The Beast of Stalingrad, by Iain McLaughlin

Second paragraph of third chapter:

A bomb had flattened a factory in the heart of the territory the Drofen had been spotted in most often. We made our way there just before the sun went down. Not that you could actually see the sun through the cloud. As we left, just outside her house, Isabella gave Erimem a huge hug. Not me or Tom, you understand, just her. Yuri held out a pistol to Erimem and she slipped it into a pocket inside her coat. She had her sword as well. I was relieved she wasn’t going into this unarmed but I had my doubts that whatever she carried would be enough. I couldn’t shake the image of that thing tearing at flesh and bone with those teeth.

Second in the series of Erimem novels that started rather promisingly. I'm afraid I was less convinced by this one, which takes our time-travelling heroes to a crucial point of history where there turns out to be alien interference. New Who has done this several times (arguably Old Who did it as early as The Time Meddler), recently most notably in Rosa and Demons of the Punjab. But there are risks to this plot, most notably of getting the tone wrong, and I didn't feel that the story did justice to the serious historical situation that was chosen as the setting. Still, I'll persevere with the series. You can get this one here.

One thought on “The Beast of Stalingrad, by Iain McLaughlin

  1. We really enjoyed the first two of those. There aren’t many books that and I have read together since he was 3 or 4 – he got too impatient with being read to if it wasn’t Thomas the Tank Engine or Olga da Polga [stories he already knew, basically], and he didn’t like reading aloud to me either. But when we got these out of the library I said “oh, I should read those after you” and he suggested we read them together. So we did. In silence, with hand signals for page turning, and earnest discussion afterwards. Pretty good for a 6-7yo. I don’t think we ever realised there are more (5 now, I think).

    One of my favourite reading memories. 🙂

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