Book no. 12: Winter of the World by Ken Follett.
What it is: This is Fall of Giants #2, pretty much a continuation of the war and well into World War II. The five families (American, Russian, British, Welsh, and German) from the first installment are still present though the prime movers in Winter of the World involve their second generation. The topics covered are the same: politics, power, greed, stupid governments, loss, violence – well, it’s World War II, what can you expect, right?
What I liked about it: I never wanted to read Winter of the World because I’m satisfied with Fall of Giants; not exactly a big fans of series really, plus the first time I stumbled upon a copy at a book store, the sheer length made me laugh. I imagined if I threw it at someone’s head, he’ll have a concussion for certain. However, the book was given to me as a gift and I didn’t have a choice but go through with it.
Surprisingly, the moment I started, the pages flew by I didn’t even notice the length. It’s such an easy read and it captures your imagination well; the narration swift and sharp. Making connections from the first book comes easy and regardless of the scope of the story, readers won’t get lost, quite cool.
Similar to Fall of Giants, Winter of the World awakens the rage in you as you realize how unfortunate it is that stupid people often have the most say in what happens to the world and how in reality, humans are just animals, savages that it’s somehow embarrassing to be considered a part of it. It’s just crazy how people behave, particularly in dire times, and how the world rewards those who decide to take the higher road, almost disheartening really.
What I didn’t like about it: Okay, so you all know I jumped up and down for Fall of Giants; unfortunately, while Winter of the World is on its own right a page turner, I can’t say it lived up to the punch the debut gave. I could not totally embrace the new characters and I’m not overly satisfied with how they react to the staggering events around them.
The character I most appreciated I think is Daisy Peshkov, the transformation is nice, but apart from that I just felt something is missing in the entire thing. That or I just want to throw the book at the head of the person who gave it to me. 😆
Recommended for: historical fiction fans.
Photo taken from here.