August 07, 2003

1633, by Eric Flint and David Weber

This is the immediate sequel to 1632, and picks up, unsurprisingly, the next year. It has a rather different feel. 1632 had a wild energy and an outrageousness that kept me turning pages far into the night. This one lacks some of that energy, and consequently wasn't so compelling--but in many ways it's a deeper, more involved story.

1632 focussed strongly on the town of Grantville and the obstacles its people had to overcome to survive their sudden transposition to an earlier more violent time. In 1633, by contrast, the rulers of Europe have begun to adjust to the presence of the Americans; further, many have acquired copies of portions of the history books brought back from the 21st century, and have altered their policies and plans accordingly. Charles I of England, for example, arranges to have Thomas Cromwell imprisoned. This, of course, completely demolishes the value of those history books for short term planning. Thus, this book has less of the gonzo battle scenes and more politics and intrigue.

I found it to move somewhat ponderously; I wasn't turning pages compulsively until nearly the end. Fair disclosure, though--I read this while attending a conference, and thanks to social activities, an extremely hard bed, and a room that overlooked the hotel's lobby and main desk I didn't get much sleep. I was consequently both exhausted and easily distracted, and as my room lacked a comfortable reading chair, I'd have had trouble falling deeply into any book of any description.

Posted by Will Duquette at August 7, 2003 03:46 PM