DAYS OF INFAMY
Turtledove is the master of "what if?" and as usual, his attention to detail and impeccable historical research combine
for a frighteningly plausible tale. The invasion unfolds from the viewpoints of both American and Japanese military men as well as civilian Hawaiians, allowing the reader to develop sympathy for both sides of the conflict. Turtledove does tend to emphasize
military maneuvering and political intrigue over character and plot, which sometimes makes Days of Infamy rather dry. The storylines of the individual characters, military and civilian alike, seem something of an afterthought. Alternate history fans and World War II afficionados will find little to complain about, but readers looking for wartime adventure and romance will be somewhat disappointed.
It is December 7, 1941, and the Japanese launch an attack against U.S. naval forces stationed in Pearl Harbor. They follow up their air assault with an invasion and swift occupation of Hawaii, promising a restoration of the Hawaiian monarchy. Older Hawaiians welcome the Japanese as liberators, while dissenters are placed in POW camps. With American military forces subjugated and many civilians living in fear, there is no one to stop the Japanese from using the islands to launch an offensive on America's western coast.
(Nov., 464 pp., $24.95)