The Papal Stakes

Book - 2012
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Held hostage by a papal usurper, 1635 uptimer Frank Stone and his pregnant downtime wife, Giovanna, become targets in a rescue effort by Harry Lefferts and his infamous Wrecking Crew at the same time the true pope is targeted for assassination.
Publisher: Riverdale : Baen ; New York : Distributed by Simon & Schuster, 2012.
ISBN: 9781451638394
Branch Call Number: SCIFI Flint Eric 10/2012
Characteristics: 654 p. :,maps ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Gannon, Charles E.


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Jan 28, 2018

Reads like 17th century alternative history spy thriller with a) sign & countersign using certain TV show, b) how to counter special forces tactics & c) a George Smiley archetype antagonist who won't underestimate his opponents unlike other & have his own secret agenda.
Kind of nice for author to break Wrecking crew's winning streak by better opponent.
Yes, it sort of went Mission impossible with airship & use of SKS assault rifle ,but it was nail-biting methodical adventure by new protagonist aka United States of Europe spymaster acting like James Bond.

Mar 23, 2014

"This is another very enjoyable book in the 1632 series. There is action galore. There are villains around every corner or behind every tree. Or so it seems. There's the scent of clouds of black powder, the smell of spilled blood and the tang of saltwater. Even the discourses on canonical law are to the point and readable. The basic plot, as described in Heinlein's 'On The Writing of Speculative Fiction', is 'The man who learned better'. One of the main men learning better is Harry Lefferts. He has to rescue Frank and Giovanna Stone from the clutches of the infamous would-be Pope, Gaspar de Borja y Velasco. I don't want to give away too many spoilers. So, I won't tell you what he learned, how and why. I will say that there is plenty of action involved in the learning and it is all eminently readable. The action covers Northern Italy from the Alps to Rome and the Western Mediterranean."

I found this to be a fairly accurate review of the book. The theological arguments I found a little hard to follow at times but okay. There are some heartbreaking moments with characters that I've gotten attached to but hopefully not too many more of the original Grantville residents will be killed off. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Dec 21, 2012

Slogged though 2/3 to get to the completely "set up" kill-fests in the last 1/6. Killing baddy down timers after they have killed lots of goodie down timers and our up timers have suffered for their mistakes isn't very much fun.


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