Official Review: Freiheit by Ben Pickering

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 210
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema

Official Review: Freiheit by Ben Pickering

Post by joshfee77 » 01 Nov 2019, 23:51

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Freiheit" by Ben Pickering.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


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.

******
Freiheit
View: on Bookshelves

User avatar
esp1975
Posts: 1682
Joined: 21 May 2019, 17:00
Favorite Book: Among Others
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 76
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-esp1975.html
Latest Review: Life's Harsh Reality by Patrick L Washington

Post by esp1975 » 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.

User avatar
Helene_2008
Posts: 193
Joined: 24 Apr 2019, 19:43
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-helene-2008.html
Latest Review: Code Name Lily by Julien Ayotte

Post by Helene_2008 » 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.

User avatar
kandscreeley
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 9278
Joined: 31 Dec 2016, 20:31
2019 Reading Goal: 95
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 77
Currently Reading: Sunshine at the Academy
Bookshelf Size: 308
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kandscreeley.html
Latest Review: Forever Will End: Gospel of Chaos Book One by Dom Brandt

Post by kandscreeley » 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.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

User avatar
reneelu1998
Posts: 199
Joined: 30 Mar 2019, 16:27
2019 Reading Goal: 50
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 130
Favorite Book: The Outsiders
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 94
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-reneelu1998.html
Latest Review: Ripcord Recovery by T.T. Sawyer
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by reneelu1998 » 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 :)

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 210
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema

Post by joshfee77 » 07 Nov 2019, 16:01

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!

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 210
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema

Post by joshfee77 » 07 Nov 2019, 16:03

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!

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 210
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema

Post by joshfee77 » 07 Nov 2019, 16:05

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!

User avatar
joshfee77
Posts: 867
Joined: 03 Apr 2018, 02:11
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 210
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 210
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joshfee77.html
Latest Review: Bionic Bug by Natasha Bajema

Post by joshfee77 » 07 Nov 2019, 16:08

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.

Post Reply

Return to “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books”