The best alternate history books will fly you in the exciting world of “what would happened if…”

Why Are Alternate History Books Interesting?

Alternate history books are a tempting genre because they offer readers the opportunity to explore worlds in which key historical events unfolded differently.

In these stories, the reader can see how the course of history might have changed if, for example, the Nazis had won World War II or if Columbus had never discovered America.

Alternate history books allow readers to explore different scenarios and to better understand how individual decisions can shape the course of history. They also provide a fascinating glimpse into possible worlds that might have been.

Alternate history books are primarily genres of speculative fiction. They explore what could have happened differently if a historical element or figure had been changed. The main question is usually “what if?” for you as the reader and the authors.

Here are the best alternate history books for this year that will have you reimagine the times.

What Are The Best Alternate History Books?

Paradigm Shift, by Jakub K. Rucinski (2022)

Paradigm Shift depicts an alternate North American continent in which the Civil Salvation League and not impartial juries intimidate opposers of the country in show trials. The economic system defines people’s occupations with grueling labor. A Regional Assembly has replaced the continent’s elections, and it determines the militant colony’s fate under the jackboot of a tyrannical ruler.

Oliver Anderson was not a citizen in his country of birth until his conscription into the naval service. He ran away from home and set on a journey into the Gulf of Mexico without a backup plan, only to return without a single bill. He is unknown, with no city to his name.

Since his disastrous childhood events, liberties and civil conditions are restricted and painted as security and peace precautions amid a raging war in Arkaine’s south.

Oliver gets in touch with the struggles of ordinary people after his employment as a shipyard worker. But to what extent can he ethically fight this repressive system with dedication before idealism and reality blur?

The Peacekeeper, by B.L Blanchard (2022)

In The Peacekeeper, North America was never under colonial rule, and the United States and Canada are non-existent. An independent Ojibwe nation surrounds the Great Lakes, and in Baawitigong village, a peacekeeper confronts his painful past.

Two decades earlier, Chibenashi’s father confessed after his mother’s murder. Since then, Chibenashi’s penance and privilege have been taking care of his younger sister, who is still traumatized by the events.

Meanwhile, another woman is slain. She was Chibenashi’s mother’s best friend. This will bring forth a seemingly impossible link that makes Chibenashi abandon the only world he has ever known to Shikaakwa.

This city is home to the cruelly estranged family of the dead woman. But even worse, it is home to his father and his former lover, two people he never wants to see. Questions will soon begin to mount, and the answers to these questions will change Chibenashi and his sister’s lives. He is about to find out that everything has been a hoax in their lives.

Victory at Hawaii, December 1941, by Frank Jefferson (2022)

 Victory at Hawaii, December 1941 explores how the US was defeated and surprised during the Pearl Harbor Japanese attack on December 7, 1941. But still, how could the US Navy tackle a Japanese Fleet crushing blow at the Battle of Midway six months later?

It is known that the US had essential intelligence showing that the Japanese would be attacking Midway Island. Nevertheless, what if, in early 1941, they had specific intelligence or information about the upcoming Pearl Harbor attack and acted on it?

In this novel, Frank travels back in time to warn President Roosevelt and the military leaders about the Pearl Harbor attack. You will have to read this compelling alternate history book to find out if the president and his advisors believe him and be the judge if the results of the Pacific War would have been different.

2 A.M. in Little America, by Kalfus Ken (2022)

Ron Patterson has left a nightmare vision of what America is. He finds himself on distant shores, where he works as a repairman and shares a room with other refugees. In this unnamed city, he can almost imagine a good life for himself after making his first friend Marlise, a mysterious migrant who resembles one of his former classmates.

An anti-migrant sentiment ends their whirlwind intimacy almost a decade later, and now Ron lives in “Little America.” This is a place in one of the few countries that still accept migrants. He again feels like he has found a new home.

He gets a repairman job that enables him to navigate the city in silence as he observes the people while avoiding political sides and attention. But Ron’s newfound security is soon jeopardized due to threatening political divisions.

Ron gets into uncertain and dangerous ground. He is selected as one of the informants against Little America’s rising militant gangs and struggles with a woman who seems strangely familiar.

The First Atomic Bomb, by Jim Mangi (2022)

This is a must-read if you fancy WWII alternate history books. Jim explores what could have happened if the world’s first atomic bomb hadn’t been ready to be used when it was. What impacts could this scenario have had on ending the Pacific War and WWII?

By the end of the 1945 summer, the efforts by the German and Japanese scientists to create an atomic bomb were in vain, even though the American-led team was prepared to launch their first weapon. As detonation time came closer, the concerned parties waited miles away from Ground Zero in the New Mexico desert.

Nobody knew about the power of the explosion nor their safety. But some chose to observe from a point closer to the control bunker even when no one was certain whether the bomb would work. What if that happened?

Scientists built the device under the White House schedule pressure without knowing that some parts were flawed. Even when the bomb might not have worked initially, many gathered in the desert in fear.

Mercury Rising, by R.W.W. Greene (2022)

Mercury Rising recreates what a 1970s America could have been. Green develops the plot using asteroid-slinging aliens threatening spacefaring America.

In 1975, the first human set foot on the moon, and Robert Oppenheimer has created the Atomic Engine. Meanwhile, The Eagle Seven and Jet Carson have sacrificed their lives to put an end to an alien invasion.

But Brooklyn just wants to keep his head down while living everyday life. He wants to make an earning for himself and enjoy simple pleasures. However, life is about to get complicated for him.

He is set up for murder by a mysterious box of 8-track tapes and a killer. His choices now become limited. He is either going to rot behind bars or have to become part of the planet’s defenders against the ones who dropped a meteorite on Cleveland.

He picks the Earth Orbital Forces, but this universe has very different plans. Brooklyn will find himself in a quest to fight for humanity while trying to find his family and himself. He must cope with space battles, mysterious experiments, and figuring out his enemies.

Three Miles Down, by Harry Turtledove (2022)

In 1974, Jerry Stieglitz is studying at UCLA as a marine biologist, has a side gig to sell literature, and is about to get married. However, his life is upended by three men who come to him asking him to join Project Azorian, a top-secret in the north Pacific Ocean. They do not accept any refusal and offer him a lot of money.

He joins and swears to secrecy but finds out that Project Azorian is trying to bring up a sunken Russian submarine in secret. The notion is, however, that they are sourcing manganese nodules. At the bottom of the ocean is an alien spacecraft that killed this Russian sub.

Jerry stands out in a ship packed with CIA operatives, roustabout divers, and Rand Corporation eggheads.

However, it turns out that he is the only one who actually thought out the first human and alien contact. The USA is swiftly changing as Richard Nixon becomes more distracted, and no one knows what might happen if this story comes out.

Beat the Devils, by Josh Weiss (2022)

It is 1958, and the USA is under President Joseph McCarthy, who got the seat on populist xenophobia and evident anti-Semitism. McCarthy’s Hueys firmly grip the country. They are a secret police force from the House Un-American Activities Committee. The American dream is suppressed, and remnant talents turn out constant anti-communist propaganda.

Meanwhile, Morris Baker is summoned for a horrific double homicide. He is an LAPD and a Holocaust survivor. John Huston, a forgotten film director, and Walter Cronkite, an upcoming journalist, are the victims of this homicide. One of the men holds a note reading “beat the devils” and has a name- Baker.

Were these two men attacked by a better-dead-than-red sentiment and quick conclusion by the Hueys, or were they murdered in a cover-up curated to protect or start a secret plot linked to Baker’s past?

Terror grows every day, and paranoia keeps rising, but Baker is firmly resolved to find justice for these men. He will stumble upon a deep conspiracy that reaches the halls of power and uncover a secret that might destroy the American deal and the City of Angels.

Final Thoughts on the Best Alternate History Books

Real life requires us to live with real history. But alternate history is fun and thought-provoking. If these are qualities you look for in a book, grab our recommended titles for an “if only it were true” ride.

If you are interested in historical fictions check out our favorites historical sci-fi books.

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