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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review: Fourth Reich Rising + 5 copy GIVEAWAY!

Fourth Reich Rising (Jack Shepherd Mystery Thrillers)Title: Fourth Reich Rising
Author: Tom Schwartz
Page Count: 378 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: RP Books & Audio
Genre: political thriller
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review

The descendents of Hitler's inner circle developed a plan for a Fourth Reich, like the Phoenix, rising from the ashes of the Third Reich. The key to success was to embroil the United States and Islamic countries in a major conflict, which would eventually drag in most of the world's nations. With the world in chaos, they would orchestrate their rise to power.
A smart man once said, "Nazis. I HATE these guys."
And because most people tend to share that sentiment, Fourth Reich Rising takes the approach of both a political thriller and an alternative history.  What would happen if, instead of succumbing to their various fates, the descendents of Hitler's advisors and cronies instead masterminded a plan to throw the world as we know it into chaos and set the stage for the realization of the corrupt dream of their forefathers?  And just to make it interesting, what if a bunch of regular people on a pleasure cruise were the ones who had to thwart this plan?

Reading this story was a unique experience.  The narrator does most of the work of communicating the story and I was reminded of the experience of reading a script or a screen play.  I was able to clearly picture what was going on and what the scene should look like; every word of text was devoted to setting the stage.

There is a lot going on in this story. Extremists are on the move.  Secret societies are engaged. Nuclear warheads are getting lost. People are on vacation.  Turns out the proponents for the Fourth Reich have realized that a clever ruse is just what they need to be able to seize power and resources for themselves, and fabricating a global political showdown seems like just the thing.  In this fictional world, the showdown takes place on September 11, 2011; surprisingly, describing the impact of that situation would kind of be a spoiler for the story.

This is not a book for everyone, I don't think; there are many, many details to absorb and motives and rationales for actions that may be distasteful for many.  In many ways, though, that's the point of the story- if you find an extremist agenda distasteful but do nothing to stop it on a persona level, then what's the point of opposing it in the first place?  Shrugging and carrying on will only take you so far.  Having honor, morals and integrity is a much better option.  Standing up for them when it counts is the best of all possible worlds.

The writing style here is minimalist, and the story reminds me of an orally shared one; we don't get pages and pages of description, instead, we get the backdrop and the actions being played out in front of the backdrop.  Much of the motion of the plot comes from the chapter headings, and if you keep those straight, you can predict the trajectory of the story.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, as for me  it was helpful to have a little bit of formal structure to keep things moving, however I can see how some might find that to be a little heavy-handed.  If you're interested in a blended political thriller/alternative history, this might be up your alley.

Overall Grade: B-
The hits just keep on coming here at What Book is That? and thanks to Tom (the author) I have FIVE digital copies of the book up for grabs!  To enter, leave a comment on this post with a way to contact you.  No contact method = no entry.  Entries will be open until Saturday, August, 20th at 11:59 EST, so get 'em while they're hot!

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