A mysterious man appears aboard the Titanic on its doomed voyage.
His mission? To save the ship. The result? A world where the US never entered World War I. In April 2012, Joseph Kennedy - nephew of John F. Kennedy - lives in an America occupied in the East by Greater Germany and on the West Coast by Imperial Japan.
He is 1 of 6 people who can restore history to its rightful order.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 832 pages
- Publisher: Titan Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 13/03/2012
- Category: Science fiction
- ISBN: 9780857686664
Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.
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Review by sgtbigg
What if it wasn’t a flying saucer that crashed in the desert in Roswell, New Mexico back in 1947? What if it was actually a time machine? That’s the idea behind The Company of the Dead. In 2012, Dr, Jonathan Wells accidentally learns about the time machine while treating a patient at Area 51 and in order to save his life gets transported back to 1911. Once in 1911 with nothing to do, Wells decides to change history and make the world a better place. First on the list, save the Titanic, but as we soon discover, that’s easier said then done. Rather then save the Titanic, Wells merely postpones the inevitable for a few hours. This small change allows some passengers to live that would have died and causes some to die that would have lived. And so the butterfly flaps its wings. If you have any intention of reading this book, I would recommend you stop reading this review as there be spoilers ahead. Make sure you come back and finish this review once you have read the book, I’ll be waiting.In 2012 2.0, the world is a vastly different place with Greater Germany and Imperial Japan as the two leading superpowers with the United States divided and partly occupied. A small group led by Confederate Bureau of Intelligence agent Joseph Kennedy have learned about the time machine and Wells’ changing of history. They’ve decided they like the original version better and set out to prevent Wells from changing the past. Here’s where the story gets a little murky. Apparently there is some type of time loop in which Kennedy continually tries to stop Wells and continually fails in one way or another, this is his last chance. I found this to be unnecessary and somewhat bothersome; the story gets all mystical for awhile. One other small issue was the explanation of how the time loop started. Rather then address the paradox in any meaningful way, it got one or two throw away lines. Otherwise I found this to be a quite enjoyable book. At 832 pages it was a bit long and there were some areas that probably could have been trimmed down a bit. This might not be the book to bring on a cruise. I received this book as an ARC from Titan Books.
Review by psutto
Time travelling, alternative history adventure yarnThis is a first book by this author. This fits my 1912 category as the time travel part revolves around the sinking of the Titanic. Kowalski hits the alternative history buttons in a slightly different way –the first world war has been won by the Germans and the Americans were not involved, instead the States had a second civil war and is split into confederate and union. Playing Russia to Germany’s “USA” is Japan who are the other superpower and have occupied the Union (Samurai in New York). A whole bunch of stuff hasn’t been invented and so we get to see biplanes and airships as well as “Stratolites” (giant dirigible cities). So instead of the usual “what if the other side won the civil war” or “what if Hitler won WW2” we get an earlier divergence. Why is the Titanic a key to the alternative history? Well you’ll just have to read the book to find out. On the plus side the setting is very well thought out, the adventure yarn has some interesting twists and turns and there are some great set pieces. On the down side its 750 pages long and feels like around 200 pages could have been dropped without harming either the atmosphere or the story – a good editor required I reckon. Additionally it took me a long time to care about the characters who seemed quite flat. Overall – Good adventure tale recommended to those who like alt history
Review by CatherineMarie
This book does have a great premise. But, according to the author, he expanded it from a short story, and, in my opinion, it just became too long. It just did not hang together for me, which is a pity, because I really really really wanted to like it. The opening was great... and then it starts coming together in the second half of the book....
Review by John_Pappas
Long. So long. But, in the end, worth the time to read.
Review by bitter_suite
I enjoyed this book, but it could have used a better editor. It's very long and some of it seems extraneous. There were several times when I was reading and found myself thinking, "Can we just get on with the story?" That being said, if you enjoy alternate history this book is worth the read. I also thought the idea of how the characters acquired a time machine was very interesting. It wasn't something I'd come across before, and I liked it a lot.
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