Storm Front (Book I of the Twilight of the Gods) is set in 1985 in a world where Germany was not destroyed as a result of WWII. I phrased that carefully. This isn’t your typical alternate history fare, where Germany won the war. Yes, they defeated Russia and France, but they entered a Cold War era with Britain and the US. On the whole, that makes for a fascinating set of perspectives of what life would be like in 1985 in the Reich.
Many books in the genre use war as the tapestry to tell the story. Storm Front doesn’t do that, not directly anyway. There’s a war, in South Africa, a mirror to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan, but we are not sucked into it as part of the storytelling – something I was surprised by (in a positive way). Storm Front takes a higher road, going along the route of Man in a High Castle.
Ultimately this is the story of characters who become unlikely catalysts in a revolution. The analogy to Poland is interesting but the differences are only on the surface. Author Christopher Nuttall isn’t afraid to draw connections to real world events but often takes them in his own creative direction. Some of the characters are intricate in terms of their motivations – which I like.
This was my first taste of his writing and I have to admit, I’m going to dive into the second book when it comes out. He plays homage to Harry Turtledove in the book, which seemed a little corny while at the same time was perfectly acceptable. Even as a historian, I struggle with the the German ranks, but his only other choice was to do a Hogan’s Heroes approach to the dialogue and that would have sucked. Kudos for making the right call Mr. Nuttall.
What was nice was that this first book had a logical ending point – without leaving me hanging without some degree of closure on key plot lines. At the same time Nuttall has done a great job of setting up the next book in the series.
I give Storm Front 4.5 stars…not your typical fare for alternate history, which gives it some refreshing appeal.