Reviews Comments: Start out okay but still have its ups and downs.
Start out okay but still have its ups and downs.
When I first read 1632, it was pretty exciting with the actions with the time-displaced Americans curb-stomping any hapless European mercenary army in the Thirty Years' War, but it isn't without any flaws. There is the problem with the American people casually accept their new way of life in the 17th century and bring the values of the USA, but aren't too upset or any panic of their situation unlike S.M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time. It goes down into the Team America f*** yeah path from there. Also, the romance that Eric Flint writes down are not that good. Furthermore, the series was starting to get cold with the huge infodump such as the Ram Rebellion which start to look ridiculous over a horny ram (no pun intended) until it jump the shark with The Dreeson Affair with some hackneyed soap-opera plot in the midst of an idiot plot by some fanatical Huguenots killing off Mayor Dreeson and Deacon Wiley in the cover of a anti-Semitic riot as part of a conspiracy to reigniting the United States of Europe into going war with France. The main heroes, including Mike Stearns, figured out what the hell had happened, but decide to use the riot to remove/kill every anti-Semitics in the USE within the last few chapters without any remorse. I read from another reviewer that Eric Flint justified the approach. There could have been major repercussions from this for the designated hero who authorized this, and would have like to have a deconstruction of this ideal character who is championed to 'save' Europe. The other problems that according to people on Amazon.com and other forums that the stories get bog down is due to the fan response on the Baen forums getting the chance to chat with Flint and his co-authors, and asking them what they so do. As a whole for the series, the concept is interesting but story-wise it has its ups and downs, especially in regarding to the Grantville Gazettes made by different writers, some have good talents and some are bad.
I think a big part of the problem with The Dreeson Affair is that it was mostly written by Virginia De Marce, who's widely considered to be the weakest of the published fan-authors. She's an outstanding researcher, particularly in genealogy, and has done a great deal to help the 1632 fan community, being one of its acknowledged leaders, but she's just not capable of carrying a novel-length work (her short stories are much better). 1634: The Bavarian Crisis, while it was co-authored by De Marce, was much better IMO because Flint was much more deeply involved; he was invalided out with heart problems at the time The Dreeson Affair was being written, so De Marce had to do most of the work. For that matter, the whole "Operation: Krystallnacht" issue caused a good deal of controversy on the Baen Bar forums devoted to the 1632verse for exactly the reasons you outline. It's worth remembering, as far as the Grantville Gazettes go, that only six volumes - and those being, as the trope entry points out, more best-of collections than anything else - have been translated to hard-copy versions. As such, the stories in paper-and-ink book format are likely to be genuinely the best ones. The stories in the electronic edition are much more variable in quality.
comment #17182 jadmire 11th Dec 12
A belated comment: I'm pretty much on board with the entire content of the review. I would add, though, that I suspect David Weber must share some of the responsibility for the acres of infodumps that must be plowed through in some of the later books; it's a feature shared with his own best-known series. I enjoy the books — but I skim a lot when I'm rereading them.
comment #23282 RobinZimm 21st Feb 14
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