Thor’s Hammer, In The Shadow Of The War
I continue my discovery to the flock of the tetralogy of the origins of Stéphane Przybylski, since in pocket. After the castle millions of years , so it is the Hammer of Thor who comes out very small Pocket. Let’s see what this second volume holds for us.
We had left Friedrich Saxhäuser in a bad position at the end of the previous novel, the ship that brought the Nazi officer and his discoveries from Iraq to Germany was intercepted. The incredible loot of the expedition is now in the hands of the English who are well bored because they have no idea what it is! The Reich must at all costs recover the precious cargo and the archaeologist Schmundt who is now a prisoner of the enemy. This is the launch of Operation Mjolnir.
This second volume will focus on this rescue attempt led by Hans Ziegler, Maud Alten and Albrecht von Erchingen. The three German spies will infiltrate the enemy territory (English to be precise, because the Nazis start collecting enemies at that time) to save what can be. We will finally see little Saxhäuser suddenly, but the author manages to give enough weight to its protagonists so that the reader forgets this absence. The tension is tremendously well managed here, we are in pure spy thriller. Action, suspense, badaboum in your face, chases in the forest and furtive slaughter of sentinels will be on the program. But that does not mean that the depth of the scenario is left out.
The great History has advanced, we are now in the autumn of 1939, Nazi Germany has just invaded Poland, France and England declare openly the war. That’s it, it sins for good! But with the tetralogy of origins, we read the Second World War as we have rarely used it, we are immersed in the state of mind of the time through descriptions of the institutions, the context, but especially through the development of multiple characters that will make us grasp the dynamics of the tragic events of this period (Mjolnir). They are full of little stories that will constitute a big coherent whole, that we apprehend by the human rather than the factual descriptions of my dear history teachers.
Yet it is not at all a book of history that wants to explain the why and how of the war, it is just his little context he asks us quietly. The book always wants to tell us about its X-Files-ien adventure in the Nazi period but both aspects are constantly sending the ball, we are still presented with characters in their relationship to the Nazi regime, the war that begins, but then we propel them in the secret history, this race to the mysterious artifact that could decide the future of the world. This volume is a bit away from the great alien mystery, we are doing some reminders from time to time, but we are very often down to earth in a story of action / espionage where English, Americans and Germans fray to get a thing-thing before the others. This is perhaps the default that I find in the series, it seems that the author does not know what to do with his history of aliens archi-classical, so he leaves a little trainer. But finally, it did not bother me more than that, I still enjoyed reading for all its other qualities.
The narrative process does not change, the writer walks us in time and space juggling constantly from chapter to chapter. We go back and forth very fast which can destabilize but remain very coherent in the overall understanding of the story. We will be plunged several times in the heart of the action when suddenly, violent break, we leave 15 years behind, with a stranger who is presented to us, a new situation. No, but ho, where is my stuff too suspense? And bim, 3 pages later we come back, and you understand why. It stands, it’s thoughtful, and it goes alone. This unstructured puzzle narration may not appeal to everyone, but it has the merit of being very well thought out and executed. Maybe I cashed the stuff better for this sequel because I was expecting it, finally.
This second volume of the tetralogy of the origins does not give many new elements on its background “little green men” but still remains a worthy successor to the Castle millions of years. Stéphane Przybylski offers us once again a rich, documented and exciting adventure to follow.