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END OF THE BEGINNING by Harry Turtledove Kirkus Star


A Novel of Alternative History

by Harry Turtledove

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-451-21668-7
Publisher: NAL/Berkley

The Japanese are regretting their occupation of Hawaii after all.

In this sequel to Days of Infamy (2004), Turtledove chronicles what happened in the aftermath of Imperial Japan’s conquest of Hawaii after Pearl Harbor. A quick American counterattack hadn’t worked, and, when the book opens, American POWs and Hawaiian civilians—including Japanese-Americans, Hawaiian natives and the Anglos they pejoratively refer to as “haloes”—are settling under the thumb of Japanese oppression. A Japanese immigrant, Jiro Takahashi (who, along with many like him, was a victim of American discrimination) is only too happy to collaborate with his countrymen, while his Hawaii-raised sons are desperately hoping for the U.S. to return. The King and Queen of Hawaii have been restored to their (symbolic) throne. Back on the mainland, the American industrial machine is gearing up for the next assault, the proximity of enemies to the West Coast having put beating the Nazis on the back burner. There’s little attempt to subdue the racial nastiness that marked the period (references to “Japs,” “Nips” and “slanty-eyed bastards” abounding). While much of the second half is composed of roaring Pacific Campaign combat, Turtledove avoids aside the padding found in so much of his work. This is a leaner and meaner, thrilling and thought-provoking in a way that not nearly enough alternative history is.

Supremely satisfying speculative combat fiction.