I picked up Harry Turtledove's American Empire: Blood and Iron without having read any of the rest of his Southern Victory series. When I first got started, I thought, "Oh man, what have I gotten into, starting mid-series?" I expected it to be difficult to catch up with what was going on and how different this alternate history might be from the reality we live in, but as it turned out, after a couple of chapters, it was all very easy and natural to keep reading.
Turtledove's writing is captivating and the story interesting. I'm most sure I want to get sucked into the whole series, but I can certainly understand how some people would do so. It's fun reading, and the action moves along at a nice pace.
Alternate history stories can be lots of fun, when done well. And Turtledove certainly does it well. If you're looking for a very involved, well-developed alternate history to lose yourself in, you could do worse than this one.
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