Justin and his mother work for the Crosstime Traffic Corporation and spend their time traveling to different alternate universes from the home timeline of the late 21st century. In this fourth installment of Turtledove’s Crosstime novels, Justin and his mother travel to an alternate timeline in which the Constitution is never written and the Articles of Confederation failed to work. Each North American state has become like their own country and not all of the states are so friendly with each other.
Becky is stuck with her eccentric grandmother as they take a trip from their liberal California home to the backwoods Elizabeth, Virginia. If the racial injustice wasn’t enough for Becky, the war that rages between Ohio and Virginia as keeps Becky in Elizabeth, fearing for her life, as Ohio unleashes a deadly virus.
The two teenagers find each other as Justin travels to Elizabeth with another Crosstime traveler posing as his uncle. Both fear the senseless war and want a United States, but one of them is too afraid to admit that to the other and is hoping that they live long enough to get out of Elizabeth.
Turtledove has built an alternate reality that is not only imaginative, but hauntingly realistic. His character’s experiences in their surroundings literally put the reader into the story and feel what the characters are feeling. It’s a good choice for anyone that likes speculative fiction or American history.
Release date: April 26, 2011
Page Count: 288
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Similar to: N/A
Recommended for: Boys and Girls 12 and up
All in all, with this being my first experience with Turtledove's alternate realities, I have to say that it was a pretty decent one. I would consider looking into his other Crosstime novels and would advise anyone that is into dystopians or speculative fiction to do the same.