Alternate-history master Harry Turtledove returns with his first novel for young adults, GUNPOWDER EMPIRE (4), and fans of all ages will enjoy this departure. Teenagers Jeremy and Amanda Solter vacation with their parents in an alternate-reality Roman Empire, one that never fell. When their mother falls ill, the parents go home, leaving the kids in charge. When they don't return, the kids must fend for themselves when their Roman city is invaded by barbarians. Turtledove raises interesting possibilities on an infinity of potential realities, where the tiniest change at a historical turning point makes literally a world of difference. (Dec. '03, 288 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum