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The Crosstime Traffic series features Paul Gomes, a late-21st-century teenager who travels with his entrepreneur father to alternate realities.
In this entertaining second installment, Paul and his father are assigned to a world where Germany won World War I and still dominates the globe. They pose as foreign goods importers in San Francisco, hoping to use the profits to obtain raw materials no longer available in their world. The high-tech gadgets they stock, however, are so advanced they catch the attention of German officials and local Chinese crime lords. As father and son try to evade authorities, Paul inadvertently endangers his friend Lucy Woo and her family, setting in motion a game of cat-and-mouse.
Turtledove sets up a believable alternate reality with impeccable research, compelling characters and plausible details. Plotting suffers, however, and some aspects of the story are unexplained. If Paul and his father want to escape detection, why do they stock gadgets sure to get noticed? And why are the "bad guys" so easily outwitted by the teenagers? (Oct. '04, 272 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed By: Jen Talley Exum
Published: October 2004