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1636: The Atlantic Encounter (Ring of Fire Book 28)

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It has taken almost five years for the United States of Europe to stabilize its position in 17th-century Europe. Now it turns its attention to the New World, where the English have ceded their colonial claims to France. There are vast lands and rich resources across the Atlantic for any nations powerful enough to rule and control them—and equal incentive for other nations It has taken almost five years for the United States of Europe to stabilize its position in 17th-century Europe. Now it turns its attention to the New World, where the English have ceded their colonial claims to France. There are vast lands and rich resources across the Atlantic for any nations powerful enough to rule and control them—and equal incentive for other nations to block their path. The time-displaced Americans know about the future path that led to their own United States in North America, in the other universe they came from. But do they want to repeat that history as it was? Yes, they had democracy—but they are helping to create that in Europe. And they have learned the bitter prices paid for chattel slavery and the near-extermination of the native populations. Knowledge is power. Perhaps a new course can be taken. Accordingly, an expedition is sent to the New World to see just what might be happening there and what might be done. They are armed with their technology, among which are a radio and an airship. More importantly, they are armed with the knowledge of future history and their determination not to repeat the errors of their past. What could possibly go wrong?


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It has taken almost five years for the United States of Europe to stabilize its position in 17th-century Europe. Now it turns its attention to the New World, where the English have ceded their colonial claims to France. There are vast lands and rich resources across the Atlantic for any nations powerful enough to rule and control them—and equal incentive for other nations It has taken almost five years for the United States of Europe to stabilize its position in 17th-century Europe. Now it turns its attention to the New World, where the English have ceded their colonial claims to France. There are vast lands and rich resources across the Atlantic for any nations powerful enough to rule and control them—and equal incentive for other nations to block their path. The time-displaced Americans know about the future path that led to their own United States in North America, in the other universe they came from. But do they want to repeat that history as it was? Yes, they had democracy—but they are helping to create that in Europe. And they have learned the bitter prices paid for chattel slavery and the near-extermination of the native populations. Knowledge is power. Perhaps a new course can be taken. Accordingly, an expedition is sent to the New World to see just what might be happening there and what might be done. They are armed with their technology, among which are a radio and an airship. More importantly, they are armed with the knowledge of future history and their determination not to repeat the errors of their past. What could possibly go wrong?

30 review for 1636: The Atlantic Encounter (Ring of Fire Book 28)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    An enjoyable read!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Shellenbarger

    As far as Ring of Fire side-novels go, the Atlantic Encounter was... middling. I gave it 4/5 stars, but that's really just 7/10 rounded up. It wasn't boring but it also was very limited in scope, and the story is beset with a lot of political baggage. The basic thrust of the story is that the up-timers send a small delegation to North America to get the lay of the land and to attempt to encourage cooperation of the various colonial and indigenous entities against the French, who are eager to est As far as Ring of Fire side-novels go, the Atlantic Encounter was... middling. I gave it 4/5 stars, but that's really just 7/10 rounded up. It wasn't boring but it also was very limited in scope, and the story is beset with a lot of political baggage. The basic thrust of the story is that the up-timers send a small delegation to North America to get the lay of the land and to attempt to encourage cooperation of the various colonial and indigenous entities against the French, who are eager to establish a monopoly on the continent in hopes that by leveraging the continent's resources and potential, they can basically position themselves in America's place economically in the new timeline. I have three main problems with the book. The first is that it feels like pieces are missing. The delegation only tangentially encounters any natives in the narrative, though they claim to have spoken with such late in the story. Furthermore, the book raises the issue of black slaves in New Amsterdam (and makes a point of calling out the New England colonies for also having slaves), but when they get to Virginia, which was BY FAR the major importer of black slaves, the issue is neatly ignored, which seems strange. This leads into my second issue, there's a rather unpleasant bias in the authors' views of the various groups. The New Englanders are all made out to be useless bigots while the Marylanders and Virginians are enterprising and cosmopolitan. This is... one way of interpreting history, but it feels skewed to make Puritans look like hateful assholes, and while there were certainly some firebrands, quite bluntly, for the first two generations of their settlements in New England, the Puritans did a FAR better job of living at peace with their neighbors than the Virginians did, and they did it with the French and Dutch regularly pushing the natives towards war. This brings me to the third problem, which is that the book, which is regularly pushing the view that the key to a better future for the Americas is for the various groups to work together, completely ignores the real threat that devastated native American society: disease. In the first 50 years of the Puritans in New England, the Puritans fought 1 war with their neighbors, the Pequot War, in which perhaps 1000 Pequots were killed, and the survivors were enslaved by their rivals and the colonists. Bloody stuff, but in those same 50 years, whole tribes were completely annihilated by common European diseases. When Squanto was taken to Europe, he left behind a tribe, when he returned with the Puritans, he discovered that he was the last survivor of his tribe. Such was a fairly common event and life expectancy for the natives in the regions near European settlements were horrifically low during the 17th century. Tribes that had once had thousands of members were reduced to a few hundred. Now, here's the thing. This is something that modern medicine, brought back to the 17th century could do something about. Whole tribes could be saved from extinction, and it never even comes up in this book. This really bugged me because it's actually something that Herb Sakalaucks got into in his books (especially, 1635: the Battle for Newfoundland), and it would make sense for it to be part of the sell here to get the various native tribes onboard with the "let's all stand against the French" plan, but no. Ok, so given all that, you'd think that I would've dropped this down to 3/5, but there were things the story did quite well. I liked the main protagonists, the Chehab brothers, and their love-hate relationship felt quite genuine, and much of the supporting cast was enjoyable. For all that I didn't agree with some of its portrayals, its exploration of the state of North America in the mid-1630's was also very interesting, particularly the complexities of local colonial politics and their complicated relations with the mother countries. As a Ring of Fire book, it didn't really bring all that much future-shock to bear. The Chehabs have a semi-rigid airship that they brought with them for scouting, but that's pretty much it. All in all, it scratched my alt-history itch and I was mostly entertained, but I admit I was a bit let down, particularly because this one has been in development and basically finished for a LONG time; with all that time, I hoped for something a bit more substantial, but given that the semi-associated 1637: No Peace Beyond the Line is coming out in November, this is enough to tide me over.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debrac2014

    I enjoyed this! I was very interested in how the early settlements were depicted!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    I love this series and this author never fails to deliver engrossing and entertaining novel. This one is no exception. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  5. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    I appreciate the authors moving the saga forward. However I didn't particularly like the main characters and found the dialogue and plot developments fairly mediocre.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Roy

    The next book in the 163X/Ring-of-Fire series includes a visit to the 17th Century Atlantic Colonies (New Holland, New England, New France, Maryland and Virginia). For these people most of the impacts of the future ideas transplanted into Germany are very much secondary and tertiary effects, particularly the ceding of English colonies to France as part of the rearrangement of power relationships in Europe. I enjoy this series enough to have thought this was a worthwhile read at a time when I want The next book in the 163X/Ring-of-Fire series includes a visit to the 17th Century Atlantic Colonies (New Holland, New England, New France, Maryland and Virginia). For these people most of the impacts of the future ideas transplanted into Germany are very much secondary and tertiary effects, particularly the ceding of English colonies to France as part of the rearrangement of power relationships in Europe. I enjoy this series enough to have thought this was a worthwhile read at a time when I wanted distraction, but this isn't really one of the highlights of the series. The usual high interest of this series -- how the ideas of liberty and science coming 250 years early could change the world -- is here playing decidedly second place to the impacts of new opportunities for individuals (uptimers and downtimers alike). That made for an interesting adventure yarn, but not one that will stay with me like some of the others.

  7. 4 out of 5

    MAB LongBeach

    A side story in the 1632 universe, in which a small West Virginia town was dropped into central Gemany in the middle of the Thirty Years War. An expedition is sent to North America to assess the situation, and to see if the scattered colonies can be brought together to oppose the French. Well-written, well-plotted, with adequate characterizations. Not an essential part of the series, but fans will want to read it. Newcomers to the series wouldn't need much background to enjoy it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristine S. Hejna

    I have missed this kind of reading I read a lot. I read fast and l read well. This book is better than most. There are many characters developed well enough that they have their own voices. At this point they have become people I know, and want to know more about. The current cast could speak in unattributed dialog and I could tell who spoke. I would pay attention to what they said and learn more of them and their world than I learn from my usual reading. Thank you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ester

    Booooring It just felt like they tried to tackle too much with not enough character viewpoint. Most of what we saw was from the view of the early American settlers and none of them were traveling with the main characters. They stopped at a town. Met some people. Got told what was up and then went to the next town. Everything else in the story was just a footnote. This was a story compromised entirely of a collection of footnotes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charles MacCracken

    Usually I consume a new Eric Flint writing in one or two days. This book did not grip me in the same way until I was about half way through. I was raised on the water and am well familiar with how quickly a storm can come up and how fast one needs to be to get to shore when lightening shows in the distance. The storm episode during the crossing of the Atlantic was a real stretch of poetic license. I will certainly continue to eagerly await Mr. Flint's new offerings. Thank you sir.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Juliann Thompson

    Worse of the series Just too silly, lightning sneaks up on them? Beyond the normal silly meatballs and misunderstanding caused by uptimers. Obviously another series set in the new world to go along with the ones we have going on in Newfoundland, the Caribbean, and the Pacific northwest. If we had New stories more than once every three years that might not be so bad.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark Hazen

    Perhaps the weakest of the series I love this series, but this one is the weakest in concept and execution. From the nearly illegible maps that do not correspond to the text through the lack of knowledge of the geography to the simplistic dialogue. Simply not one of Eric’s better efforts - it’s like it got pushed out without going to the editor.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Brown

    Sorry but this volume was the least likeable of the series. It was BORING. Most of the volume seemed to be filler. Too much BLAH BLAH BLAH with little real content. Several characters were not needed and definitely acted a filler to stretch out the book. Not recommended for those who lke the alternate series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Larry Loughlin

    Another chapter to the ROF I enjoyed the story, it was well written. My thought on finishing this book was "Is this one more unfinished story to add to the many in the ROF universe?" I really wish Flint would wrap up some of the many ROF storylines before he got involved in new ventures.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Spitzer

    Enjoyable book in the Ring of Fire series. It goes into the east coast of the Atlantic North America and the early settlements and how they are bing affected by the Ring of Fire. Logical and ties in well with the events in Europe in this alternate history world. It stands alone, but also makes you want to read the next one, which likely will be published in a year of two.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Allen McDonnell

    Well worth the price A nice summer read, scattered moments of action to spice things up but really a story exploring what has become of North America in 1636. This is the book many gave been eagerly waiting for as so little in the 1632-verse had taken place in North America in comparison to Europe and East Asia.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judy Cornell lewis

    Interesting and intriguing I enjoy the 1632 series, and this one continues the story. Pulled me in held my attention and carried me along. Now an looking for the next step in the journey.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joe Price

    Statesman or Spy? Having read a number of, if not most of, the FOR novels, I found this book to be similar, yet different from the others. Not wishing the need for spoiler alerts, I will say that I did enjoy it. Now, on to the next book...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I felt at times the Americans' embassy was woefully short of 'statecraftiness'. But of course not every uptimer is going to be the best ambassador of American ideals. Good story overall but let's give the Puritan stereotype a little rest.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    It seemed like a bit of an incomplete story... Setting up future stories maybe.

  21. 5 out of 5

    William C Fetty

    Decent read Plot line better than some of the other, later offerings. Need more of the original crew involved. This series is difficult to keep in time perspective...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stan Morris

    Acceptable Not Bad, though the characters are rather two dimensional. The plot is simple but believable. Not believable is the "I'm just a good ol' boy" character, Pete.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Some of the best alternative history existing, the Ring of Fire series does not disappoint. East meets West as the up-timers from West Virginia return to Jamestown and the Virginians.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James

    A trade mission is sent to the new world to try and head of French expansion.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Alexandrov

    Less than I could have been This book has some interesting things happening within, but its success is impeded by what isn’t here. At least five major plot points in the book involve characters doing something completely unexpected, and almost universally passive. When these surprises occur the reader waits endlessly for the plot to resolve them, but it never does. Complete with a totally unnecessary epilogue, this book suffers from poor editing and a deep misunderstanding of basic plot and chara Less than I could have been This book has some interesting things happening within, but its success is impeded by what isn’t here. At least five major plot points in the book involve characters doing something completely unexpected, and almost universally passive. When these surprises occur the reader waits endlessly for the plot to resolve them, but it never does. Complete with a totally unnecessary epilogue, this book suffers from poor editing and a deep misunderstanding of basic plot and character construction. Sad!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kevin P

    Honestly, this one felt like filler. The overall North America story didn't get much wrap up until right at the end, and the end result seemed to be a wash plot wise. Hoped for more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Maloy

    Sorry Eric Flint. This book missed the mark. I have read every book in this series and own most if not all of them. No action, mystery, adventure, excitement, thrills and chills. BORING! DULL! NO NO NO! DING DING DING! TRY AGAIN! I love the 1632 series but OMG!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth Thompson

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hughes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Richard

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