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Book Reviews: In The Presence of Mine Enemies +The Whitechapel Horrors +Singer From The Sea

In The Presence of Mine Enemies by Harry Turtledove

This grim alternate history novel imagines a 21st century where the Nazis won World War II (and World War III) and the Greater German Reich rules most of the world. This novel focuses on various people try to live quiet lives unnoticed by the regime. These people have a secret; they are Jews living in constant fear.

As they try to preserve their culture and faith while trying not to be discovered, change begins to shake the Reich. A new Fuhrer takes power and he makes speeches about change and reform. In such a world, is hope possible? This is a chilling tale of survival and dictatorship. It’s good and scary.

Best Lines:
“Everyone you met was sincerely and honestly convinced you had no right to exist.”

“We are strong and our enemies mostly dead.”

The Whitechapel Horrors by Edward B. Hanna

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are on the hunt for Jack The Ripper. Holmes is determined to uncover the identity of the depraved murderer. But the case is far more complicated then he or Watson could ever have imagined.

This is a good read that evokes the London of 1888 very well. But one must quibble with the way Hanna wrote Watson, was he really so staid, pompous and irritated in the Conan Doyle stories? I think not.

Singer From the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper

Genevieve is a properly schooled aristocratic daughter on the planet of Haven. Aristocratic daughters marry, give birth and soon afterwards they die. But why do so many young noblewomen die? And why are people afraid to ask about the deaths?

Genevieve dares to ask questions and slowly the terrible truth is uncovered. Terrible acts and monstrous secrets are hidden behind rules, tradition and cultural propriety. But now all of Haven’s secrets are about to be laid bare. This is a good absorbing fable.

Best Line:
“Though a royal wife may spread ephemeral favour among her relatives, once she is dead, the favour rots with her.”
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