Just what is History’s Truth?

An Argumentation of Historians Book Cover An Argumentation of Historians
The Chronicles of St Mary's Series Book 9
Jodi Taylor
Historians, action and adventure, sci-fi
Accent Press Ltd
February 22, 2018
320

They say you shouldn't push your luck. Max, obviously, gives her own luck a massive shove every day - and it's only a matter of time until luck pushes back...

When I found out that some more books had continued – what I had thought was the end of – the Chronicles of St Mary’s, I immediately bought them.

This is one of my favourite series as I love history – and even took it for A levels. and here much of what you read in the story is historically very accurate, you just have a number of people involved in these events by accident through time travel. Or as St Mary’s prefers to call it – viewing history in contemporary time.

Stories about Alexander The Great are many – he did so much in such a very short time, and thus must have been an amazing person, and I can quite see why anyone would want to go and see him for themselves. And to see one of the fabled cities of the Old World before destruction and a fabled Library too…

But as always things don’t go according to plan for Max and her compatriots. And Jodi Taylor’s imagination is let loose on just what can go wrong when a city is burning, and there are lots of drunken people about, and soldiers celebrating a win, and…

Note to author: please explain more about Roman manages to keep his pod working and even gets more bought and people paid.

Great fun and good suspense. Well written stories.

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A War for the Female Gender?

Silver Stars Book Cover Silver Stars
Front Lines
Michael Grant
YA, military, fantasy, action and adventure
Electric Monkey
February 9, 2017
496

Sequel to Front Lines, the epic new young adult series by the author of GONE set in an alternate World War II. Summer 1943. The enemy has been bloodied, but Nazi Germany is very far from beaten. Now the American army is moving on to their next target: the Italian island of Sicily. With heavy memories of combat, the three young soldier girls - Rio, Frangie and Rainy - now know what they are willing to do to save themselves, and understand the consequences of those actions. On the front lines, they will again come face to face with the brutality of war until they win or die, while simultaneously fighting their own personal battles. No one will emerge unscathed.

 

A book that immediately engages your mind and emotions.

As this book begins we read a letter from someone who is in hospital recovering from being shot in the chest.

It is WW2 in an alternate Earth where there are women soldiers fighting on the front line. The letter’s author tells us about the experiences of 3 of the women who each have different roles. There is a white girl from small ‘c’ conservative USA heartlands, who is in the infantry; there is a New York Jewish girl who works for Army intelligence; and there is a coloured girl from Oklahoma working as a medic. They had met before 1943 – which is where this story is set, but this fact only comes to light late in the book, unless you have read the first book in this series. The series has a short novella that follows and a further book not yet published which tells of the war from where this book finishes.

The war, as it is told in this story, is very similar to the one we know from our Earth, with just a few changes, but not enough to notice unless you happen to be an expert.

In this world’s army – if the men did it, then the women did also. From digging trenches and latrines, to shooting to kill, even sharing their accommodation with the men in their unit. Your gender is relevant here – only your army role counts – unless you are coloured in which case you will be I  a special unit and have your own tents and so on. Just as we did in our version of WW2.

So we hear about each girl and how their war unfolds.

The white girl goes through the infantry hell of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The Jewish girl becomes a spy ina complicated sub-plot which involves the Mafia and the Gestapo. And the coloured girl demonstrates her heroism in the trenches and how she treats those under her charge.

The book is frank about sexism, racism and the brutalities of war and how it hardens the mentions of those who go through it. It tells how human comfort is offered and accepted at unlikely times and how friendships are formed under conditions of duress. Torture is not missed but not in every bloody d3tail but much is told often in remembrances which make it a little less stark which must help the audience at which this series is targeted – the older YA including 6th forms. There is plenty of swearing but whilst there is no bowdlerisation the sear words are change to make them acceptable to libraries etc.

As a reflection for the YA audience on how fighting a war is less than heroism but more about dirt; disease; the randomness of death and injury and sheer bloodiness; trench foot; cold; wet; and awful food,  it gets its message across.

 

 

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