Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
1942
Robert Conroy
Ballantine Books, 358 pages

1942
Robert Conroy
Robert Conroy is retired from automotive management, and currently teaches business and economic history at a local college. He lives in suburban Detroit.

ISFDB Bibliography

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

Advertisement
The year is 1942. The Japanese have just bombed Pearl Harbor. The American forces are in disarray. But what if Japanese Admirals Nagumo and Yamamoto had continued their attack? What if they had won the battle that day? What would the repercussions be then?

Alternate histories are a wonderful jumping off point for any SF/Fantasy writer. A twist in time here, a left turn instead of a right turn there and who knows what may happen? Author Robert Conroy has crafted quite a few parallel world stories, the most recent focusing around World War II.

The history involved in 1942 is quite sound. The imagined perspective of the Japanese soldiers and commanders, making a fateful decision to continue the attack after the initial blitz on Pearl Harbor gives and interesting "What if..?" into how prepared the naval force would have been. This is the novel's strong points, Conroy having a very firm grasp of military etiquette, technique and possible outcomes.

However, the book does suffer from weak central characters. Conroy's hero, Jake Novacek, who begins leading the resistance against the victorious Japanese comes off very two dimensional. Not bad if you're reading him as Futurama's Zapp Brannigan, but as the sympathetic hero he's lacking any real depth.

The same goes for love interest Alexa Sanderson. Within the first few pages of the attack, her husband is killed and a few pages later, we see her at the funeral, grieving, realizing she had a happy life, that it must go on and deciding she'll probably remarry someday, all in the span of three paragraphs! The characters just seemed too contrived and it was difficult to connect to them.

Not to dismiss the novel entirely, however, as the real meat of it does come from the well-crafted alternate 1942 and how one minor difference could have resulted in so much more heartache and struggle for the United State. If you're either an alternate history fan or just a WWII buff, give it a read.

Copyright © 2009 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been many things, including Star Trek characters and the Riddler in a Batman stunt show. He holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University, and has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories while acting on stage, screen and television. He can sometimes be seen giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood and occasionally playing Norman Bates. Really.


SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or anything else worth mentioning, please send it to editor@sfsite.com.
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide