Armistice: The Hot War
Armistice: The Hot War is the third and final book in Harry Turtledove’s The Hot War trilogy. The premise of the book is Douglas MacArthur’s decision to use tactical nuclear weapons during the Korean War to stop the advancing Chinese troops. His decision to use nukes ignites World War III as the Soviet Union retaliates by dropping a bomb on Washington, DC. This leads to an all-out nuclear holocaust, and as the book progresses much of the world lies in ruins.
Much like other Turtledove alternate history novels, Armistice is a sweeping epic. While the plot development may be slow at first, Turtledove makes up for it by developing his characters. It is clear that he takes time doing so, as most of the major players in the novel are multifaceted and likable. In addition, the book’s many storylines include ordinary civilians caught in the aftermath of a nuclear war and soldiers fighting it, as well as major historical figures such as Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin bent over maps directing their respective armies. Turtledove doesn’t just stop there, however, as he also includes the themes of race and politics to drive the plot, bringing the novel and the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion.