Monday, 23 March 2009

Final Impact: World World 2.3 by John Birmingham

As the final book in the Axis of Time trilogy begins events are coming to a rapid head.

It’s now 1944, two years after the events of Designated Targets. In Europe D-day has started a month early, the airborne invasion begins not with Men parachuting into france but rather crossing the channel in Huey helicopters, supported by Cobra gunships and preceded by napalm bombardments by jet fighters that have replaced propeller driven aircraft as the allies main fighters.

In the pacific the Allies have retaken Hawaii but their 21st century supplies of weapons have been depleted. Most ships have been refitted with the first of a new generation of weapons. Hopelessly dated by the UN standards advanced beyond belief by 1940s standards.

The super carrier USS Hilary Clinton returns to Sea refitted and at the core of a new taskforce including new destroyers and aircraft.

With the captured French stealth cruiser sunk with all hands nothing appears to stand in the way of the allies winning the war.

But Stalin has other ideas.

Choosing to re enter the War his forces quickly over run the Germans with jet fighters and their own versions of the AK-47. With suspicions mounting it is proven too late that Stalin has custody of the last of the missing UN Warships and the technological windfall it represents.

The Russians have the A-bomb and deploy it on a German held city as a display of their new military might.

Suddenly the future of the free world hangs in the balance.

Final Impact is a good finale to the Axis of time trilogy even if the eventual ending is somewhat open ended ( I don’t believe that the 21st century military would be allowed to resign from the armed forces and go into civilian life so easily) and what I think is a blatant attempt at setting up another series in the same universe.

Five out of five

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