Sunday, February 20, 2011

A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor

Author: Robert G. Pielke
ARC supplied by Publisher, Tribute Books

When a stranger carrying a shiny, metallic valise steps aboard a train carrying Abraham Lincoln home from a two year stint in Congress, everyone stares, wondering about the stranger's odd clothing and strange footwear with the word Nike emblazoned on them.

Thus begins the first novel in an alternative sci-fi history trilogy. The story is intriguing and interesting, but I will admit to two rather annoying aspects. The first is the focus on slavery as the primary reason for the War Between the States. Every character, it seems, makes this reference. I admit, I am married to a Southerner, but even so, I've had an interest in the war for years and was very surprised that neither Robert E Lee or Lincoln himself mentions the issue of States' Rights.

It's fiction, I know. But if you want to create a dramatic impact, keep the history as accurate as possible.... right?

The second annoyance was the main characters tendency to talk to himself to explain other people's actions. This quickly becomes a crutch, in my opinion, having the character (a history professor) constantly comparing historical figure's responses and actions to his knowledge from previous research in his own time. *Show* don't tell....

That said, there's a good chance I'll pick up the second installment just to see how things turn out and the author resolves the paradox of changing history...

Note: This Advanced Copy was supplied to me by the publisher, but I have received no other recompense for my review. As such, this is my honest opinion and has in no way been influenced by the method of acquistion.


Unknown said...


Yes, I do admit to the position that slavery was the fundamental issue leading to the "Civil War." [Yup, and I realize that the very label itlself is reflective of the controversy.] So I am especially appreciative that you got through the book and are awaiting the second one.

Bob Pielke

Tribute Books said...

Thanks Annette for your review. We appreciate From the TBR Pile hosting a stop on the blog tour.

For all those who'd like to follow along, please visit