Category Archives: Alternate History

Against the Tide of Years by S. M. Stirling

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Nantucket Series

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Book two in the Nantucket Series
Publisher: Tantor Audio (November 17, 2008), Audible Audio Edition, Listening Length: 21 hour(s) and 47 min. (454 pages), ASIN: B001NNC0KG


The Island of Nantucket moved 3,000 years into the past 8 years ago. Against the Tide of Years shows how the Islander’s are adapting, what impact they are having on the Bronze age society. Walker and his evil wife Alice Hong are still rampaging and causing strife wherever they go, it is now time to track them down and stop them but something always seems to interfere with this task.

This is the second of three books in the Nantucket series, and it is considered both science fiction and alternative history.  Mr. Stirling has written numerous books and series in the science fiction, fantasy and alternative history genres.  It is told in a third person narrative by the various different characters.

The Islander’s have set up a good operation with a decent political system, the only problem is, they are starting to get complacent. They know they have to deal with Walker but it is simpler to put it off, until trouble comes looking for them. I was appalled that Hong has been torturing and disfiguring people for 8 years and I want to see her and Walker captured and tortured, but based on Hong’s personality, she might like this. We are introduced to a few new characters and some of the gang has moved into new territory.

I enjoyed the story, but I felt there were too many battle scenes with too little character development. I will read the final book in the series, but I am going to wait a while.

Question to Ponder: Based on the actions that Hong and Walker have particpated in, if and when they are finally stopped should they be made to suffer for all the pain they has caused, or would it be better to just remove them from existence?

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Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Emberverse I

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
First book in The Emberverse I Series
Publisher: Roc (September 6, 2005), Paperback: 592 pages, ISBN-10: 0451460413, ISBN-13: 978-0451460417

What would happen to our world, if technological processes were no longer available? The same phenomena that caused Nantucket to move back in time 3,000 years from Island in the Sea of Time has affected our current society in Dies the Fire. Imagine how our world would respond with the ability to only utilize the technology available at the end of the bronze age (1,500 BC.)  This is an interesting concept and Mr. Stirling does a wonderful job of analysing the various situations that would arise while examining how different people would react.

S. M. Stirling has written numerous books and series, primarily in the fantasy, science fiction and alternate history genres.  There are three books in The Emberverse I series and currently there are five books in The Emberverse II series, with two more books expected to be released over the next few years. The book is told in a third person narrative from the various different characters point of view.  The main protagonists are the leaders of the two separate groups: Michael Havel from the Bearkillers and Juniper Mackenzie from Clan MacKenzie.

The characters are interesting and diverse with the introduction of two separate groups of “good” people who start out small but slowly attract others.  They draw together and using a little bit of brains and plenty of luck manage to carve out an existence for themselves in the new world. These groups initially do not know each other, but soon come into contact with some interesting consequences. There is lots of action, especially in the last third of the book which focuses primarily on battles being fought. There were perhaps just a few too many battle scenes for my taste.  There are plenty of bullies and bad guys who emerge as well and this is where the majority of the conflict resides.

I enjoyed the book and I really liked the concept.  I probably will read the next book in the series, but I need a break from all the battle scenes.

Favourite Quote: There’s no real refuge from what’s happening in the world, and what refuge there is, is in other people.

Question to ponder: if our current society lost all its technology and there was no gun power of any kind,  only brute strength and physical weapons, who would end up ruling the world? Would there be enough good people to pull together and become the dominant society or would the bullys end up ruling the world?

To purchase: “Dies the Fire” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Nantucket Series

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
First book in the Nantucket Series
Publisher: Tantor Audio (October 27, 2008), Audiobook – 25 hour(s) and 13 min. (608 pages), ASIN: B001JK662G

Imagine how different our world would be if the knowledge and technology of the 21th century was introduced to the people of the Bronze Age?  Island in the Sea of Time brings up this concept when Nantucket is inexplicably thrown into the past.

This is the first of three books in the Nantucket series, and it is considered both science fiction and alternative history.  Mr. Stirling has written numerous books and series in the science fiction, fantasy and alternative history genres.  This book takes current day Nantucket and places the island over 3,000 years in past. It is told in a third person narrative by the various different characters.

This is a great book, I love the concept. There was plenty of action with lots going on all the time. The characters are interesting and likeable, even some of the bad ones, but I did not feel they were as deep as I would have liked. Overall it is an exciting and fascinating read. First we deal with the adjustment the Americans had to go through once they realized where in time they were and then we see the impact they are having on the people in 1250 BC.  Hindsight is definitely an asset in this situation.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading alternative history. I am looking forward to reading Against the Tide of Years, which is the next book in the series.

Question to Ponder: Would our world be better today or worse, if our technology was introduced and implemented within the confinements of 1250 BC?


To buy: “Island in the Sea of Time” from Amazon, click here or on picture above
1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible