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Publisher's Summary

Ten years have passed since Admiral Kolhammer's 21st-century battlefleet was dragged into a wormhole and thrown across oceans of time, emerging with disastrous consequences and shattering the history of the Second World War.

Hitler and the Nazis have fallen, but Stalin rules half of Europe and Asia. The great Soviet engines of state power turn and burn to 'set history right'. Not just of the war, but of all future time.

In Rome with his lover, Julia Duffy, an older, mellower Prince Harry is drawn into Stalin's plans when a simple game of spies goes horribly wrong. Underneath the eternal city, former Spetsnaz officer Pavel Ivanov fights a running battle with the NKVD's executioner in chief as Stalin's minions fight to preserve the secret of a weapon that could destroy the West with one fearsome blow.

Moving from Rome to Paris to Cairo, Harry and the uptimers must fight a shadow war against the communist superstate and the suspicion and prejudices of their forebears. They can save the world, but the world does not want saving by the likes of them.

"A weapons-grade military techno-thriller.... It's like a Clive Cussler novel fell into a transporter beam with a Stephen Ambrose history, and they came out all fused together." (Time magazine, on the original Axis of Time series)

©2016 John Birmingham (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Birmingham sets new standards in alternate history, time travel, and sheer dancing-on-the-edge-of-the lava gonzo inventiveness. Solid and wild at the same time." (S. M. Stirling, author of Dies the Fire)

What listeners say about Stalin's Hammer

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another cracking effort by Birmingham

Where does Stalin's Hammer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Right up there, I feel I have a vested interest in the series

What was one of the most memorable moments of Stalin's Hammer?

The beginning of some chapters are prefaced with the initial interactions of characters close to the time of Transition. A good touch, giving added depth and reasoning behind a characters actions and decisions.

What about Jay Snyder’s performance did you like?

Fitted the story and characters very well. An excellent selection of actor.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Gracie's reveal.

Any additional comments?

Well composed follow on to the original Axis of Time WW2.1 stories.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

What made the experience of listening to Stalin's Hammer the most enjoyable?

Another great book from John Birmingham - only issue was some of the British accents but that's being a bit harsh on the narrator who is excellent. Can't wait for the next in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Royally repetitive gore

Lots of close quarter combat, lovingly described heads exploding, spines snapping and bowels letting go. I don't remember if the earlier books in the series were less monotonous or if it was just easier to skim in print than in audiobook. And the Prince Harry fanfic thing reaches alarming proportions. Also ends on a cliffhanger just as the larger scale plot gets interesting.

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  • Chris
  • 29-08-2018

Worst of the series

Boring. Worst of the Axis of Time series wouldn’t waste your money on this last part

1 person found this helpful

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  • Starhawk
  • 18-03-2017

Great return to world. More strategy & K, please!

I loved being back in this world, and was fascinated to learn more about the divergences and strategic differences from the history of the 21st Century folk. We get to see some of how they have adjusted to being in their new time, but I would have liked even more getting more of that. The viewpoints we mostly get here, probably from the structure of the novellas, focuses the story really thought.

I would have loved to get more of the strategic viewpoints--vantage points that would have given more of a view of the sweep of the new, developing history. I do believe that that wasn't *super* common in the preceding series, either, but I have the impression that it was more prevalent. My favorite characters and viewpoints from the other series were Admiral Kohlhammer and Lonesome Jones--probably in part, because they had the more strategic views of things, and, in Kohlhammer's case in particular, we got to see the efforts, strategies, and worldview of the uptimers as they sought to shape their new time into their mold and with the advantage of their parallel-history hindsight.

That said, I'm definitely in for the next chapters in this history.

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  • Porter R. Rawls
  • 27-02-2017

Slow to start, but ok.

While this book is slow to start unlike his previous two books in the axis of time series. It's still a worthwhile listen. While I didn't love it, and I'll admit, bored until the last 2 1/2 hours of the novel it a good setup for another installment.

Lets just hope it's not going to take forever to write like this one. I'd almost forgotten the series was left unfinished.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-02-2017

His Majesty, on, Secret Service

JB has dialled the pace up to 11 on this one as HRH Harry 'Wales' and friends take some cues from 007 and kick some alternative-history commie butt.

Dropping the breakneck context shifting of the first trilogy for a smaller ensemble cast, Rome and Cairo are all action splodey splodey with most of the 1950's racism commentary, historical juxtaposition and political machinations of the first trilogy taking a back seat here.

Paris does manage to squeeze in a little more politics which helps address some of the need to catch up with a broader range of uptime friends.

The many links to the previous books do get some background but I suspect readers new to the series are better starting at the start.

All in all an enjoyable romp, but the shorter style does leave you wanting for more from this world.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-11-2020

no books finishes the series author just abandons

author just abandons story line and series.leaves everything just hanging. been 4 years since stalin's hammer with no finish. series is a waste of time

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  • T
  • 11-04-2020

It is a bad continuation of the series.

I LOVED the first 3 books in this serious. It started off with an interesting concept and the characters (most of them) were compelling and interesting to listen to. It was also enjoyable to see how their appearance had such a devestating effect on the prior timeline. UNFORTUNATELY, this book does not live up to expectations. It is a cheap "Secret Agent" knock-off with two mid-level characters. Prince Harry was interested in the first 3 books in his role as designated Ass-kicker. However, of all the female characters that could have been given the spotlight why did the author pick Julia? I would've LOVED to follow along with CPT Halabi instead of Julia. Then there is the fact that the first 1/3 of the book is dedicated to Soviet-controlled Italy. WE GET IT, HE'S TRYING TO SNEAK OUT OF THE CITY TO THE OTHER SIDE! PLEASE PROGRESS THE STORY ALREADY! In my mind, the 3rd book was the final story in this series.

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  • anonymous
  • 13-04-2018

Good story if you hang in there, great narration.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Add more of kind of stuff from the last third of the book to the first two thirds.

What did you like best about this story?

Last third of book was much more like the earlier books which I liked.

Do you think Stalin's Hammer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes. It left us hanging.

Any additional comments?

I've never really noticed a narrator before (good or bad), but this one was fantastic. Multiple voices, especially female ones were very memorable.

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  • James
  • 22-03-2018

Starlings Hammer: the latest in the axis of time series by John Birmingham.

John Birmingham right incredible science fiction, especially alternate timeline science-fiction. This is a gripping story, as were all the others in the series. The only problem I have is waiting for the next one in the series! Keep them coming John. We only have so long to live!

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  • Andy Pullar
  • 05-06-2017

Loved it

Brilliant series of novellas that left me desperate for WW3.0. Enjoyed the reading, especially the tone of Julia Duffy

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  • John Valenciano Jr
  • 02-05-2017

A great Axis of Time thriller

This was another great John Birmingham book, a thriller. This was more cloak and dagger so a little different than the original books but it doesn't disappoint keeping you on the edge of your seat and leaves you wanting more.Jay Snyder is still one of the best narrators I always look forward to his work.I really hope there's another trilogy coming

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  • Simon Grrrr
  • 28-07-2020

Getting thete

John Birmingham... I hate you. I now have to get the next one... but where is it?... The story rolls on without slackening but without losing its edge or drifting into a mediocre storyline..... off to spend a credit to fill the time

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