Thursday, August 17, 2006

Book 16 1/2

"Collaborator" by Murray Davies

What is about speculative fiction that gets me going? The "What if" factor is something that always interests me, especially when it's done right and this one is. Not perfectly, but certainly smoother than some Turtledove, and without the gratuitous sex (or, at least, the gratuitous sex scenes). There are a few instances of clunky weapons-specs (mayhap Mr Davies needs a chat with Msrrs Clancy and/or Birmingham), but overall the quality is very good. It is true that I picked the twist about halfway through, but that did not significantly impact my enjoyment of the book.

The tone of the novel is dark, but not hopeless, as it deals with a Nazi-occupied England. The "What if" here being what if Operation Sea Lion actually worked? The protagonist of the novel is a former POW who is attached to the local administration of his home town because he can speak German. There follows resistance attacks and involvements, a sexy American assassin (female) and a selection of old and new friends and enemies.

This one is definitely worth a look, and although it's about as thick - if not thicker - than Turtledove at his most loquacious, it still moves smoothly and freely. I'll give it three and a half British brown shirts out of five.


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