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Summary

In 1914, they called it The Great War, and few could imagine anything worse. For nearly three decades, a peace forged in blood and fatigue has held sway in North America. Now, Japan dominates the Pacific, the Russian Tsar rules Alaska, and England, under Winston Churchill, chafes for a return to its former glory. But behind the façade of world order, America is a bomb waiting to go off. Jake Featherston, the megalomaniacal leader of the Confederate States of America, is just the man to light the fuse.

In the White House in Philadelphia, Socialist President Al Smith is a living symbol of hope for a nation that has been through the fires of war and the flood tides of depression. In the South, Featherston and his ruling Freedom Party have put down a Negro rebellion with a bloody fist and have interned them in concentration camps. Now, they are determined to crush their Northern neighbor at any cost.

©2004 Harry Turtledove (P)2016 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Turtledove produces yet another absorbing installment of his character-centered alternate-history saga." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Compelling Listen

I started working my way through the superb "Southern Victory" series starting with How Few Remain (sadly not available on Audible) earlier this year and have found the series very compelling. Return Engagement gets the story of the new world war to which the American Empire books have been building up off to a gripping start. While some of the characters are much more interesting than others, the story is very well crafted and is studded with interesting little details and ironies for the historian to pick up on. It is also relatively free of the cringeworthy love scenes which detract from some of Turtledove's other books. The narrator is very good and switches seamlessly between the different voices and accents. This is a good listen - but I don't think I'd have got anything like as much out of it without listening to the whole series which precedes it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible reader

This guy has a problem with whistling teeth syndrome, nearly every word he says he's ssssso sssssadly sssssaying ssssssssss

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • brian
  • 25-06-16

Great book bad narrator

Would you listen to Return Engagement again? Why?

I would, inspite of me feeling the narration wasn't very good.

What did you like best about this story?

Seeing old and new characters from Southern Victory back again.

What three words best describe Paul Costanzo’s voice?

Not that great.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The scenes of blacks being killed almost made me cry.

Any additional comments?

They should've stuck with George Guidall as narrator.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 29-06-16

Need Guidall back!!

I've read all in the order 191 series Guidall is awesome this narrator is not!! Like Roy Dotrice for the game of thrones novels when you add a a new narrator the texture and flavor of the authors delivery can be ruined

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-17

Its Turtledove!

I have been waiting for this forever. I do a lot of driving so I don't always have time for read and like to have nice long unabridged books to flesh out my trips.

I am going to give pointers based on either being a noobie to this series or a verteran and wondering how this stands up.

For those who have not read this book know this:

This is probably not where you should start.
This is technically the 8th book in this series

Proceeded by How Few Remain, American Front, Walk in Hell, Breakthroughs,Blood and Iron, The Center Cannot Hold and The Victorious Opposition.

There is a lot of material and the characters in this book come from these previous books.

Earlier books are a bit better written. Lots of Grade A Filler here. Not to bad but lots of repeated facts

CONTENT WARNING!!!!!
In this book the CSA is an analog of Nazi Germany along with its own Southern Fried Hitler who wants to eliminate African Americans. African Americans=Jews
You will hear them say the N word. A LOT. You will listen to really brutal things done to people of color. It is not just for fun but if you needed a CW this is it!

Otherwise welcome to Timeline-191 land


For Vets:

Narrator is really not that bad.
Maybe isn't always on with is accents and everything but its better than the lady voice in Man with the Iron Heart.
UNABRIDGED
LONG AWAITED
Also can I get a like for zinc-oxide ointment !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly
  • 21-10-16

Miss the old reader

The new narrator for the book is not as good as the previous one. Monotonous at times. Butchers names and even a few common words.

The story is great though. Definitely a good series

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew
  • 01-06-16

Great Book HORRIBLE NARRATION

I've read all the books in this series in print. I got involved in the audiobooks for my long drives and my typical commute to and from work. I love the books and think they're well written. George Guidell was a VERY good narrator and I enjoyed listening to his readings. Paul Costanzo is the exact opposite. It seems like he has no idea how to read with any sort of inflection. I've been waiting for five years for this release. I was surprised to find it when I searched for it. I've not even finished the reading yet but it's painful to listen to. I love this series dearly and if the publishers are reading these reviews at all: PLEASE FIND SOMEONE BETTER TO READ THESE. If you can't get George Guidell back, get someone who knows how to narrate and not make every last word sound awkward and unfamiliar. This painful narration rips you from the book entirely.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 14-11-18

Very good experience all around

Overall a very good book. Enjoyed it from start to finish. It definitely helps if you've read the previous 7 books in the series, as you'll understand a lot more of the characters' intentions and drives, but I'm sure that goes for every book series.

As for the narration, I found Paul Costanzo's performance to be very good once I got used to it. It was easy to hate at first, especially since the previous books were all narrated by the amazing George Guidall, but once I got passed that bias I started to enjoy it. I would have liked if he had more range for the many different characters, and sure his southern accent isn't the best, but I didn't think he had any flaws that seriously detracted from the story being told. I definitely will be looking forward to listening to future books with narration by Paul Costanzo.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

Fire The Narrator

story was great as always...but changing the narrator on book 7 out of 11 is jarring. Not to mention the gentleman who does it has the charisma of an empty bathtub.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott Andrew Appelbaum Jr.
  • 09-10-18

Wonderful book

Harry Turtledove is a Master at his craft, and while not all of the characters he creates are my favorite or interesting to me, he creates a vivid world that is very thoughtfully portrayed. If you can ignore some minor annoyances or odd things about the books (repetition, overuse of certain phrases, over explaining things etc.) the books are a wonderful read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 03-10-18

Fantastic Continuation of the Series — Terrible Narrator

As the title suggests, it’s a great story. If you’ve been going through the “Southern Victory” series, you know what to expect from Turtledove. Nothing too new, just a continuation of a wonderfully crafted tale.

However, they received a new narrator for this audiobook. He’s awful compared to the man who did the last 5 or so books in this series. Terrible accents, no enthusiasm, ugh. Just awful.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike
  • 29-09-18

Costanzo is no George Guidall

Costanzo isn't bad, I just wish he paused longer between viewpoint characters. passages seem to run together