"Terrific alternate historical thriller"
Following the Pearl Harbor attack, the Japanese invade and
conquer Hawaii (see DAYS OF INFAMY). The United States
counter assault fails as the Japanese Zero controls the
skies. Japan quickly installs a ruthless government that
subjects the islands to a harsh occupation though they
bring back the royals to allegedly rule (under their
thumb). American POWs are worked to death without a second
thought and the women are turned into prostitutes for the
Japanese-Americans living on the islands are divided. While
those born in Japan having a taste of American racism
support and help their native country, their children want
the return of the United States and freedom. The native
Hawaiians see little difference between the two sets of
conquerors except that the Japanese are overtly de facto
abusive while the Americans were de jure discriminatory.
Still most residents regardless of ethnicity just try to
survive the food shortages while expecting the battle to
return as the embarrassment of the defeat has the White
House pumping up the military-industrial complex to win the
War in the Pacific.
This is a terrific alternate historical thriller that
leaves no prisoners as the audience obtains a taste of
racial relationships that leave nothing to the imagination.
Harry Turtledove is at his best with the action-packed tale
yet the myriad of perspectives (somewhat difficult to
follow so expect several days up to a week to read) provide
the individual and group dynamics. What if novels rarely
reach this pinnacle as the epic saga and the character
specific blend into a fabulous alternate WW II drama.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted October 12, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 18, 2007