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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: A New Birth of Freedom

This is a MUST READ if you like the idea of time travel and civil war meets creatures from The War of the Worlds!
A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor by Robert G. Pielke
  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Altered Dimensions (August 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936021234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936021239
Price:  Print:  $11.66
Genre:  Science Fantasy, Alternate History
My Rating: 5.0

It has taken centuries to recognize that all humans possess certain unalienable rights. There will come a time when we have to consider whether others deserve those rights as well.
That time will come on July 4, 1863.

Review: This was unexpected and a wonderful read.
This story starts in March 1849 with Edwin Blair visiting a young Abraham Lincoln on a train ride as he travels home from Congress to Illinois.  Blair is dressed in strange clothing including Levi jeans and Nike shoes. These create an ice breaker and the beginning of a memorable meeting. Blair asks Lincoln to accept a retainer to provide counsel in the future and then he sets an appointment to meet again on July 27, 1863. Right before exiting the train Blair does one more thing to make sure Lincoln will remember him.

Sure enough they meet again on July 27, 1863.  Lincoln is 14 years older but Blair is exactly the same as though their previous meeting had been the day before! That is only the first “impossible” surprise that Lincoln and his staff are presented with. Blair has to get them to accept that he has traveled through time in order to get Lincoln’s aid to allow him to go to the front lines and meet with the Union AND Confederate Generals.

Blair is a history professor from the future with expertise in details of the Civil War.  He is counting on knowing the thoughts and actions of General Meade and General Lee so he can convince them to cooperate with him.  Blair believes he will need the combined forces of the armies for a surprise attack against an alien force that will otherwise decimate the countryside if not quickly and completely destroyed. It will take just the right words and demonstrations to convince the necessary leaders to stop in the middle of a crucial battle and to work together against a different enemy that Blair calls the Pests.

To Blair’s horror and shock the Army soldiers capture some of the Pests and slowly they begin to communicate. Blair worries about loose Pests while he and some new friends try to determine what the prisoner Pests want.

I happen to really enjoy Civil War stories - a favorite is Killer Angels. I also like sci fi stories such as War of the Worlds and Independence Day. Add to these likes, I love time travel books. So this was an absolute joy for me to read.  The historical detail is accurate and presented from the interesting perspective of a historian from the future.  The characters, other than the historical ones, are rather quirky. Blair himself is sometimes frustrating and not always reasonable.

The writing is clean and easy. It moves very quickly, especially because you want to know what will happen. The only problem I had was the story is ended after another surprising revelation. It is to be continued! I have no idea how the interference of Blair and the Pests have impacted the world as we know it. I am anxious to find out and I hope the sequel will be out sooner than later.

Blog Tour web site:

Robert G. Pielke's web site:

Robert G. Pielke's blog:

Robert G. Pielke's Facebook:!/robert.pielke

Altered Dimensions Press web site:

I received this book for review as part of a blog tour coordinated by Tribute Books
I am giving away my review copy...although part of me doesn't want to give it away!

1.   Visit the author's website and tell me something you note of interest. Please leave your email address.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3. For two entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Four total entries possible.) MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL!
* This contest is open to US and Canada only.
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on March 4, 2011.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.

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