Three-time Hugo Award-winning author Allen Steele now imagines an alternate history rooted in an actual historical possibility: what if the race to space had occurred in the early days of WWII?
It's 1941, and Wernher von Braun is ordered by his Fuehrer to abandon the V2 rocket and turn German resources in a daring new direction: construction of a manned orbital spacecraft capable of attacking the U.S. Work on the rocket - called Silbervogel - begins at Peenemunde. Though it is top secret, British intelligence discovers the plan, and brings word to Franklin Roosevelt. The American President determines that there is only one logical response: the U.S. must build a spacecraft capable of intercepting Silbervogel and destroying it. Robert Goddard, inventor of the liquid-fuel rocket, agrees to head the classified project.
So begins a race against time - between two secret military programs and two brilliant scientists whose high-stakes competition will spiral into a deadly game of political intrigue and unforeseen catastrophes played to the death in the brutal skies above America.
"With a gift for visionary fiction that 'would make Robert A. Heinlein proud'." (Entertainment Weekly)
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The race to space
To the moon!
I loved the character development and the manner in which the book is framed. The characters are retelling the story many years after the events. So as a listener you often get extra details from the main characters in a retrospective manner. This certainly helped with the character development. I loved how even the last words of the book focus on character development!
I also liked the narration by Ray Chase. I normally listen to 1.5 or 1.25x the narration speed, but on this book due to the narrator voice I listened at normal speed. So for once I got to enjoy a book with what is really the correct advertised length.
The interesting 'what if' this happened instead of nuclear development is certainly a question I enjoyed thinking about. But this question was not addressed in the book itself, it was just left for us the listeners.
Another reviewer had this to say; "The historical research is admirable and the story telling is smooth. What I missed was a focus on a personal story -- I think I would have found V-S day more engaging and meaningful if the story included a counterpoint that explored the effects of doing the work on one or more of the characters. For example, there is a brief subplot about the effect of secrecy on one researcher's relationship with his girlfriend. This could have been expanded through the story to look at different effects of war, excitement of discovery, and secrecy on this man's life. Without that sort of focus, V-S Day feels like an interesting History Channel documentary rather than an exciting story." And I have to agree with his comments. But that is not to say it wasn't enjoyable. In fact I loved it! It is just it could have been even better and longer!
Ray Chase's voice is one of those voices which you either love or hate, and because I have resently finished one of his works and because I am currently listening to other titles narrated by Ray Chase, at times it is often hard to separate the characters. Certainly not a problem if you haven’t heard any of his work lately. Furthermore, his mannerisms in his voice cross over into the characters within the story itself. Often make it difficult to work out which character is actually talking at that moment. A book which depends upon first person story telling from different people would have been better with multiple narrators!!
Secrets of the space race
I would highly recommend this story to anyone, particularly to anyone who has an interest in sci fi and history
- The Zombie Specialist
Not overly over the top, beliveable Alt. History
Chase's delivery. Not only was he a reader, he was also a performer, who used inflection and accents to differentiate the characters many times. A good reader makes an audio book that much more enjoyable.
Resolution came up pretty quickly, when it might've been cool to milk it out for a few more pages.
First time listening to Chase. But, since I really liked his delivery I'll probably check out some of his other ones. A great reader can make all the difference in the World. In fact, I've rejected buying some books simply because the audio sample sounded artificial and boring.
Audible started with a music bed, and then about halfway through there was another music bed, only to disappear again. Kind of odd because it really didn't add anything to the book. Wasn't a distraction, was just strange!