It’s 1963 and England and the Soviet Union are locked in an uneasy cold war. At the end of WWII, the Soviets stole Germany’s prized Willenskräfte technology and have now successfully transformed its Red Army into an injustice league of supermen. In response, the British are secretly raising a new generation of warlocks. Game on (again).
Twenty years ago, Germany was smashed by England and her demon alliance. British warlocks and their connection to chthonic arcanum were able to neutralize the invading Nazi übermenschen. And thus WWII came to an end. Unfortunately, the story didn’t end there. The Soviet Union got their hands on Germany’s Götterelektron power packs and were now ready to declare WWIII.
While the British and the Soviets are preparing for war, a handful of original Aryan supermen are still alive and following their own mysterious agenda. One of them is a precognitive madwoman named Gretel. And for some reason she’s been manipulating history to bring about an apocalyptic finale. But why? Why would she engineer history to facilitate the end of the world? It doesn’t make sense to anybody but her.
In Bitter Seeds, the author’s first book in his Milkweed Triptych, Gretel was a horrible little creature who popped up now and then to fuck things up. Even the Germans couldn’t control her. In this new book, she takes center stage. And after all these years, she’s still a cruel and remorseless monster. Age hasn’t slowed her down one bit. She’s a lot like Cruella De Vil. In other words, “if she doesn’t scare you no evil thing will.”
The Coldest War takes place in London during a short two-month span. But it’s a pivotal time for England. In those eight weeks it must defend itself from an invasion of Soviet supermen, solve an elliptical puzzle constructed by Gretel, and negotiate a relationship with a race of grumpy cosmic deities. Whew! Thankfully, the author and his Milkweed allies are up to the challenge. Together they rewrite history with dramatic flair.
[The Coldest War / By Ian Tregillis / First Printing: July 2012 / ISBN: 9780765321510]