About Me

My photo
I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review of A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke

I haven't read a science fiction book in years. I don't care for alternate history stories. I am definitely not someone who feels like they spent another life fighting the awful war between the states. I only start this review by saying that to emphasize the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Pielke's book features the arrival of a time-traveller from the future (historian, Edwin Blair) in the American Civil War on the eve of Gettysburg. He receives an audience with Abraham Lincoln only to struggle to convince him and his advisers that he really does come from the future. He is desperate to do so, as something else is about to arrive from the future. Unless Blair can successfully convince the two sides to work together the results will be apocalyptic.

The most fascinating aspect of this novel is the integration of real researched history which comes to life on the page. I prefer to learn about things through travel and adventure, and as I accompanied Blair in his discussions and walks about the streets of Washington and the fields of Gettysburg, I felt like I was learning about history first hand. The detail Pielke gives, without bogging down the plot, is astounding and convincing.

This novel needs to be optioned for a movie. Many times I thought this as I read, so dramatic were the descriptions of situation and character. The moments before, during and after the arrival of the aliens in this book are so intense I did not want to stop reading.

If you like science fiction, you will like this book. If you like alternate history, you will like this book. If you like stories about time travel, history, or the civil war, you will like this book. If you don't, you will still like this book.

4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Any person who lists Bubba Ho-Tep as one of h/h favorite films has my eternal respect!

    And when such a person finds my own contribution to be worthy has won my heart as well. ;-)

    I too am not a lover of anything SF -- very little in fact. I just write the story the way it tells itself to me...whatever it is.

    Bob Pielke