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url 2018-09-20 05:51
The Personal, the Political, and the Giant Robots: Peter Tieryas’ Mecha Samurai Empire
Mecha Samurai Empire - Peter Tieryas

Though the middle is maybe a little slack, this is an excellent bildungsroman in the alt-history suggested by The Man in the High Castle, run half a century later and into the life of one small boy who aims to pilot one big ass robot. 

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review 2018-03-02 00:00
United States of Japan
United States of Japan - Peter Tieryas Rating: 3.5 stars

The Eye of the World is a massive book so I decided to read this alongside it. The contrast between the genres made reading multiple books so much easier. Additionally, I got this book from Humble Bundle a while back and I’m glad I decided to read it. I really liked this book and I would have given it a higher score if it wasn’t for some things that bothered me. First, the things I liked.

I love the alternate history setting. I’m very fond of speculating on alternate history events and while WWII alternate histories aren’t my favorite- I’m from the Philippines- I liked the portrayal of an alternate United States. There’s this overarching theme of paranoia. There’s a lot of paranoia in the Empire from the secret police to loyalty to the USJ and to the Emperor. One of the characters pays lip service to loyalty but doesn’t actually appear to be truly loyal, while the other was loyal to the point of being zealous. I also liked how chapters were structured by time. You can read about events both in the present and the past which makes for pretty good exposition in my opinion. It’s showing, not telling. The overall worldbuilding with a sort of cyberpunk, futuristic 1980s the USA ruled by Japan was very intriguing if a bit lacking. Which brings me to the things that made me give this book a lower rating.

The worldbuilding wasn’t enough for me. I enjoyed reading about the world but there are some parts I found confusing and thought could have been explained better. There are parts where the worldbuilding was great and there are parts where I felt like it was lackluster. I also wish it had more descriptions. A lot of people don’t like overly descriptive books, but it’s something that I like in science fiction and fantasy. The world building alone wasn’t what bothered me, though. The characters felt flat and one-dimensional. Ben was pretty flat all throughout. It didn’t seem like he grew as a character and he stayed the same throughout the book. What depth there appears to be in his character were shown in the past segments but the present parts were lacking. Akiko’s character development felt haphazard and rushed towards the end when for the majority of the book, she was shown to be serious and a zealous officer of the USJ.

So, do I recommend this book?

If you like sci-fi, alternate histories, and giant killer robots, then the answer is yes.
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review 2017-03-21 22:12
United States of Japan ★★☆☆☆
United States of Japan - Peter Tieryas

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads & Mobileread by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: United States of Japan
Series: ---------
Author: Peter Tieryas
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Genre: Alt-History
Pages: 400
Format: Digital Edition



Japan and Germany win War World II. Japan takes over the West Coast of America and completely destroy all American culture and replace it with their own. Having the upper hand in technology, the Japanese establish the United States of Japan.


Now in 1988, one man...

Is Fighting Back. With Giant Robots, Nukes and Robo-swords. He is the technological Wizard and is going to restore the American Ideal of Freedom!


Ha. Fooled you. This is some piece of crap about a coward and a disgraced Secret Police woman fighting a little bit before being killed or seriously wounded. Not going to lie.



My Thoughts:

The best thing about this book was the cover. That is one awesome cover. Beyond that, this was Alternate History from the view of the little people [ie, the people without a lot of power to actually affect things]. If you like that sort of crap, then this book is definitely tailor made for you.


For those of us who are not enamoured of fake history, who went in thinking that there would be giant robots fighting all over and cool and awesome rebel battles, this was beyond a disappointment. Replace the cover with some grimy war victims in a bombed out city and you'll have a better representation.


I am not a fan of reading REAL history. So why should I WASTE my time with FAKE history? I just figured that the description was trying to rope in the literati and that the author would actually give me a kick butt action story. No such luck. At least I now know not to try any more by Tieryas.


From a purely technical standpoint, my only gripe was the word choices and phrasing employed by the author. It kept throwing me out of the story. Only use a little known or little used word if it fits better than the common word usually employed. And by fits better, I'm talking “ochre” versus “orange” versus “cinnamon” kind of difference. Not “orbulianicus” instead of “round”.


What a bloody waste of my time. I hate Alt-History. So take my venting with a gigantic grain of salt.










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text 2016-03-04 17:39
United States of Japan - Peter Tieryas
The Destructives - Matthew De Abaitua

After the stress of the past couple days, I got United States of Japan, The Destructives, and the Deadpool soundtrack.*


*Worth it for the Deadpool Rap.

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url 2016-03-04 02:52
United States of Japan by Peter Tieryas

No idea why this is the case, but Booklikes does not list this new novel from Angry Robot, which is a crying shame. There's a lot to think about in this novel, in addition to giant fighting robots. This is a review I wrote for B&N SciFi. 

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