By Eric Flint
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In A Nutshell:
1632 is one of the powerhouse franchises in the relatively small Alternate History genre. If you like Alternate History then chances are you’ve already read most of the series, but if you’re like me and you somehow missed it over the years then you owe it to yourself to give it a read right away.
The premise is paper thin, but it works. An ancient temporal piece of art made by a race of prankster aliens comes into contact with a West Virginia mining town and transports them back in time to the eponymous 1632 smack dab in the middle of Germany roughly halfway through the Thirty Years’ War. Cue American ideals of religious freedom and political self-determination being brought to the middle of Europe at the end of a 21st century gun barrel.
1632 isn’t without its faults. The characterization is somewhat two dimensional and there are times when Flint gives into the temptation to geek out over 17th century historical minutiae or climb onto the soapbox to do a bit of moralizing. Those moments are usually brief though and don’t distract from what is otherwise a pretty fun romp through alternate history.