Review: The Peace of Amiens

Drake’s Drum: The Peace Of Amiens

drakesdrumcover

A fresh Sea Lion Press Release and the first book in an intended series, Drake’s Drum: The Peace Of Amiens is classic “crunchy” alternate history. Starting with flaws in British naval shells being fixed in World War I and a more decisive British victory at Jutland, the “butterflies” spiral off until a bankrupt Britain throws in the towel in World War II, the Caucasus is overrun and the Soviet economy collapses, and the stage is set for a German-American confrontation (the cover depicts Amerika Bombers striking New York, with the book ending on a cliffhanger).

The book cuts between character vignettes and “pseduo-history”. I didn’t get the most out of the character scenes, as well intended as they were, save for one chilling scene depicting the Madagascar Plan in “action”. Thus like a lot of alternate history, it leans a lot on plausibility.

And here, it does better than many others. I’ll also admit to not being the biggest fan of this kind of genre, but this is how to do it right. First, there’s very clearly a lot of research being done, and it being done in a good way. Second, there’s a sense that a lot of it feels right. There are handwaves like the war outcomes and stumbles like my pet peeve of the pool of American political candidates being too small. But there’s more things that sound right and plausible, especially compared to other alternate histories.

For people who like detailed alternate history, The Peace of Amiens is a treat.