I start choking up at any mention of Dunkirk and can’t listen to or read the “We shall fight on the beaches” speech without actively crying, so this book was fun to read. No, it really was, actually, despite the tears and feeling of Impending Doom which hovered over the story. I can’t wait to read the second book (which is waiting for me at the library right now) to see how things wind up.
I feel like this is the point towards which all of Willis’s time travel books have been converging. I won’t say too much about it, except that all those, “Hmm, it seems like there’s something wrong here. But not to worry!” bits are important. This is the first one, I think, to have characters from earlier books directly involved. At any rate, it’s a masterful mix of history and future, with part of the excitement coming from the fact that we don’t know how it’s going to end. I’m looking forward to the second half, which is waiting for me at the library. [2010 in books]
I wanted to read the whole Oxford series close together, to see how they hung together. To me, they’re actually quite disparate. Or at least, they strike very different notes, although they’re tied together by more than just an overlap of characters. Everyday heroism (MIKE) and courage in the face of disaster and defeat, for instance. I do find the optimism of Blackout and All Clear hard to reconcile with the non-optimism of Doomsday Book. Still, I love all three/four. [Aug. 2011]