It is nice to have a purpose in life. This book had a purpose,
and it met its goals. Unlike the last two books, which were solid
buildup but not enough payoff, this book had both.
By the end of the last book, the US and Germany had nuclear weapons,
and the Soviet Union was working on it. They had even asked the Americans
for help. The lizard lines were still advancing, but they paid dearly
for every pace forward they made.
Throughout the entire tetrology, the characters have been completely
consistent. Jager has always been my favourite. He has gone
from a respectable tank commander to pairing with a Soviet pilot.
When he learned about the Jewish massacres, he was appalled. Now
he starts to take an active role in helping the Jews. Through the
entire novel, he helps the Jews, and they help him back. I wondered
how long he could keep passing information back to them, but it was resolved
very realistically. The final chase to the nuclear bomb really had
me wondering if Germany would start the war all over again, and get itself
plastered in the process.
For about halfway through, the lizards begin serious negotiations
with the US, Germany, and the Soviets (after they succeed in creating an
atomic bomb). The goal is to have the lizards withdraw from those
countries, which represent a significant portion of the northern world
(the US has included Canada, and since the lizards canít stand the cold,
they are only too happy to grant that one).
Ussmak turns from desperately unhappy to tragic. Based
on what he hears about prisoners of war over the radio, he is only too
happy to turn his mutinied base over to the Soviets. He couldnít
do much else without surrendering to his own people, but that was a big
mistake! Questioned in a dank cell until he helps kill his questioner,
he and his fellow prisoners are sent to a Siberian gulag. Even when
peace is about to prevail, he knows he has no hope of leaving. I
was really upset at the Russians, and really torn by Ussmakís demise.
The Americans had a lot to do in the defence of Denver in the
first half, but nothing much once the cease-fire began. The defences
set out near the Colorado border were very interesting, and the rescue
of the human prisoners made for a nice war story. Otherwise, there
wasnít much new for them to do. The events that made me laugh were
two between Rance Auerbach and Penny Summers in the hospital tent.
The way she encouraged him to walk, left me giggling when she was overheard,
and the way his orgasm seemed to ignite a nuclear bomb was well written,
Before the end, Atvar has realized that he must make concessions
to the nations with atomic bombs, in order for the rest of the world to
be ready for the colonization fleet. This will be something new for
the Race. But, he feels, enough of their culture will leak into the
world that eventually, in centuries maybe, Earth will be conquered.
The humans know this, too, and are prepared to stand against
them. But humans are not the patient types. But life seems
to be quickly returning to normal, for some people, at least.
People are pairing up again, and others are being relocated.
The landscape of major cities has changed because of the bombs, and will
continue to change as people move to where they can find food. The
next twenty years, until the colonization fleet arrives, will be difficult.
In the next series, Colonization, I think weíll see the next
generation fighting a new war, maybe a new type of war. Iím glad
the author decided to give a chapter to life after the war. That
is so often missing once wars are over. It keeps me in anticipation
of the next series, and reminds me that these people will continue to live
in a troubled world. For the east and west still donít like each
other. Now that they have peace with the lizards, will they continue
their old wars? The rest of the world is still battling the lizards.
Will the three nations give some technology to the poorer ones, fighting
secretly behind the lines? China is still fighting hard, but I donít
know if it is a losing fight.
And I still think Germany deserves to be pasted, for what they
tried to pull at the end. Maybe it wonít exist in the next series!