Amy L. Campbell's Reviews > A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor

A New Birth of Freedom by Robert G. Pielke
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Feb 08, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, blogged, reviewed

Note: Free review copy provided by Tribute Books as part of their book blog tour.

This book didn't pick up for me until nearly the last third of the book. Getting there was too much of a struggle for me to really enjoy it and most of this had to do with the way the story was told.

I'm just not a fan of novels that are told through dialogue, and this is mostly what happened with A New Birth of Freedom. Most of the dialogue consisted of Edwin Blair, our time traveler, trying to convince everyone around him that he really was from the future. In fact, most of the book is taken up by this laborious process and continued any time a new character was introduced. At some point, for the sake of the story, it would have been nice if people had just looked at his super futuristic jeans (created a whopping 10 years after the Civil War) and sneakers from 2200 and just believed him. Additionally I found the insertion of Blair's thoughts to be somewhat tedious and added almost nothing to the book. I didn't care about Blair's thoughts, mostly because I did not care much for Blair.

I will say that the last third of the book was worth reading as I loved the aliens and the fact that Edwin Blair got metaphorical egg all over that big down-talking face of his (the main character tends to treat people from the past like children and/or simpletons). Honestly, I just don't know if the last third was worth having to read the previous two thirds of the book for. And if you're looking for Pielke's imaginings of the future of 2200, you won't get it. Blair refers to it, but in absolutely no detail and we don't get to see his journey back in time from his present. Imagine how less thrilling Back to the Future would be without the future and you get the general idea. Sure, there's an awesome Delorean in the middle of the 1950's, but no cool driving at 88mph scene. I want my flaming Delorean, sir.

I'm hoping the second book will pick up more, if turns out the be the case I would recommend everyone read from the part where Blair arrives at Gettysburg in this book and then go on directly to book two.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Robert Pielke Hi Amy,

I do very much appreciate your putting in the effort to get through the first third of the book! Sorry that was so tedious for you. And you're right, Blair can be a morose downer...Books two and three will probably be a bit more to your liking...there will be future scenes and more about the aliens.

I'm definitely not a "steam-punker" so it's interesting to see how such folks might look at this.

;-)

Bob Pielke


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