Warlords of Utopia
by Lance Parkin
Through the wonders of British copyright laws, this is sort of
a tie in to Doctor Who
which chronicles part of the Time War. To be more exact, it's one view of the war as viewed through the eyes of an innocent bystander on planet Earth.
Our main character is Marcus, a historian of the world-wide Roman Empire sometime in the 23rd century or so. He encounters a strange traveler with an unusual bracelet and discovers how to shift "sideways" through reality. Here he finds another Rome, one with a slightly different history. And then another Rome. And another. And another.
And then one day, Marcus discovers a completely different world. Here the dominant force is a Germanic tribe that rallies behind a "broken cross," currently overwhelming the island of Brittania. The bizarre calendar of this world doesn't date from the founding of Rome, but renumbered itself to some date about 2000 years ago. By the reckoning of this world, the year is 1941. And then Marcus discovers another world where the Germanics hold power. And another. And another. And another.
And then all of the unified Romes declare war on all of the Nazi Germanys...
It sounds really cool, and on one level it is. But it's very plot heavy and the characters are barely developed at all. It reads more like a history book than a story, but never quite commits to either.
A very, very interesting book, but I'd be hard pressed to say it's a really good one.