Official Review: Freiheit by Ben Pickering

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joshfee77
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Official Review: Freiheit by Ben Pickering

Post by joshfee77 »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Freiheit" by Ben Pickering.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Freiheit by Ben Pickering is a historical sci-fi thriller with a time travel twist. Sustained financially by a trust fund inherited from his father, James Curtis spends his time stealing back expensive artworks from rich thieves to return them to their rightful owners. During his escape after acquiring a painting from a Russian oligarch, he crashes his Ferrari and winds up with the Russian FSB, the former KGB. After some rough treatment in their custody, Colonel Arnold Crombie arrives with a proposal for Curtis. The proposal involves scientists at the CERN facility in Geneva, and some untested time travel bracelets awaiting human guinea pigs. After sending Curtis and another man, Luka Rothstein, one day into the past, they use the technique of Trans-Animate Displacement to send the two men back to May 12th, 1941, during World War II. Curtis soon learns that messing with the past can have disastrous consequences...

Freiheit caught my attention immediately with its bold, brilliant cover, featuring a metal time bracelet lying in the snow below frosted mountain peaks, and the excellent tag line: “What if Hitler never lived?” The combination of Hitler, war, and time travel hooked me immediately. The title Freiheit means “freedom” or “liberty,” which had special significance throughout the story. The plot, based on a screenplay by Darren Ripley and Ben Pickering, was very cinematic in scope, from the concept to its scale, action, and geography.

Beautifully written and edited, this book was rich in historical detail, setting the scene with an in-depth background for people, events, and locations. One possible negative for thriller fans was the amount of historical detail between action sequences. This did slow down the main plot a little, but those with a keen interest in history, particularly Nazi Germany, will find this book fascinating. Pickering did give his story plenty of context through this factual detail, without which I would have been lost.

Given the book’s focus on time travel, one character’s few Back to the Future references provided some good comic relief. Pickering also presented an interesting and realistic portrayal of an alternate reality based on a history-changing event in the past. I found myself intrigued as he fleshed out this complex and detailed history from the simple “What if...?” posed by the book’s cover. The new reality seemed compelling and authentic, evolving from realistic assumptions and decisions made by the powerful people who shaped it.

There were a few slightly questionable English phrases in this book, such as: “...on the by then fractured Eastern Front...” I also found some minor typographical errors, including homophone errors and single missed words. However, I really enjoyed this novel and would recommend it equally to fans of historical fiction, science fiction, and action – provided the latter aren’t deterred by somewhat lengthy history lessons. It contained some profanity but no sex scenes. Due to its minor errors, I can only rate Freiheit 3 out of 4 stars. Apart from these errors, however, it was a 4-star book, an excellent début novel by an author with a real passion for science, history, geography, and culture.

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Freiheit
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esp1975
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Post by esp1975 »

This definitely sounds like an interesting book. I love it when a fiction author is able to weave real history into their books.

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Post by Helene_2008 »

I agree this book has a catchy cover and tagline. I'd be interested to read and see what happens. Getting rid of Hilter would definitely change history drastically.

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Post by kandscreeley »

I do love a good time travel novel, though sometimes it's too cerebral for me. I also like Nazi Germany, and I'm curious how the author brings this all together. Thanks for the great review.
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Post by reneelu1998 »

Wow, this book seems right up my alley! Thank you so much for the well-written review, it was very information and I think I will check out the book because of it :)

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Post by joshfee77 »

esp1975 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 17:33
This definitely sounds like an interesting book. I love it when a fiction author is able to weave real history into their books.
Some fantastic historical detail in this book, which is also very entertaining as a thriller. Thanks for your comments!

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Post by joshfee77 »

Helene_2008 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 20:03
I agree this book has a catchy cover and tagline. I'd be interested to read and see what happens. Getting rid of Hilter would definitely change history drastically.
It was definitely the cover and the tag line that hooked me - and I wasn't disappointed. An enthralling read. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 »

kandscreeley wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 20:38
I do love a good time travel novel, though sometimes it's too cerebral for me. I also like Nazi Germany, and I'm curious how the author brings this all together. Thanks for the great review.
This is a really good combination of time travel and historical detail, without making it too complicated. Sounds like you would enjoy this one. Thanks!

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Post by joshfee77 »

reneelu1998 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 23:44
Wow, this book seems right up my alley! Thank you so much for the well-written review, it was very information and I think I will check out the book because of it :)
Excellent! I'm glad you are keen to check out the book after reading my review. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Thanks.

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Post by Mounce574 »

I like the reference to"Back to the Future" to illustrate exactly the what-if scenario. I'm not really a fan of science fiction and the historical depth that the book goes into is not my preference so I will be passing on this BOTD.
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Post by Bookworme »

:shifty:

I’m a little unsure about this book based off the title but I’m hoping it’s a good one. So many times authors have a tendency to write things that are one sided and it’s so disappointing.

Here’s hoping.

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Post by Laura Bach »

What if Hitler never lived? That's a question that can easily convince to check out a book. Pretty excited for this!

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Post by Mmg8464 »

I love historical fiction and time travel. This sounds intriguing. Thanks for your review!

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Post by jemgirl202 »

This novel sounds like it has something for everyone. It is a historical, science fiction with some added thrills and time travel. I appreciate that there is lots of wonderful historical detail. Congrats on the book of the day! Great review.

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Post by MsTri »

I normally don't like non-spiritual historical fiction, but my adoration for tales of time travel is stronger, so I think I'll read this and see what happens to James and the world as a whole. Thanks so much for the intro!
Last edited by MsTri on 31 Dec 2019, 10:44, edited 1 time in total.

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