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Publisher's Summary

The third novel in a World War I alternate history series where America's greatest weapon against Germany is Black Chamber secret agent Luz O'Malley and technical genius Ciara Whelan. Only they can protect America's best hope of winning the war. 

The Great War is at a stalemate, and the only thing stopping Germany from striking America is the threat of the United States using their own Annihilation Gas against them. But America's supply is quickly decaying and the Central Powers know it. 

A plant is under construction in the remote highlands of Mexico so that America can make their own supply. President Teddy Roosevelt assigns crack agent Luz O'Malley and her technical genius Ciara Whelan to watch over the plant operating under cover identities. 

But German agent Horst von Duckler has escaped from the POW camp in El Paso, and he's heading in the same direction - bent on revenge against Luz, and sabotage that will deprive America of its deterrent and kill tens of thousands.

©2020 S.M. Stirling (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • Alex Levine
  • 11-03-20

Sorry Mr. McLaren--but you're out of your element

The alternate timeline of this series is intriguing if bleak, and the story and characters compelling. I don't plan to stop listening. That said, however, I have to add that Todd McLaren's narrations of S.M. Stirling novels are starting to really bother me. There have been a lot of them. I think he recorded all of the Change series, and so far has done the Black Chamber series. And he's not so much bad as simply the wrong actor for the job. His voice is expressive, he does a good job with female character voices, and he has a good grasp of North American and even a few British regional accents. But these books are full of words, phrases, sentences, and even occasional short dialogues in other languages, especially Spanish, German, and French. Now I happen to know these languages, and my sense is that Stirling does, too. McLaren not only doesn't know them, he can't even plausibly fake them for a sentence or two. Most North American actors should be able to pull this off for Spanish if not for other languages, at least to the point of being comprehensible, especially since Spanish has the virtue of being spelled phonetically. A great many Anglophone listeners will also know enough Spanish to understand the bits and pieces that spice up these works--except that with McLaren reading them, they'll have trouble. So, here's a plea to S.M. Stirling and Recorded Books to reconsider their casting!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher
  • 24-04-20

Another rousing adventure from Stirling!

A little something to help keep us all sane during the pandemic. I have followed these characters since the start, and this was a terrific end to this chapter of the story! well told, and superbly narrated by McLaren.