on... so much so, that I was worried that Lina would come to a bad ending! I had to put the book down for a couple of days, just to let things settle down in my own head. I finally drummed up enough courage to face the challenge with Lina, and to see where the ending took us... And it was awesome!!! Shame on me for not trusting the author! I loved it!
  And of course, the ever fabulous, Jennifer Jill Araya, did her part narrating the story. Just an awesome job as usual... Wow!
Profile Image for Joshua Hocieniec.
23 reviews2 followers
June 14, 2019
Who knew you'd love the villain?

The World Asunder is a a wonderful sequel to Minds of Men, and in such an unexpected way.

After reading and loving the first book I was all for revisiting those same characters again as they moved on from the War.

Kacey did something pretty remarkable however, and she gave us the story of Lina Sucherin, the antagonist from the first story.

The villain whom you so cheerfully rooted against has become a wonderful, sympathetic character that you can't help but want to see come out ahead. What's more is that Kacey manages this feat without ever changing any aspect of Lina's fundamental character, merely her motivations and circumstances.

It was a fantastic story and my only regret is that I have to wait to see their story continue in the next book.
Profile Image for Antoine Robert.
Author 4 books7 followers
July 13, 2019
Excellent book!

We find ourselves at first in post-ww II Berlin at the time of the Berlin Airlift!
Adalina Sucherin has survived the war but hasn’t used her power since the rape of Berlin...
And then
Well then spoilers would begin and it wouldn’t do!

The story is well-written, the plot solid and the characters engaging.
You found yourself travelling through The soviet zone trying to rescue a scientist, share the dangers, fears and joys of the protagonists...
That the two main protagonists were also in book one makes it a particular treat as you feel the shadows of the events of that book weighing on their minds and souls...
Really enjoyable and totally recommended
November 6, 2022
What was it like to be a German after WWII?

Kacey Ezell provides an excellent answer with a realistic look at the effect of psychic powers on a mixed nationality couple in this fine sequel to the WWII psychic thriller Minds of Men. In a world of urban fantasy or space opera, this book stands out as something completely different. I'm intrigued by this author's work and I'll be looking for more like this.
Profile Image for Ed A.
160 reviews2 followers
June 12, 2019

I was uncertain about how I’d feel about this book. But as Kacey Ezell is one of my favorite authors, I picked it up. And I’m not sorry I did. A story of survival, rebuilding a life after WW2, retribution and forgiveness. The C-130 on the cover was a bit of a false clue though. Notwithstanding, this is an entertaining read.
Profile Image for Preston  Dannelley.
348 reviews10 followers
July 24, 2019
An OUTSTANDING series!!!

I admit to being biased, BUT I have read many of her stories, never disappointed. We are fellow veterans, and kindred souls, her being a young and beautiful and gracious Huey IP, myself being a crusty old Huey crewchief. I hope her and her many abilities in the highest esteem. Read her books and stories, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Bobby.
175 reviews
September 3, 2020
A disappointing sequel to Minds of Men, the book continues the story begun there by looking at the aftermath of WWII on the main adversary in Minds of Men, Lina Sucherin. While the setup of the story was promising, and some of the action and narrative regarding Soviet occupied East Germany was quite good, ultimately the story handled its major responsibilities so clumsily that it overshadows these parts and leaves one disenchanted with the novel.
27 reviews
June 12, 2019
I did not see that end coming. If you enjoyed Minds of Men, you must read this. It is from the point of view of Lina Sucherin, the antagonist from book 1, and chronicles her journey to redemption and wholeness after losing everything in the war. Amazing story from KC Ezell!
February 14, 2022
The first book hooked me, now I am hooked again. I am very invested in the outcome of the next book and the new relationships formed here. The development of relationships in this series is fantastic.
Profile Image for Bill.
2,031 reviews11 followers
July 14, 2019
Kacey does 'history' so well in the Psyche-verse. More please.
1,442 reviews10 followers
August 30, 2019
3 stars. Finished, but it was just OK. Won't read any more sequels; just not holding my attention.
9 reviews
April 15, 2020
War is all in her head

Good read. I also enjoy her other works(books) she has done. If a trip into war and the psyche of those fighting...enjoy.
217 reviews10 followers
August 1, 2022
Book 1 was good...

The first book in this series was good, but this one far surpasses it. Kudos to Kacey Ezell on a well researched, well written, accomplishment.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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