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1. Out of the Dark
2. A Mighty Fortress (Safehold Book
3. In Fire Forged: Worlds of Honor
4. Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington,
5. Off Armageddon Reef
6. By Heresies Distressed (Safehold)
7. Torch of Freedom (Honorverse)
8. By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold)
9. The Armageddon Inheritance
10. At All Costs (Honor Harrington
11. The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846:
12. Hell Hath No Fury (BOOK 2 in new
13. The Excalibur Alternative
14. Storm from the Shadows (Disciples
15. Heirs of Empire (Dahak series)
16. The Apocalypse Troll
17. Crusade
18. Hell's Gate (BOOK 1 in new MULTIVERSE
19. The Stars at War II (Bk. 2)
20. Racial Frontiers: Africans, Chinese,

1. Out of the Dark
by David Weber
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2010-09-28)
list price: US$25.99 -- used & new: US$12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765324121
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Galactic Hegemony has been around a long time, and it likes stability--the kind of stability that member species like the aggressive, carnivorous Shongairi tend to disturb. So when the Hegemony Survey Force encountered a world whose so-called "sentients"—"humans," they called themselves—were almost as bad as the Shongairi themselves, it seemed reasonable to use the Shongairi to neutralize them before they could become a second threat to galactic peace. And if the Shongairi took a few knocks in the process, all the better.

Now, Earth is conquered. The Shongairi have arrived in force, and humanity’s cities lie in radioactive ruins. In mere minutes, more than half the human race has died.

Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky, who thought he was being rotated home from his latest tour in Afghanistan, finds himself instead prowling the back country of the Balkans, dodging alien patrols and trying to organize scattered survivors without getting killed. And in the southeastern US, firearms instructor and former Marine Dave Dvorak finds himself at the center of a growing network of resistance—putting his extended family at lethal risk, but what else can you do?

On the face of it, Buchevsky’s and Dvorak’s chances look bleak, as do prospects for the rest of the surviving human race. But it may well be that Shongairi and the Hegemony alike have underestimated the inhabitants of that strange planet called Earth…

Amazon.com Review
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Author David Weber

Q: Out of the Dark is an expansion of the novella you wrote for the Warriors anthology. What made you decide to turn the story into a full length novel?

Weber: There were several reasons, really. One was that I really liked the story and felt that in the novella I’d been forced to neglect too much of the rest of what was happening elsewhere on the planet in my concentration on Stephen Buchevsky, Mircea Basarab, and Romania. A second reason was that Tom Doherty really liked Out of the Dark and thought it would make a good expansion, possibly even the first book in a new series. A third reason was that it let me write “near-future” science fiction, which I don’t usually get to do, and that was a lot of fun.

Q: Out of the Dark is a detailed account of resistance to an alien invasion, with multiple battle scenes from multiple viewpoints. How do you approach writing these scenes?

Weber: I think the first requirement for writing a battle scene from multiple viewpoints is to know what happens in the battle. The second requirement is to know the characters who are going to provide your viewpoints. Generally, before I start writing the actual scene, I know basically how a battle is going to progress but don’t know all of the details. And since the characters that provide my viewpoints often appear only in “their” battle scene, I don’t know all the details about them before I start writing the scene, either. I do have to have a general feel for who they’re going to be and what their background is, just as I have to have the “skeleton” of the battle firmly in mind, but it’s still pretty general. And if it’s a land battle, especially, I have to have the terrain nailed down very firmly before I begin writing, as well.

Once I have the general course of the battle planned and the basic character traits, history, and attitudes in mind for the participants from both sides, the battle develops as a back-and-forth exchange. One side acts. My viewpoint character(s) on the other side experience the consequences of that action, and act or react. Sometimes there’s a cascade of actions from one side without an actual response from the other side, but the “receiving” side still experiences the results. The nature of the character determines how he or she personally perceives those results, of course, and hopefully the result for the reader is a fully developed perception of what’s going on from both sides.

One thing that helps me do multiple-viewpoint battle scenes is my belief that it’s necessary to “play fair” with both sides of the engagement. Both sides have to be “real people,” experiencing real consequences of what, after all, is a pretty horrible event, and trying to get “inside the heads” of people trapped in something like that adds texture and verisimilitude. It also acquaints the reader with characters on both sides rather than turning one side into cardboard targets whose deaths are suffering are thus somehow less important.

Q: One of the families in Out of the Dark, the Dvoraks, survives the invasion because of a hidden compound in the backwoods of North Carolina. Any personal inspiration for that? Do you have a secret survivalist cabin hidden away somewhere?

Weber: No, I don’t have a secret survivalist cabin hidden away somewhere. Sometimes I wish I did.

The location for the Dvorak/Wilson cabin is pretty close to someplace I spent several summers back in my late teens, which was…let’s just say it was “several decades” ago and leave it at that. I’ve always loved that area, and I decided I’d go back there for the book. As for the characters, there are bits and pieces of quite a few people—including my own family—in the Dvorak and Wilson families. I’m a South Carolina boy, after all, and I’ve been hunting in several of the places touched on in the book. As far as the Dvorak & Wilson Indoor Shooting Range is concerned, let’s just say that my real-life brother-in-law and I share a lot of the proprietors’ interest in firearms. You could sort of think of it as a wish fulfillment in an alternate universe, in that respect, at least.

Q: Many of your science fiction novels—Honor Harrington, the Safehold Saga, and now this new offering—feature aliens of some kind. Do you believe in alien life?

Weber: I think the existence of alien life has to be pretty much inevitable given the size and scope of the physical universe. And I think that anywhere there’s life, there’s the potential for intelligent life to arise. I don’t know how high probability an event intelligence represents, and I don’t think we can know that until and unless we have some comparative intelligences to look at. At the moment, everything we think about intelligence life is conditioned and constrained by our limitation to a one-planet, single-species perspective. We can speculate, we can argue probabilities, and we can belabor one another over the virtues of competing theories about the evolution of alien intelligences, but we simply can’t know. As far as I’m aware, we still can’t put a finger on the point in the development of the human species at which one can say “This is where intelligent life began.” Until we can do that in our own case, and until we’ve been able to look at the track record of some other intelligent species, meaningful speculation on the frequency with which intelligent life arises — and, even more, on how that intelligence may be similar to or different from our own — is really impossible. And, frankly, I think that the probability of two intelligent species encountering one another at roughly the same level of technology is low unless both represent expanding interstellar civilizations. How long has each of the species been a tool-user? How rapidly or slowly has their technology advanced? Did someone during the equivalent of their Roman Empire develop the scientific method and kick off their species’ industrial revolution 2,000 years earlier in their home world’s evolution? How “inevitable” has the pattern of our own technological development been, and how might some other species’ development differ from the pattern ours has followed?

Because of the distances involved on the interstellar scale, I think meetings between intelligent species are going to be rare. And I also think most of them are going to be the equivalent (only more so) of cannon-armed Europeans encountering hunter-gatherer societies or perhaps pre-iron civilizations in the New World. The latter, in some ways, is what happens to the Shongari in Out Of the Dark, actually. With a twist, of course.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (106)

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the Dark, Military SF with a twist
David Weber is a master of Military Science Fiction with his Honor Harrington, Prince Roger, Safehold and Mutineer's Moon Series. Well, Out of the Dark continues this tradition but it really gives the reader a twist at the end. I purposely didn't read any of the advance blurbs on this book and I am happy because I didn't even come closes to guessing the ending of this one. That's all I'm going to say on this except to say, "Well done David. Well done!"

2-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes short fiction should remain short
I never read the short fiction story this novel was based upon, but it seems like it might have been excellent. Short fiction usually relies on twist endings, and this has a classic twist ending that would have been really amusing in a short story.

But when an author spends hundreds of pages establishing a situation and a set of characters, negating all of that with a twist ending is not such a good idea.

A good 9/10 of the book is suddenly made pointless by the last 1/10.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from David Weber
David Weber again creates another universe and another challenge for humanity.Aliens find that humanity is much different than other species they have encountered.We fight back. This book has interesting characters and shows the strengths and uniqueness of humanity.

3-0 out of 5 stars Owed a pound of Flesh
Though not as bad as some other reviews suggest this is basically not up to the standard you have come to expect from DW. The initial plot & build up wasn't bad & the military background & descriptions are OK. But the final solution is so left-field & out of the blue, as to be ultimately a lame & unsatisfactory finish, which stretches believability to far to mesh with the rest of the plot. Its so simplistic & unrealistic as to undo all the earlier groundwork. If I'd have to have guessed I would have thought he owed the publisher a title & had trotted this work out to clear his debt. It probably gets the benefit of a third star because of my enjoyment of some of his other yarns, but its a stretch.

2-0 out of 5 stars Frustration
As with many other reviewers, this book did not fulfill my expectations.

The story is quite interesting through about 86% of the book - another engaging take on an invading aliens vs. poor earth story. But instead of taking the story from that point to a plausible conclusion, Weber drops a very wild card in for the ending. Perhaps Weber ran out of ideas or needed to close out the book more quickly than he had planned, but in any case the ending did not work for me and it is hard to imagine that the ending was planned form the beginning of writing this novel.

Maybe one could read up through page 328 and then imagine one's own ending... ... Read more

2. A Mighty Fortress (Safehold Book 4)
by David Weber
Hardcover: 720 Pages (2010-04-13)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$7.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076531505X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Young Cayleb Ahrmahk has accomplished things few people could even dream of. Not yet even thirty years old, he’s won the most crushing naval victories in human history. He’s smashed a hostile alliance of no less than five princedoms and won the hand of the beautiful young Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm. Cayleb and Sharleyan have created the Charisian Empire, the greatest naval power in the history of Safehold, and they’ve turned Charis into a place of refuge for all who treasure freedom.

Their success may prove short-lived. The Church of God Awaiting, which controls most of Safehold, has decreed their destruction. Mother Church’s entire purpose is to prevent the very things to which Charis is committed. Since the first attempt to crush the heretics failed, the Church has no choice but to adopt some of the hated Charisian innovations for themselves. Soon a mighty fleet will sail against Cayleb, destroying everything in its path.

But there are still matters about which the Church knows nothing, including Cayleb and Sharleyan’s adviser, friend, and guardian— the mystic warrior-monk named Merlin Athrawes. Merlin knows all about battles against impossible odds, because he is in fact the cybernetic avatar of a young woman named Nimue Alban, who died a thousand years before. As Nimue, Merlin saw the entire Terran Federation go down in fire and slaughter at the hands of a foe it could not defeat. He knows that Safehold is the last human planet in existence, and that the stasis the Church was created to enforce will be the human race’s death sentence if it is allowed to stand.

The juggernaut is rumbling down on Charis, but Merlin Athrawes and a handful of extraordinary human beings stand in its path. The Church is about to discover just how potent the power of human freedom truly is.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (104)

1-0 out of 5 stars Tedious - can I live to see this story die?
At the present rate, one per year, this is due to end in 2016 with book 10. I really may not live that long, but then we never know how long we have, do we. At least I won't die regretting that this festering chocolate log of a story never reached a conclusion.

1-0 out of 5 stars This series seriously needs a "Last Time, On Safehold..." prologue.
I'm not going to re-read, or even re-skim, one or more additional 600-plus page doorstops to reorient myself in preparation for reading this one.This is part four, incidentally, of what seems to now be shaping up to be Arthurian motifs plus Protestant Reformation plus Industrial Revolution plus Interminable Boring Warfare, In Space.

Also, the names continue to be eye-bleedingly awful.

After the action pace of By Heresies Distressed, A Mighty Fortress felt like filler.Not much happened, and when there was plot, it mostly happened to characters I didn't care about.It meanders endlessly, and I'm beginning to lose all hope that Weber doesn't plan to write a giant book about each year of a 30 year war.Almost everything that happened could have been summed up in an opening chapter to a book set a year or two later.

The climax felt tacked on, and didn't directly connect to much of anything that happened prior to page 600.I didn't get any feeling of high stakes from it, afterward there was one actually decent character scene, and then that was it.I get the sense that he's pulling this style from something like O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series, in which several of the books are more a series of happenings than a traditional plot, and then end without any major change.

The Aubrey-Maturin series, though, is not attempting to tell the story of every single person involved in the Napoleonic Wars as well as the Wars themselves.It tells the story of a small group of characters, and mostly focuses on the friendship between the main two.Weber, on the other hand, is juggling at least 7 or 8 major groups of multiple characters, (that's off the top of my head, there's probably more) and that doesn't count the many chapters about random people we never hear from again.Also, reading 200 pages and not coming to a huge climax is okay.700 pages... is not okay.

It's a shame, because I really remember enjoying the first one.I felt as if Weber were taking all the themes and ideas he had begun in his various books and series and combining them into some sort of magnum opus.Unfortunately, it hasn't upheld that promise.At this point, he's just reiterating scenes he already wrote.

There was one sequence in particular in which the sequence of the battle felt like a direct copy and paste from scenes in the Honor Harrington series.In short, the style is stale.

If I hear that some actual plot movement is happening, maybe I'll dip back into this series, but for now I may have to abandon ship.I only have so many hours in the day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't bother ordering from this book store!
The book is fantastic. David Weber at his newly non-republican best. Don't bother ordering from New World Books, and if you do, don't bother asking for fast delivery.It took more than 2 weeks for the book to arrive.

4-0 out of 5 stars A filler in the series

David Weber is showing just how difficult it is to stretch a story out over , a projected, ten volumes.This volume in particular is an evident filler, as nothing really happens to take the story to the next stage.It however, does set the stage for another step. Having heard that the series does not end with a return to space and a confrontation with the "bad guys," I find myself losing interest in the series.The comments on there being a lot of "what the person is thinking" content, rather ignore the fact that this is David Weber's style, at least in this series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Connecticut Yankee
A Mighty Fortress is as good as all the previous novels in the Safehold series. I was unable to put it down. I'm a sailor, and thus enjoyed the sailing-ship battles most of all. I drew diagrams of ship positions and wind direction from the author's verbal descriptions. I could accomplish this consistently, at least for the first engagements of each battle. In only one instance I found an error in which a ship was incorrectly named.

The idea of the accelerated development of both sailing and fire-arm technology in a 15th century culture is reminiscent of the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The history of the development of guns from smoothbore matchlock to rifled barrels with explosive shells is played back at an accelerated pace. We see how the innovators develop and use both ship and firearm technology to win against enormous odds.

More of the book is devoted to political intrigue than to battles, but the intrigue is engaging. The book could be shortened by abbreviating the light-hearted banter between principal characters that occurs at the beginning of each meeting scene. Some of the sentences are too long. A map of Safehold would be useful. The Kindle version has no map. The Kindle dictionary is too small to cover some of the nautical vocabulary (hounds, scantlings etc). The author could help us with some of the more esoteric jargon. ... Read more

3. In Fire Forged: Worlds of Honor V (Honor Harrington)
Hardcover: 400 Pages (2011-02-01)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$17.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439134146
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Editorial Review

Product Description
            Honor Harrington is arguably the most popular character in modern science fiction, but there are many other stories in the Honorverse besides those in which she has the central role. This fifth volume in the popular Worlds of Honor series explores some of those stories with the help of such top writers as best-selling author Jane LIndskjold, New York Times best-selling author Timothy Zahn, and more—including an all-new Honor Harrington adventure, set in her younger years, when a mob of space pirates made the mistake of tangling with Commander Harrington. That was a fatal mistake—for the pirates . . .


 Praise for the hottest series in military science fiction:

“Nobody does space opera better than Weber, and his heroine, Honor Harrington . . . like a fusion of Horatio Hornblower, Robert A. Heinlein and Tom Clancy. . . .” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[At All Costs is] a fast-paced tale that brings together all the elements developed in previous books, and pushes them a good way along toward an ultimate conclusion. . . .” —Booklist (starred review)


“Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! . . . unequivocally superb!” —Anne McCaffrey on Weber’s Echoes of Honor


“Great stuff . . . compelling combat combined with engaging characters for a great space opera adventure.” —Locus ... Read more

4. Mission of Honor (Honor Harrington, Book 12)
by David Weber
Hardcover: 600 Pages (2010-06-22)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$14.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133611
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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            The Star Kingdom of Manticore and the Republic of Haven have been enemies for Honor Harrington's entire life, and she has paid a price for the victories she's achieved in that conflict. And now the unstoppable juggernaut of the mighty Solarian League is on a collision course with Manticore. The millions who have already died may have been only a foretaste of the billions of casualties just over the horizon, and Honor sees it coming.

            She's prepared to do anything, risk anything, to stop it, and she has a plan that may finally bring an end to the Havenite Wars and give even the Solarian League pause. But there are things not even Honor knows about. There are forces in play, hidden enemies in motion, all converging on the Star Kingdom of Manticore to crush the very life out of it, and Honor's worst nightmares fall short of the oncoming reality.

            But Manticore's enemies may not have thought of everything after all. Because if everything Honor Harrington loves is going down to destruction, it won't be going alone. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars Mission of Honor
David Weber has done it again in reference to The Honor Harrington saga.5 stars in my opinion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hoped for more
I have read the entire series as most have and I regret to have to agree with others that this book was not up Webbers usual standard. I admit some of the books have been better than others but sadly this falls under the category of "others". Maybe it was just the anticipation for the read but it somewhat dissappointed me. What I loved the most about the first books was the graphic combat with a solid plot and a small cast. This book takes several pages to introduce multiple new characters that for the most part do not appear Anywhere else in the book.In the end there was too little of that intense and detailed combat and too much of useless detail.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some flaws
I have read all of the Honor Harrington series and the Honorverse books and I am a fan(atic). This book does a great job of moving the story line from the end of AT All Costs, adds new story lines that include the end of the Manticore/Haven war,information about the Solarian League and the Mesan Alignment, and the conflicts at the Talbert Junction. The last chapters exposes the Mesan involvment in all of the Manticore and Haven conflicts and sets up a new alliance between Manticore and Haven against the Solarian League and the Mesan Alignment. This cliff hanger should set up the next book as a return to the war action of the previous books in the series.I hope it is on the schedule for the next year as I am really looking forward to the next installment of the the Honor Harrington series.

That said, the action at the Talbert Junction was OK but seemed to be incomplete with many loose ends.Continuing characters were introduced but it was never clear if they survived the Mesan attack or not. However the main problem is the endless details about the technology which does not move the story forward.I would estimate that 1/3 of the novel was unnecessary details and really slows the whole story down.

4-0 out of 5 stars A step in the right direction
As a big fan of the Honor Harrington series this newest book had me nervous.In the last few books War of Honor and At All Cost the quality was clearly going down hill.David Weber was seeming to struggle to balance all of the characters he was bringing in via extended universe, and his plot twist to keep the series alive after Ashes of Victory struck me just like an average epsoide of Lost, in other words completely and laughably, irrational.

While I wouldn't say that the plot is anymore believable this time around, David's newest entry is a step in the right direction. He manages to keep to story flowing, switching perspective before any of them wear out their welcome while managing to keep the switchs from feeling abrupt. While there is not a whole lot of action, David keeps you intersted in what is happening at that moment with his enjoyable cast all the while casting the first clouds of the storm to come.He also manages to keep the absurd new direction of the series from being too major of an obstruction by giving it to you in small doses mixed in with what is familiar to those with expirence with this overall great series.

So when all is said its good to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Now hopefully the light isn't a train coming to smash my further enjoyment of David Weber's Honorverse.

4-0 out of 5 stars honorverse reboot
This really started to bring together what I kind of figured was going to happen.This book is not as good as other books in the series, but far superior to the previous 2 or 3 in the series.I was starting to get very tired of the repetition of plot lines in the previous books.This book brings back the magic of the multiple plot lines that he had in his earlier books in the honorverse series without repeating the same story lines over and over again. ... Read more

5. Off Armageddon Reef
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 800 Pages (2008-01-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765353970
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Humanity pushed its way to the stars - and encountered the Gbaba, a ruthless alien race that nearly wiped us out.
Earth and her colonies are now smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold, to try to rebuild.  But the Gbaba can detect the emissions of an industrial civilization, so the human rulers of Safehold have taken extraordinary measures: with mind control and hidden high technology, they've built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, a religion designed to keep Safehold society medieval forever.
800 years pass. In a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android from the far human past awakens. This "rebirth" was set in motion centuries before, by a faction that opposed shackling humanity with a concocted religion. Via automated recordings, "Nimue" - or, rather, the android with the memories of Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban - is told her fate: she will emerge into Safeholdian society, suitably disguised, and begin the process of provoking the technological progress which the Church of God Awaiting has worked for centuries to prevent. 
Nothing about this will be easy. To better deal with a medieval society, "Nimue" takes a new gender and a new name, "Merlin."  His formidable powers and access to caches of hidden high technology will need to be carefully concealed.  And he'll need to find a base of operations, a Safeholdian country that's just a little more freewheeling, a little less orthodox, a little more open to the new.
And thus Merlin comes to Charis, a mid-sized kingdom with a talent for naval warfare. He plans to make the acquaintance of King Haarahld and Crown Prince Cayleb, and maybe, just maybe, kick off a new era of invention.  Which is bound to draw the attention of the Church…and, inevitably, lead to war.
It's going to be a long, long process.  And it's going to be the can't-miss SF epic of the decade.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (144)

2-0 out of 5 stars not what i wanted
if i had wanted a story of 1600-1700 english naval and political battles,i would have gone with a patrick o'brian book.started with promise,but not scifi as i want it.

5-0 out of 5 stars David Weber hits another home run!
Off Armageddon Reef is an excellent example of the sub-genre of high tech and how it impacts a more primitive technology.I found it somewhat reminiscent of Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen and Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time.This is hight praise, since those are both excellent books.
Mister Weber has really done his homework on this one, with elements of Horatio Nelson and the Napoleonic-era British Navy as well as the wars of the Reformation.
He brings together so many diverse elements that it takes a little while for the story to take off, but it's definitely worth the wait.
Good job, Dave!

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good Weber... but long winded political discussions are taking their toll.
The intro to this book rocked. But, the pace fell flat in the third or so chapter. Mr Weber is clearly getting old, you can tell he likes the minutia of politics and the boring discussions that stem from them.

I can handle long-winded discussion of tech, but not politics. I am a sci-fi reader after all, so fine; regale me with the details of how a sailing ship works (I can still pretend that's sci-fi as long as the android appears once in awhile), but don't bore me with so and so's second cousin who has some trifling opinion of the upcoming coronation and how that will affect trade agreements and contracts, etc etc.

Some of the Honor series books suffered from this as well, but it's getting worse.

4-0 out of 5 stars A new and frightening future universe
The human race faces annihilation as the alien Gbaba find their way to humankind's home, after working their destructive way across the settled galaxy from colony to colony. A desperate plan sends secret settlers out to a new world, one where those who have planned this last bid for survival hope that temporarily suppressing technology may enable humans to hide from the Gbaba and re-establish themselves as a species. No one plans, though, on having some of the expedition's leaders decide that the best way to accomplish that goal is to banish all memory of technology from the settlers' minds. They aim to make this state of affairs permanent by setting up a religion for the new world that treats innovation as sinful, and that establishes its founders as the settlers' - well, not quite gods. Archangels, rather. Spiritual leaders with supernatural powers, held in such awe that even 800 years later their memory holds the population of Safehold faithful to the Church of God Awaiting and its teachings.

That's when Nimue Alban awakens in the cave where she (or at least her personality and memories, since the flesh-and-blood Nimue Alban stayed behind and died defending Earth) has been waiting through the centuries. The body she now occupies is that of an android, and she has at her disposal all of the technology that has survived with her. For there were some among Safehold's founders who did not want this remnant of humankind kept in ignorance of their heritage; and although they died centuries ago, they have left behind everything Nimue Alban will need to help Safehold break the Church's hold and rediscover all that humans used to know. The first thing she must do is find the right place to begin, and the right people to nudge. The royal family of Charis, a kingdom already mistrusted by the Church because its people love to innovate, strikes her as having a good chance to succeed...if she can win their trust. And if she can keep even from them the secret of who and what she is.

This first volume in a new series by the author of the Honor Harrington books creates a new and frightening future universe, and peoples it with characters the reader can care about enough to want to keep reading even when Weber bogs down in excessive detail. He does that fairly often, which won't bother Horatio Hornblower fans (I enjoyed those passages, myself) but may cause readers who aren't fascinated by sailing ships and their tools of war to skip ahead. He does a good job of wrapping up this book's story in a satisfying manner, while setting up for the next book in a way that makes it natural to want to read that one, too. And, no doubt, the one after that...and the one after that.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 science fiction EPPIE winner "Regs"

4-0 out of 5 stars Familiar Theme's for Weber
Weber picks up a familiar theme in this, the first book of the SAFEHOLD series. He explores the topics of the effect of religion run amok on a primitive social structure, much like the plot in book 3 of the Mutineer's Moon series, HEIR'S OF EMPIRE. He tries to demonstrate the effects of theocracy as a political system. This topic must really fascinate Weber as he uses many of the same theme's in the Honor Harrington novels.

Given that he is travelling over somewhat familiar ground, Weber goes into much more detail in OFF ARMAGEDDON REEF. The book is extremely well written, with many interesting interpersonal relationships, not the least of which involve Nimue, who somehow becomes an indestructable PICA. Read thge book to find out exactly what that means!

I give this one a high 8, out of 10. ... Read more

6. By Heresies Distressed (Safehold)
by David Weber
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2009-07-07)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$10.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B003GAN3TQ
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Now the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun.

The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom. Crowned Empress of that empire, Sharleyan has found in Cayleb s arms the love she never dared hope for in a marriage of state. In Cayleb s cause, his defiance of the ruthless Group of Four who govern mother Church, she has found the task to which she can commit her mind and her courage. It is a cause for which she was born.

Yet there are things Sharleyan still does not know. Secrets Cayleb has not been permitted to share, even with her. Secrets like the true story of humanity on Safehold. Like the intricate web of lies, deception, and fabricated religion which have chained humanity for almost a thousand years. Like the existence of the genocidal alien Gbaba, waiting to complete mankind s destruction should humans ever attract their attention once more. Like the existence of a young woman, Nimue Alban, nine hundred years dead, whose heart, mind, and memories live on within the android body of the warrior-monk she knows as Merlin.

And so Empress Sharleyan faces the the great challenge of her life unaware of all that task truly entails...or of how the secrets the man who loves her cannot share may threaten all they have achieved between them...and her own life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

2-0 out of 5 stars It was a chore to finish.
I really enjoyed the first book.Enjoyed the second somewhat.This one is dragging on and on and on with no excitement.I am on page 567 and with 51 pages I am struggling to finish.I have insomnia and actually started taking this to bed at night because I zonk out.I really enjoy Weber's other works but may not be able to bring myself to finish this series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pedestrian
Engrossing and a must readfor anyone following the Safehold series but overall an average effort.It is an attempt to make a stand alone book out of a series book.People following the series have to wade through to much info.New readers will be left hanging and will probably not read the rest of the series when they discover not all the books are available on the Kindle.

4-0 out of 5 stars Alphabet Soup
This is a truly fine series but I have some niggles about characters names that have built up over the last three books, Weber seems to have bought up a job lot of `y' and `z' letters which he sprinkles liberally in characters names, he never uses an `i' where he can put in one or preferably two `y's. This drives me nuts. All the characters names now tend to sound and even look alike in print.

In this current book Weber has taken his eye off the ball a couple of times, for instance in the attack on the monastery in a violent thunderstorm he correctly notes that firearms would be useless, but the attackers used crossbows (arbalests) and he forgets that the crossbow cords would stretch in the rain and become unusable.

Also, after the assassination of the Prince there is great speculation in the book about the identity of the person who hired the twelve assassins who used crossbows for the job, but these assassins are never mentioned in the book again. Weber forgets the once a man has fired his crossbow he has literally `shot his bolt' and would need time to reload it so one would expect that the Prince's guard who were surrounding him would have captured at least one or two alive. Incidentally he uses the word 'vicarate' to describe the office of vicar, it should be 'vicariate' from the latin 'vicarious'.

Lastly it would be nice if the baddies could win at least one battle,

3-0 out of 5 stars Worth continuing the series.
By Heresies Distresses is the third book in the Armageddon Reef series. This book continues Weber's tradition of long, thorough descriptions and glacial plot advancement, although that's probably not going to matter to anyone who made it through By Schism Rent Asunder and chose to continue with the series! The book is still short of the quality of Armageddon Reef by a good measure, but represents a quality continuation of a good science fiction series.

The series's writing flaws continue in this book. The entire cast seems to be made of characters that are witty, capable, and smarter than they look. You'll still read about (slightly!) different characters analyzing the same event in the same way three or four times before the plot is allowed to advance. You'll still be introduced to minor characters in pairs that "might as well be physical opposites". But these are pretty much minor nitpicks.

If you've made it through By Schism Rent Asunder and you're on the fence about continuing into the series, I do recommend you get this book (and possibly A Mighty Fortress). You've demonstrated that you can handle the writing style, and the series is definitely interesting enough to keep reading. This book is quite a bit less painful than Schism, and A Mighty Fortress is better yet. On the other hand, if you haven't read Schism yet, you'll really want to wait before buying this book; Weber followed his fast-paced, interesting opener with the slowest, worst book of the series, so don't pre-buy this third book unless you know you'll get through the second.

Then again, the used hardcover of this book sit around $4, so you might even just skip Schism, read its plot summary on wikipedia (it really has only 2 actual events), and move straight on to this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Just a chapter in the Safehold series
I very much like the premise of the Safehold series.The book is very good in moving that story line along.But, it is draggy in places and more seems to be a setup for a future story.That future story might the ending story also.I also think that David Weber works better with a partner in order to keep him on track (like John Ringo, etc). ... Read more

7. Torch of Freedom (Honorverse)
by David Weber, Eric Flint
Hardcover: 608 Pages (2009-11-17)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$13.67
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133050
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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As the slavemasters of Mesa plot against the Star Empire of Manticore and the newly liberated slave planet of Torch, Anton Zilwicki and the notorious Havenite secret agent Victor Cachat set off on a dangerous mission to uncover the truth concerning a wave of mysterious assassinations that have been launched against Manticore and Torch. Most people are sure that the Republic of Haven is behind the assassinations, but Zilwicki and Cachat suspect others of being the guilty party.

      Queen Berry of Torch was one of the targets of the unknown assassins. The former head of the Ballroom slave liberation organization, Jeremy X—now one of Torch's top officials, but still considered by many the most dangerous terrorist in the galaxy—calls in some past favors owed to him. In response, a security officer from Beowulf arrives in Torch to take charge of Queen Berry's security—a task made doubly difficult by the young monarch's resentment of bodyguards and the security officer's own growing attachment to her.

      Meanwhile, powerful forces in the Solarian League are maneuvering against each other to gain the upper hand in what they all expect to be an explosive crisis that threatens the very existence of the League itself.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (27)

1-0 out of 5 stars Conference Rooms and More Conference Rooms
David Weber used to be known for taut direct-to-the-point action.

His last couple of books -- in the Honorverse and in the Safehold series -- are nothing but slack wandering talk talk talk in conference room after conference room after conference room.This book is 608 pages (hardcover), of which about 550 are either people sitting in conference rooms talking about strategies, talking about talking about strategies, or talking about some technical details that could have been summarized in a sentence or two.

I'm being slightly unfair.There's one character who spends a lot of his time talking with himself.

I understand that there's a massive scope to the Honorverse at this point, and I understand that he's introducing a massive shift in the direction of the Honorverse, but Weber desperately needs a good editor.He needs to understand that he's writing action-adventure novels and not textbooks, and not psychological treatises, and certainly not guides to conducting conferences.

It may be a long long time before I get around to buying the latest Honorverse or the latest Safehold.Maybe if I have a particularly bad case of insomnia.

5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!!!
This is a great book i just started it and im about half done so farbut its pretty good so far.

3-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the strongest line in the current HonorverseThe planet Torch has overthrown its slave-holders and now the slaves run the
The planet Torch has overthrown its slave-holders and now the slaves run the planet and are inviting slaves from all over the galaxy to join them. Manpower, the company responsible for genetic slavery is angry but the slaves don't mind that...they seek to destroy Manpower and the horrible institution of slavery itself. Still, their ambitions exceed their military power, even though their teenage queen, Berry, is of the Manticore royal family and super-spy Victor Cachat of Haven intends to do what he can to preserve the young republic.

Although Manpower is a problem, Haven's analysts are beginning to pick up hints of a bigger issue. No company, not even one as big and bureaucratic as Manpower, would make the kind of decisions, the long term investments, that Manpower is making. Ultimately, Cachat and Anton Zilwicki decide they have to go to Mesa, where Manpower is headquartered, and determine who is playing Manpower like a puppet. That, not the company, is the real enemy. 'Everyone' knows that Mesa's military is a joke, that it isn't really a government at all but a coalition of the mega-corporations who own the planet. Of course, what everyone knows just might be what Mesa wants them to believe.

Within the Solarian League, factions battle for power and the Governor of the Maya Sector is developing a secret fleet...supposedly to protect his portion of the frontier against piracy, but actually with larger goals in mind. Another secret fleet, that of the Haven government in exile, is also in training, preparing to serve their Manpower paymasters in exchange for the equipment and supplies they need to take the war back to Haven, to throw out the counter-revolutionaries and set the revolution back on track.

Then there are the cutsy story lines. Queen Berry can't get a date. A group of teens from an orbital amusement park get to play spy. A wormhole probe goes horribly wrong. Treecats save the day. We even have a cameo appearance by Honor Harrington.

There's a lot to like and dislike about this story. Let's start with the likes. First, authors David Weber and Eric Flint do a good job making most of the primary actors sympathetic in the context of their goals and motivation. I thought the sections dealing with the Haven Fleet in Exile were particularly well done. While we know that State Security was a thug organization (consider the initials, after all), Weber/Flint help us understand the survivors, fighting what they know to be a lost cause when they could have chosen simply to slip away. Second, Weber/Flint look at terroristic action as something complex. Yes, the Audubon Ballroom uses terror tactics. Is terror justified in cases where the enemy has vastly more power and is also responsible for billions of humans being born into slavery? It's not a question that Weber/Flint actually answer (perhaps its a question that can't be answered), but it's the kind of question that should be posed in speculative fiction.

On the downside, we have the Weber/Flint style choice of informing the readers of everything through long paragraphs of dialogue. Perhaps in the future, people will talk like this, endlessly lecturing one another. It's not a future I look forward to. Then there are a number of threads that are begun but not really taken up in the context of this six hundred page volume. Was the whole wormhole section simply there to remind us that Mesa has deep plans? Or will it go somewhere in another volume? Did we really need the teens from the orbital amusement park? Will we see them again, or were they thrown in to give young readers someone to identify with? Does Queen Berry have to be so icky-sweet? And can we ever again have space battles that don't read like statistical tables (nine zillion missiles were launched. Two zillion went off target. Interceptors took care of another x zillion. Point defenses nearly finished them off, leaving only y zillion to slam into the battle cruiser, blasting it into oblivion.) I'm prepared to believe that future space battles will be statistics exercises. I'd just as soon skip the math and let the gunnery teams handle that, however.

Despite the flaws, I found TORCH OF FREEDOM worth the read. In fact, the anti-slavery side of the Honor Universe is now, from my standpoint, by far the most interesting line out there.

3-0 out of 5 stars A mixture of talents
Flint spends an awful lot of his time on what I'd call "surface details."A lot of dialog -- and a lot of that what I'd call idle chatter.A lot of simple descriptions of surroundings.Little depth.Weber, on the other hand, is practically all "depth."Weber is quite possibly the best Sci Fi author in the history of the genre, so any book with his name on it is worth the read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Torch of Freedom
This is the umpteenth book in the series though each story can stand alone. The story is good but not his best. That still puts it way out ahead of anything by anybody else. As always the books are long and the plot is complex. There is a fair of amount of daring do. This is what the old time SF buffs call Space Opera. DW is the best SF writer around at the present and I think this series is the best selling series around. ... Read more

8. By Schism Rent Asunder (Safehold)
by David Weber
Hardcover: 512 Pages (2008-07-22)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$6.42
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002XULY32
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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The world has changed. The mercantile kingdom of Charis has prevailed over the alliance designed to exterminate it. Armed with better sailing vessels, better guns and better devices of all sorts, Charis faced the combined navies of the rest of the world at Darcos Sound and Armageddon Reef, and broke them. Despite the implacable hostility of the Church of God Awaiting, Charis still stands, still free, still tolerant, still an island of innovation in a world in which the Church has worked for centuries to keep humanity locked at a medieval level of existence.
But the powerful men who run the Church aren’t going to take their defeat lying down. Charis may control the world’s seas, but it barely has an army worthy of the name. And as King Cayleb knows, far too much of the kingdom’s recent good fortune is due to the secret manipulations of the being that calls himself Merlin—a being that, the world must not find out too soon, is more than human. A being on whose shoulders rests the last chance for humanity’s freedom.
Now, as Charis and its archbishop make the rift with Mother Church explicit, the storm gathers. Schism has come to the world of Safehold. Nothing will ever be the same.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (91)

3-0 out of 5 stars By Schism Rent Asunder
Book was supposed to be new, but instead is a used Library Book. Estimated arrival date was September 28. Book did not arrive until October 6. Feel like I was misled.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
Very refreshing after too much of Honorverse. But I still love you honor :-)
Reminded me about Pern by Anne Mccaffrey The Dragonriders of Pern but with deeper characters and a nice plot.

2-0 out of 5 stars Tedious political discussion occasionally punctuated by brief awesomeness
Wife: "Did you ready every page?"
Me: "Uhh, yes. Er, well, not exactly."

I am a huge fan of Mr. Weber. However, I noticed the farther I get in his works, the more long-winded and boring he gets with all of the politics and myriads of minor characters. These books are becoming less sci-fi and more political triller - sans the thrill.

The plot of the Safehold series is fine, even if not particularly new or original. I am OK with it... there's so much potential for awesomeness. That said, you *really* have to WORK for it - It's like watching a "monster of the week" episode of Fringe... wishing and hoping for some movement of the big story arc, but it never comes.

The tediousness that Weber is building in his career really comes to a head in this book. I found myself skipping whole pages looking for a glimpse of the overall grand plot, or even just scanning for a characters' name that I recognized. Often... VERY often I found that I read a whole page and didn't know what I read, so, in an effort to be good, I would re-read the thing, trying to hold all of the minor characters in my limited short-term wetware memory slots.

I am a fan of Weber's work, but I am losing faith. I will keep reading his stuff (from the library) but I'm going to have to stop beating myself up for skimming and page-skipping.

Mr Weber, start dumping the long political dialog... PLEASE!

5-0 out of 5 stars Time Passes Slowly
The second book of this series is my second Webber read. I've already read the available parts twice.
I found the premise - a world in the future filled with humans who live in a past when Earth had little technology - to be fascinating. The PICA merlin is more human than the human's at 1000 years of existence and the complete knowledge of technologically advance Earth at his command. This makes him a superman or God for all practical purposes who happens to be the Anti-Christ to the reigning Church of God Awaiting.
This convoluted set of circumstances has filled four long novels as Merlin builds his chosen people into a force that is going toe to toe with the world dominating religious and political power of the planet.
It could be too detailed and slow for many but I'm savoring every minute twice while I wait for Webber to churn out the next installment.
The pace slowed in part two but that is not a problem for me. I believe the power of this work is in the details and the political and religious machinations of the characters.
It's all good with me.

This series has it all in detail and at this pace I could still be wanting more after Webber is gone - unless he happens to be a PICA

4-0 out of 5 stars Let down a little
Afrter reading Armageddon Reef, I expected a faster paced book.I realize that is is a series, but if I had read this one first, I may not have been tempted to read the other books in the series.There just wasn't enough swashbuckling. The shipper was prompt and the book arrived as promised-new. ... Read more

9. The Armageddon Inheritance
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (2004-12-28)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671721976
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Colin MacIntyre, a NASA astronaut kidnapped by a starship impersonating Earth's moon, has just suppressed a five-thousand-year-old mutiny, but now he faces an even bigger challenge. By the author of Mutineers' Moon. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
This book, along with it's prequel, "Mutineers Moon", are some of the best science fiction I've ever read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Armageddon Inheritance
This appears to be the beginning of a series related to the Honor Harrington series (which I have never read). A space ship, fleeing from a foe too powerful to overcome, lands on a world which is partiallyin a pre-industrial age.The survivors of the ship create a religious society on top of the already existent culture, which society becomes corrupt.Another small ship arrived on the world, Safehold, with one passenger, a female warrior calledNimue.She is changed intoan unbeatable android warrior appearing to be a male named Merlin.The story in this first book of the Safehold series is how Merlin begins totransform the freer part of the world in the south into a very effective industrial society and to struggle against the religious lords in the north.
This is one of the best books of this type (world changing) I have read in a long time.The series continues with "By Schisms Rent asunder" with more of the same struggle and more elaboration of the Church of God, based in the north of Safehold.And soon "By Heresies Distrest" willbe out, the third book in the series.It is a very engaging and interesting series, and I heartily look forward to reading it as long asMr. Weber writes it.
Linda Sheean

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding space opera
This one of my favorite SF series, and all too short. The scale and scope of it, the unending action, drama and imagination displayed are first rate. I'm not sure I've ever given a 5 star review but this one definitely deserves it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good series.
I enjoyed this, the final book in the series, but it did leave me wanting a fourth book.

5-0 out of 5 stars conceptual overlap with Off Armageddon Reef
This book is the middle one in a trilogy, commencing with Mutineer's Moon and ending with Heirs of Empire. Weber wrote these in the early 90s and never extended these, as of 2007. He has certainly been busy writing much else in science fiction.

But it turns out that this year, 2007, he has recast this trilogy in a new series, that starts with "Off Armageddon Reef". The latter just came out, in hardcover, and is ubiquitous in many bookstores. A far more numerous presence than those earlier books, when they first came out.

The overlap in the basic premises between the trilogy and OAR is striking. Out there in space is a genocidal race, deploying immense fleets. A mortal threat to humans. The opening chapter in OAR talks about 24th century humans, being destroyed on its worlds by far more numerous fleets. In Armageddon Inheritance, we see in a different universe how this conflict might have gone otherwise. Here, the enemy fleets are millions strong. But Weber writes ingeniously, in the tradition of grand space opera, of an embattled human fleet, that takes them on and wins, at least for now. Readers of OAR who gritted their teeth at the human defeat can read a different conclusion.

I do wonder at the coincidence of "Armageddon" in this book's title and in OAR. The plots clearly overlap. Was this recurrent word an explicit hint to the reader?

If you have read OAR, but not this trilogy, and are waiting for Weber to write more in the new series, then you should check out these books. ... Read more

10. At All Costs (Honor Harrington #11)
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 912 Pages (2007-09-25)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416544143
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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What price victory? The war with the Republic of Haven has resumed . . . disastrously for the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Admiral Lady Dame Honor Harrington, Steadholder and Duchess Harrington, the single victorious Allied commander of the opening phase of the new war, has been recalled from the Sidemore System to command Eighth Fleet. Everyone knows Eighth Fleet is the Alliance's primary offensive command, which makes it the natural assignment for the woman the media calls ?the Salamander.? But what most of the public DOESN'T know is that not only are the Star Kingdom and its Allies badly outnumbered by the Republic's new fleet, but that the odds are going to get steadily worse. Eighth Fleet's job is to somehow prevent those odds from crushing the Alliance before the Star Kingdom can regain its strategic balance. It's a job which won't be done cheaply. Honor Harrington must meet her formidable responsibilities with inferior forces even as she copes with tumultuous changes in her personal and public life. The alternative to victory is total defeat, yet this time the COST of victory will be agonizingly high. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (100)

1-0 out of 5 stars I'm a masochist.
Why am I a masochist?Because I just read another of David Weber's Honor Harrington books, "At all Costs"!On the back cover of this book (paper back) the "Booklist" calls it "fast paced".Snail races would probably be described as "lightening quick" by whoever the "Booklist" is.Weber uses 880 pages to write a 250 page book, but, as I have said in my other reviews, it is fortunate he has a excellent grasp of paragraph structure.One need only read the first sentence of each one to follow the story.Not only is much of the written material superfluous, a great deal of it is written in the childish manner as Robert Heinlein.I deliberately skipped 200 pages, read ahead 100 pages, and then went back and read the 200 pages I had read, and I had missed NOTHING!

In addition to Mr. Weber's superfluous verbosity, he has the heroine in an affair with and old man who is married to an extremely disabled woman!Does he think that we will approve of this?Is this the type of heroine we want to read about?I am not some bible thumping, narrow minded, prude, but there are such things as morals.Shame on you David Weber!

If you want to read the same story over and over again, read this book.If you want good science fiction, read Allen Dean Foster.

2-0 out of 5 stars Lady Honor Harrington is having a baby
The war is not finished. The Star Kingdom of Manticore and the People's Republic of Haven, the Peeps, are once more in confrontation to settle the territorial aspects for good. The Lady Captain Honor Harrington begins her return to the front to command the legendary Eighth Fleet and the Alliance's primary offensive forces. Star Kingdom and its Allies are badly outnumbered by the Republic's new fleet. Eighth Fleet's job is to prevent Peeps from crushing the Alliance before the Allies can regain their strategic balance. There is just this one thing. Honor Harrington learns that she is pregnant.

The story of Lady Honor Harrington, Stead holder of Grayson, continues in normal progression. In parallel to the military action she is participating, she is diagnosed to be pregnant. There is no question about terminating the pregnancy. In political sense this brings turbulence for her Duchess status in Grayson where her heir would be labelled bastard. The group marriage arrangement with his superior Hamish and her wife Emily Alexander is developing into a political stir; or more like a dire political crisis. Not to mention Emily's tragic injury and disabilities to provide an offspring. We learn to see how Honor Harrington copes with tumultuous changes in her personal and public life.

Two (2) stars. Written in 2005, this is book 11 in Weber's long running Honorverse series started in 1992 at book On Basilisk Station. After 3 years since the previous book the hard cover is a hefty 800+ page brick that includes dashing romanticism, stunning realistic fleet battles and a remarkable level of characterization. The figure of Lady Honor Harrington is explored more into developments in her personal life and family. Unfortunately this makes the plot meanders more and is not that tightly written as before. The largest and most critical battle presented at the end, the sheer amount of tonnage destroyed, turns into anticlimax and wearing due to all the physics details already done on several occasions. The series will be remembered for its one of the kind space battles and memorable Lady Captain but the thrill is not any more sparkling. More focused plot, tighter writing, and lots of pages removed, the developments would have been more flowing; like canoing on a uncharted river. Overall a little placid and unsatisfying read.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not convincing
This was the first Honor Harrington novel I've read, and it will be the last one.
True, one shouldn't start reading a series with the last outing. But if one does so, the novel should spark a desire to read the other novels. This novel doesn't - and that is because of at least two crucial flaws in it's whole design.
Upon reading a novel, but especially an SciFi novel, the reader and the author embark on some kind of tacit agreement called "suspension of disbelief". That is, the reader accepts things that are impossible at the present time, such as FTL travel, artificial gravity and so on, or won't ever be possible. But this agreement carries only so far. As a reader, I keep asking myself questions like: Why is this or that feature necessary? How does it contribute to the (integrity of) the story? (I'm sure most readers ask themselves those questions even if most of them won't ask them explicitely.)And if I don't get reasonable answers to these questions, the feature in question is no longer covered by the suspension of disbelief.
Item: As a student of history and social sciences, I've never believed nor will I ever believe that "aristocratic" societies like those depicted in this novel will ever make it to the stars. For once, societies in which there are steadholders, yeomen, queens, kings, duchesses, barons and so on are basically land-owning societies. Historically speaking, they are pre-industrial, rural, agricultural by nature. By the same token, they are adverse to change, progress, and development: If your social status is defined by the fact that you do or don't own land (and what kind or size of land), and if you do, you don't exactly embrace development and progress because it means change and change tends to threaten your status. You want, you need, and you fight to maintain the status quo.
To travel to the stars, however, an industrially developed society is necessary, science, technology, and free enterprise with its creative and inventive power. That means that not land-owning or heritage defines a person but only his/her personal skills and abilities, his/her intelligence, his/her competence and preseverance. And if such a society has successfully made it to the stars, why should it revert to "the old ways"?
So, what it boils down to: "Star kingdoms" like Manticore, all this "Royal this and that", all this "Your Grace" business contributes nothing to the story as such but simply satisfies the author's fondness of (or obsession with) "the Old English ways". (By the way - this seems to attract many American SciFi authors. What leaves me as a European with the question: Why did you guys stage the American War of Independence in the first place?) And it is significant that the novel is set only in the upper classes, not in the "common" classes, the people in the streets who were at the wrong end of the injustice and inequality inherent of aristocratic societies.
Item: The cats. Oh, I know, actually they're "treecats" which is a completely different cup of tea altogether. Yeah, right. They're "telempathic". Yeah, right. They "adopt" people. Yeah, right. They're intelligent, thinking, talking sign language with "true hands" but otherwise behave like simple - cats. (By the way: Do they need cat litter?) Most of the cat-lovers among my friends keep telling me: "It's as if they're able to read your thoughts and emotions." "It's as if they adopt you and not the other way round."As one can see, there's no need for a "treecat" - your garden variety kitty will do just as nicely. And in what respect are they constituitive to the story? Exactly how would the story become improbable, even impossible, what would the story lack if there were no "treecats" in it? Even the most impressive scene, the assassination attempt on Honor Harrington, doesn't really need a treecat.
Again: The only thing that justifies the omnipresence of the treecats is the author's fondness of (or obesssion with) his (obviously) favorite pets. In that, the novel reminds me of some novels by Janice Cherryh in which there are characters depicted as man-sized cats. Same question there: Why?
Please don't get me wrong: I've absolutely nothing against intelligent alien species alongside humans in a SciFi novel - I mean, that's why it's SciFi after all - but if the author's imagination of an alien species doesn't exceed a pimped-up version of his own housecat sitting on the kitchen window sill, the story would have been better off without it.
Apart from that, I can second some of the issues mentioned in other negative reviews as well as positive reviews: The book is definitely too long; 500 pages would have done. The explorations in Honor Harrington's family life are way too detailed and become all the more boring as long as they drag on. On the other hand, the battle scenes are very interesting, as is the strategic thinking behind the - political and military - decisions made. But that alone won't cut it for me.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Military Sci-Fi with Some Ethical Twists
I think the best thing I can say about the "Honorverse" and David Weber's Honor Harrington books is that I have read all 11 books of the main series so far, and it has kept me entertained and always reaching for the next one. Weber mixes the military / tactical side of starship command (focusing on velocities and missile ranges and space combat tactics) with the personal challenges faced by a young officer as she ascends through the ranks. Weber adds great depth to his main character (perhaps sometimes at the expense of other characters) and I appreciate the exploration of interesting ethical themes and dilemmas inherent in the command of a starship capable of decimating entire planets. While I did find the books a bit too focused on the specifics of space combat for my tastes, I was able to get through the lengthy details and enjoy the action scenes, of which there are many.

In fact, At All Costs specifically had more focus on action, conducted on a grander scale, than the previous books in the series. As Weber's main character rose through the ranks, she was put in charge of larger and larger fleets with more and more critical missions. Throughout, the war with an opposing interstellar republic has gained intensity. All of that culminates in this book, leading to massive fleet battles that fans of the series will find engrossing.

One thing that bothered me about the book was the nagging sense that the entire conflict should and would have been avoided by this point. The permutations in logic that the Havenite leaders (who by now are finally good and intelligent people) must undergo to justify a massive attack just didn't hold water for me. So, while the final battle scene was exciting, it also left me asking "why?"

I would recommend the book to those who have read the previous installments; this book is better than most in the series and most in the genre. I would not recommend it to anyone unfamiliar with his earlier works or with an aversion to tactical or "military" science fiction. I'd probably rate it 3.5 stars if I could.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous story...teeny tiny print!
I won't say much about the story, other than to say that I liked it, a lot.What I will talk about is the fact that in addition to being 852 pages long, they have reduced the font size to about half the size it was in the first book in the series.Which actually makes it rather longer than it appears.I don't mind the length of the story, personally I like long books and really didn't want the story to end because that leaves me in need of a new book...What I *DO* mind is the massive headache reading that tiny print for hours on end gave me!

I await the next installment of the Honor Harrington series with bated breath, as it were.However, they had better use a larger font or I may be forced to wait for the audiobook. ... Read more

11. The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846: The American Southwest Under Mexico (Histories of the American Frontier)
by David J. Weber
Paperback: 440 Pages (1982-06-01)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$21.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826306039
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The quarter-century of Mexican sovereignty over the land that is today the American Southwest was a period of turmoil and transition. Between 1821 and 1846, Mexico City's ties to the far northern frontier were steadily weakened by domestic political and social strife as well as by foreign economic encroachment. The gradual loss of social and economic links and the eventual lapse of political allegiance is perceptively reinterpreted from the Mexican perspective by Professor Weber.

The book is essential reading for all who are interested in the history of the West and the Southwest. The late Ray Allen Billington praised the book as "meticulously prepared, sparklingly written, and brilliantly interpreted. Its perspective will affect all writing on western history for a generation to come." ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful reference
This is a useful book for both students and teachers alike. Putting the Mexican frontier in perspective is a formidable task, but by using first hand accounts from all walks of life, the reader can develope an accurate image. The only negative comment is the lack of more period illustrations.
Most aspects of frontier life are covered, from the clergy to the military. Both the positive and the negative views are included. ... Read more

12. Hell Hath No Fury (BOOK 2 in new MULTIVERSE series)
by David Weber, Linda Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 685 Pages (2008-06-24)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 141655551X
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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It began with two men. They came from very different worlds—entirely different universes, in fact—one using sorcery and the other using mental powers and steam-age technology. They met in a virgin forest on a duplicate planet Earth. Neither side knows who shot first, but each blames the other, and it doesn't really matter, now, because war has begun.


War between the universes is the last thing responsible leaders on either side want. But the fury of their respective populations, xenophobic fear of the unknown, and cries for "justice" (or vengeance), are all driving both sides towards the brink. And unscrupulous, power-hungry men—and Arcana and Sharona alike—have agendas of their own.


The fuse has been lit, and a war stretching across the universes, fought between dragons, spells, and crossbows and repeating rifles, machine guns, and artillery is erupting in white-hot rage and fury. Where it will end—and how—no one knows

... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

1-0 out of 5 stars Too Complicated and boring
After 160 pages, this book is very boring and is hard to track. No major characters developed. Not up his standard. Apparently blood and gore is the central theme of the book. Main character listing and bio would help this one to follow along. Most of the books I've read by this author have been rated (by me) as a high 4 or 5.

2-0 out of 5 stars I tried, I really did ...
I barely slogged through the 1st book in the series, and just couldn't make it through this one. I have read a lot of David Weber's books, and have liked them, but this book is just not the same. Way too much background, not enough action. Way too much book, to be honest - in desperate need of a good/better editor. I'm a voracious reader, but just couldn't choke this one down.

3-0 out of 5 stars More action than the first book but still too much talking
Hell Hath No Fury is a more entertaining read than Hell's Gate but it still spends far too much space on politics and other dull subjects.Hell Hath No Fury has the battle scenes that were lacking in the first book and they are done very well.We also have a sub-plot involving the torture of POW's taken in those battles, torture justified on the grounds it gained vital information which is also an interesting read.This part is done more subtly than most of Weber's work with the villains not acting evil simply because they are evil.

But most of the book is still taken up with political discussions and maneuverings that are just not very interesting.I don't know why the authors have to go into so much detail on things like aristocratic marriages and the history of the various countries in the book.This is one book that could be much better if there was simply much less of it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hell Hath No Fury
An excellent sci-fi/fantasy book on an inter dimensional war between a magic using universe with dragons and spell stored weapons with a technology based universe (circa early 1900s) that has psionic skills. The book is told from both sides and goes into details about the politics of each universe and how it created misunderstanding and xenophobia.Both sides have both evil and good influences and generally are peaceful, but several mishaps and political intrigues cause the war to spiral out of control.

This is the second book in a series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Could have been a lot better
Weber has fallen prey to two major sins of modern authors: the idea that more words mean a better book, and telling the reader what they should be thinking and feeling rather than letting them make up their own minds about the characters.

The first book spent inordinate amounts of space in "character development", and the second book is not much better, only now the text is more about the geo-politics than the characters. But the method that Weber uses in all his books is simply to tell the reader outright how brave or evil the character is, and how much we should love or hate them. It's not "development" in my book, it's just the author worshiping his own characters and demanding that we do the same.

When you combine that with the author's tendency to spend pages of discourse on side elements, you end up with gigantic volumes, but very little story. Weber should go back and read some of his own earlier works, and pare back on the details that don't contribute to the story. I'm sure he enjoys building all the details of his fantasy worlds, but he'd be better off keeping it to a reasonable ratio.

I'm not sure why he's so in love with aristocratic and imperialist themes that dominate his works. All of his leads start out as aristocrats or ascend to aristocratic power quickly within their story arcs. They do make for good stories occasionally, but not in excess.

So far, my favorite by Weber remains the Honor Harrington series, not surprising since it's derived from one of my favorite classics. The War God series is a good read as well, Weber does as good in fantasy as he does in space opera, the characters are well developed without too much fluff, and most importantly he pays much more attention to the storyline than in most of his sci-fi books. ... Read more

13. The Excalibur Alternative
by David Weber
Paperback: 346 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743435842
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Lying helpless during a raging storm in the North Sea, a fleet of medieval ships finds sudden rescue in the arrival of a powerful group of aliens, who offer salvation in exchange for eternal bondage fighting as star soldiers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

4-0 out of 5 stars Really great sequel to "Ranks of Bronze" by David Drake
This book is a sequel to David Drake's Ranks of Bronze, although one doesn't need to read it to read this book, but if possible, I recommend that one do read Ranks of Bronze.

This book is set in a future in which the known galaxy is controlled by a monolithic confederation of "advanced races", that is, the races which, on their own, discovered the technology which makes star travel possible.This confederation controls and exploits the rest of the sentient races in the galaxy like a bunch of mobsters.Enter a few hundred British longbowmen and infantry which were "rescued" from certain death by one of the advanced races.Due to the confederation's "Prime Directive" which disallows use of advanced weaponry on non-advanced worlds, the trade unions utilize a loophole in the law and use the British soldiers to win battles for them on undeveloped worlds which allows the trade union to despoil planets for their own material gain.After a few hundred years or so of this, the British escape, take over an advanced ship, win the loyalty of the "Computer", and disappear to start their own competing civilization.Of course, the end of the book comes down to a climactic showdown in Earth's solar system in the 21st century.A really great read.I'll put this book in my read-again-later stack.I hope that the author comes up with a sequel to this story showing the final showdown.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Excalibur Alternative: Englishmen in Space!
This is an engaging romp of a book that tells the tale of a group of Englishmen on their way to France to fight in the Hundred Years' War. Their ships are caught in a fierce storm and facing certain death when they are snatched from the sea by aliens to form a low tech mercenary company. A fun read, but I think I liked this novell a little bit better when it was called Janissaries.

3-0 out of 5 stars Military-style Space Opera
It's 1340 AD.A medieval baron and his company of soldiers are abducted into the larger universe to soldier for aliens led by a 'Demon Jester.'Their lives were saved from an ocean typhoon, but the price is high.The Demon Jester's merchant association has gotten it's own successful war-making primitive army, but the lives of the individual 'primitive' slave-soldiers are worthless in their culture's society.Examples are made.The Baron doesn't like it, and looks for a way to save his men, wife, and child.

This novel has three distinct parts:the abduction and settling in (well done), the later years in alien's employ (drags), and the Excalibur Alternative (abrupt perspective shift-over) near the end.Weber goes overboard on conversational exposition, resulting in the characters telling the reader what happened, instead of showing and describing events.

Overall, entertaining due to not knowing certain details (artificial suspense played a big in role in keeping me reading), not a book to read again.Great to borrow from a friend or library.

3-0 out of 5 stars Demon Jester without the jests
A well-told story of a fairly standard theme - the humans kidnapped and forced to survive in an alien and technologically threatening universe. In this example of the genre Weber (who always does put together a good yarn) presents the desperation very effectively, but the humans are just TOO adaptable and the aliens are just TOO cardboard cutout. A pleasant airplane read but not up to Weber's usual standard.

2-0 out of 5 stars OK if you find it used, and have time to waste
Yet another one of David Weber's very predictable, quickie books to make a buck.As so many others have pointed out, the entire concept has been done much better:Anderson's "High Crusade," Pournelle's "Janissaries" and Barbet's "Napoleons of Eridanu.

The real weakness of the book is Weber's predictability and falling back on tried-and-true themes worked out in the Honor Harrington series.Telepathic aliens that hold the solution, evil but stupid villains oh so easily outsmarted by our endlessly virtuous hero, and the "contralto" voice which is obligatory for all Weber heroines.

However, it is a ripping-enough yarn for a not too discriminating reader who, like myself, bought it used.IF you have already read Anderson, Barbet or Pournelle, try Weber.Otherwise, get one of them. ... Read more

14. Storm from the Shadows (Disciples of Honor)
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 1104 Pages (2010-04-27)
list price: US$8.99 -- used & new: US$5.22
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133549
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Rear Admiral Michelle Henke was commanding one of the ships in a force ledy by Honor Harrington in all-out space battle. The odds were against the Star Kingdom forces, and they had to run. But Michelle's ship was crippled, and had to be destroyed to prevent superior Manticoran technology from falling into Havenite hands, and she and her surviving crew were taken prisoner. Much to her surprise, she was repatriated to Manticore, carrying a request for a summit conference between the leaders of the two sides which might end the war. But a condition of her return was that she gave her parole not to fight against the forces of the Republic of Haven until she had been offically exchanged for a Havenite prisoner of war, so she was given a command far away from the war's battle lines. What she didn't realize was that she would find herself on a collison course, not with a hostile government, but with the interstellar syndicate of criminals known as Manpower. And Manpower had its own plans for elimating Manticore as a possible threat to its lucrative slave trade, deadly plans which remain hidden in the shadows. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (92)

3-0 out of 5 stars All setup, no payoff
Weber's "Storm from the Shadows" does what Weber does decently enough -- mixing space combat with diplomatic / political discussions (though it does seem the latter far outweigh the former).What the novel fails in is doing much more than setting up the next sequence of books.We are introduced to eleventy-dozen new characters, the Big Menacing Uberplot against Manticore (et al.) begins to be revealed, there's lots of setup for what may, or may not, be a big war between the Manties and the Sollies, and ...

... and that's the end.It felt like very little accomplished aside from setting the stage for the next novel.Which may be a whiz-banger, but 1,000-plus pages of prefatory remarks and stage-setting feels like a bit much.

The book represents a distinct effort to move away from Honor Harrington as the center of the tale, bringing in Michael Henke as the first-among-equals protagonists, though nobody feels quite as solid as Honor (and the few parlor scenes she pops up in seem to crackle). There are very few conflicts here, military or personal -- what few there are get resolved or brushed aside in short order.

The need to have a lengthy introduction is probably inevitable, based on the significant change Weber made in "At All Cost" (jumping on plot elements Eric Flint introduced in parallel to keep Honor alive and move up the conflict with Manpower into the current generation, rather than being in the time of Honor's children).That helps explain why the Peeps are nowhere to be seen, and we learn gobs of exposition about the Sollies and the Manpower cabal, and ... well, as I said, things go nowhere.

Not that it will keep me away from the next novel, but as for this one -- I'm glad it's done so I can move on.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another success in this fine series
I loved this book and my only complaint is the ending which I feel puts this book into the catagory of hucksterism (if such a word exists).

1-0 out of 5 stars Few books manage to be over a thousand pages too long...
Oh dear. I remember the earlier Honor books as being inventive, as the worlds and their navies were set out, and Honor herself fought her way through Manticore's struggles. Has Weber run out of ideas of does it just feel that way, as what content there is is diluted by the ridiculous page count?

The previous Saganami tale in the Talbott Cluster was actually ok I thought, so I went into this one with expectations of at least an adequate read. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Endless, endless text of absolutely no interest at all leads up to well, nothing. It's not the cliff-hanger ending that's the issue, although that is annoying after 1000 pages, it's the fact that nothing happens on the way there. The events should be interesting - fleets are duly shuffled along gravity waves, politicians are duly manipulated by shady puppet-masters - but Weber utterly fails to attach any drama at all to any of this, while spending s...o... l...o...n...g... moving his pieces back, forth and around and around and back and forth... And how many times must his cardboard characters repeat the same 'I believe they have really super missiles Sir/I don't believe they have really super missiles Fool' conversation?

Avoid, avoid, avoid.

2-0 out of 5 stars Find a snort, take a snort!
What a boring horror of self-indulgent exposition. Author... who are you really, and what have you done with David Weber?! Nothing happens in this book. The characters think about things, they talk about things, they reminisce about things, and by the end of the book, even the CHARACTERS are sick of it! In Chapter 52, Queen Elizabeth finally says "We've discussed the Sollies almost to death". From your mouth to God's ear your Majesty, but apparently not to Mr. Weber's. Please David, we love you, but have mercy on us.

Anyone who has read the dozen or so Honor Harrington books Weber has already written doesn't need this ponderous monster, and any poor soul who picks up this book as his or her first exposure to the Honorverse will probably never read any of those other crackling good tales. What a shame.

The only thing that earned this effort(?) a second star from me was the amusement I took in noting how many of the characters "snort". Henke snorts. White Haven snorts. Terekhov snorts. EVERYBODY snorts. I gave up counting the snorts somewhere in the mid-teens, but if you must read this book, make a game of it...

When you start reading, have a shot glass and a bottle of your favorite spirits nearby. Then, every time you find a snort, take a snort! It won't make this dreary misfire any easier to read, but after a while you just won't care.


3-0 out of 5 stars I love the Honor universe
However, this one is a little weak and the story line advances very little, in fact all of the needed action could have been done in a couple of short chapters and perhaps all of the digression in subplots should have stayed seperate. ... Read more

15. Heirs of Empire (Dahak series)
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2002-01-02)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671877070
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Restoring the empire that had been destroyed forty-five years earlier, Emperor Colin finds problems in the genocidal Achuutani and in his children Sean and Harriet, who have been marooned on a hostile planet. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (30)

4-0 out of 5 stars Left Hanging
This is another series of David Weber where you can see him flesh out the ideas that are now the core of his two main series.That's great, but ending it with this book isn't :)Dahak deserves an expanded series and I really wish we could get more of it.The ending of Heirs is fairly ho-hum, and feels more than a little rushed.Come on David, stop writing all these side projects and give us some good old fashioned Dahak!;)

5-0 out of 5 stars I want more!!!!!
Come on Dave!! When are we going to get some more! This series is my favorite series by David Weber. I have read and reread these books many times. Sure would be nice to find out what happens to the kids when they got back to Phoenix.

5-0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read.
The author shows creativity and the ability to produce a multi-volume tale worth enjoying.Read it from the beginning and anticipate the sequels.

4-0 out of 5 stars = Off Armageddon Reef
Have you read Off Armageddon Reef (OAR)? This book is the start of a new series and came out in January 2007. Weber has chosen to take the trilogy of Mutineer's Moon, Armageddon Inheritance and Heirs of Empire (HE), and rewrite them into OAR and future efforts. Cynically, one might wonder if he is taking the easy route and recycling old laundry. The trilogy came out in the early 90s and seemed moderately successful. If I recall, they were paperbacks. But OAR is in hardcover and has appeared as a large print run. In the major bookstores, OAR has a strong presence at the entrances. It may be that in the intervening years since the trilogy, Weber has gotten more popular, especially with his Honor Harrington tomes. So now he has decided to reroll the dice. The original trilogy is still mostly in print. Rereleasing it in more copies might only have a moderate boost to sales. Perhaps then the rewrite into OAR.

Anyhow, the bulk of OAR maps strikingly into HE. Both concern a planet where humans have fallen to a medieval level of technology, forgetting that man ever existed elsewhere. There is a corrupt, bloodthirsty theocracy, wielding vast secular power.

A common backdrop is that out there in space is a terrible enemy, seeking to exterminate humans. OAR uses one android as the protagonist, while HE has 4 humans and a friendly alien. Both books have the hero/heroes introduce innovations, especially in weaponry, to friendly indigenous forces. The battle scenes in HE are on land, while in OAR, they are mostly at sea. If you have read the General series by Stirling and Drake, or Janissaries by Pournelle, then you'll like the narrative conflicts of HE. In depth, they do not quite match the battle descriptions of those other books. But still well done.

OAR does seem slightly better done than HE, in the detailed care that Weber takes to build out the plot. There is much more description of the OAR world and the multifarious characters, especially in the different countries. HE could also have done with a map of the planet. OAR is careful to furnish this to aid the reader, as well as a list of personas. HE doesn't really need the latter, since less space is devoted to building out these secondary characters.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific finale - I WANT MORE!
In the finale to the "Dahak" series by David Weber, Colin's first children grow up and enter the Fleet themselves.When their ship is sabotaged on their middy flight, they must make their way to an unknown planet, find a way home and - while they are at it - settle a religious conflict that they accidentally started.Meanwhile back home, Colin and Jiltanith - devastated by what they believe is the loss of their children - discover a plot to destroy their new home planet and overthrow them.Can they stop the destruction of their planet and discover who is plotting against them?Can their children let them know they are alive and find a way home?

This book definitely left me wanting more in this series.Weber is a master, there is no doubt. ... Read more

16. The Apocalypse Troll
by David Weber
Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (2003-01-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671578456
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Richard Ashton was in his yacht in the middle of the Atlantic, all alone and loving it. Then came the UFOs, hurtling in from the Outer Black, loosing nuclear warheads that disabled every available piece of electronic equipment. And then a crippled alien lifeboat began homing in on his own boat.Amazon.com Review
David Weber, author of the enormously popular Honor Harrington military SF series, takes to deep space and the high seas in the opening chapters ofApocalypse Troll.The fateful space battle and resulting spaceshipcrash that bring together Colonel Ludmilla Leonova and Captain RichardAston, U.S. Navy, set the stage for another rip-roaring, guns-blazing sciencefiction adventure. When Captain Aston finds out Colonel Leonova's secret,he eagerly offers his help, then finds himself in the middle of anextremely dangerous military situation. Weber's fast plots, nonstopaction, and attention to detail are what makes his books so much fun toread, and Apocalypse Troll is no exception. --Adam Fisher ... Read more

Customer Reviews (51)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Vindication Angel +++
I very much agree with the recent positive reviews before mine. This early singular work of David Weber is fast, fine and fun from start to finish -- and is my favorite work of David Weber. There is ongoing forceful drama as the plot twists and turns around startling corners. It recalls some of the older better sci-fi novels, and movies, in its lively vivid mil-tech, hi-tech, even psi-tech, graphic action of heroic humans [the lead couple most in particular] -- versus alien and human monsters.You feel you have survived a long unceasing Saga -- after easily identifying with the lead couple -- yet the book is only modest-sized versus most sci-fi works nowadays [and shorter than many novels of sci-fi series].

There are great changes in setting -- future, present and past -- space, sea and land. The science is spot-on and the combat is well-done -- whether ranged or close, large or small. I could barely stop reading "Apocalypse Troll" due to the above rich virtues. Some reviewers see this work as much like other military [or naval] Space Opera. My reply to that is that the singular balance and details of this Saga add-together for an unforgetable read -- with societal, political and humanistic lessons worked-into the story. Much of the tension and conflict is resolved in a both realistic and idealistic way -- especially the last part and ENDING. Apocalyse Troll meets Vindication Angel via SEAL and friends +++

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid sci-fi story saddled with a fantasy genre name
Just seeing the title of this book you would assume you were going to be reading about ogres, witches and elves. The cover shows differently, of course. This is an action-packed bit of sci-fi that includes time travel, a threat to planet earth and a lovely lady.

Rather than bore you with plot details that can be gleaned elsewhere on this page, let me tell you what I think.

It works.

Mind you, this is not "great" literature - but it is a romp through space and time with plenty of military action, a truly evil villain and lots of snappy dialogue. Be warned, there is not a lot of character development and the reader really doesn't know the entire backstory until about 1/3 of the way through the book, but it's still a worthwhile read.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Weber's better books
I am a huge fan of David Weber and have enjoyed just about everything he has published, particlarly his rewrite of the Hornblower series set at the end of the next millennium (the Honor Harrington books) and the "Mutineers Moon" trilogy (republished as "Ashes of Empire"). But "The Apocalypse Troll" is my personal favourite among all the books he has written to date.

It starts as a space opera. After centuries of war, humanity is in sight of victory against an implacable enemy, the "Kangas". A small force of human ships returning to base for a badly needed overhaul sights a Kanga battle squadron which has slipped past the blockade of their few remaining worlds and is accelerating hell for leather towards Earth.

The human ships give chase, confident at first that Home Fleet should be able to blow the enemy squadron to plasma with little difficulty - until they realise that the Kangas in their desperation are attempting a manouver which has never been tried before but if successful might enable them to wipe out the human race ...

Concentrates on action rather than character development, but Weber pays enough attention to the characters to make you care about them but not so much as to impede the pace of the story. On the way to the final desperate battle there are some good flashes of ironic humour - watch out for the near disaster at Moscow Zoo.

Significant elements of the story overlap with either some of Weber's other work and some other Sci-Fi stories such as "The Fifth Element" but I didn't feel that spoiled the book.

Part of the action takes place in a time and situation close to our own, to be precise in 2007 AD during a period of some international tension.

Bearing in mind that this was published in 1999, I suspect the US President in the book "Jared Armbruster" is based on John McCain rather than Dubya. (The inference is that Gore won in 2000 and Senator "Armbruster" from Arizona beat him in 2004.) Similarly the Russian President who has succeeded Yeltsin in the book is rather more of a reformer than Vladimir Putin, though he is even more circumscribed by events. However, the fact that the world in 2007 as predicted in the book does not quite match how things have turned out does not in any way affect the quality of the story.

This probably labels me as a hopeless romantic, but I found the very last scene at the end of the book to be one of the most touching and memorable moments in all of the hundreds of science fiction books I have read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Fast Paced Sci-fi
This is one of Weber's tighter novels.It stays on plot, on track, and doesn't have excessive viewpoints.The confrontations are entertaining, and the amount of military terminology was exactly right.

It's an enthralling read without any big lessons or morals, and I recommend it if you enjoy military science fiction.The protagonists are good human military officers, and the antagonists are evil aliens.Has time-travel, space battles, and alternative geo-political history.

If you like Weber, you'll like this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun, Simple, Quick, Entertaining Read!
I am not a fan of the robot wars or high-tech battle books, but this one hit me just right.A truly enjoyable read from start to finish, this book is just the right length (not a 3 book series that drags on forever): I read it over a weekend.I enjoyed the first half of the book a bit more, as it was more 'science fiction' and the second half more a battle, but still fun.Some nice, interesting concepts, well explained.My only complaint is probably just one of personal taste: the military hardware is described by name as though someone would know each item without explaination.By the end of the book, I was somewhat confused by the myriad of items, but it didn't take away much.

Good read for sci-fi fans, great read for future-Earth/what could be fans, great read for military sci-fi fans.Highly recommended. ... Read more

17. Crusade
by David Weber, Steve White
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (1992-03-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671721119
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In the period of peace following the Human-Orion War, a ship from a half-forgotten history emerges from a warp point notorious for devouring ships and opens fire on the Orions. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
this is the book that really got me into space opera, before i read this id piddled in it a wee bit but this book really got me hooked in this genre, the characters are well fleshed out and the strategies and technology is very sound, I even found the political parts to be very interesting and do more than just fill in the gaps of the story. great book by a pair of great authors, these two should always work as a team.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Good Start
Crusade is the first book written by Weber and White, and takes place before In Death Ground, and lays a pretty good base for the three books that would follow.

When ships emerge from a forbidden warp point, they begin to attack the Orion's, a cat-like race with whom Humans have a very shaky relationship. Because these attackers claimed to be humans, it is left to the Terran Federation to sort things out, or face another possible conflict with their neighbors.

The war quickly becomes a mess for Terrans as politics once again meddle in military afairs, sending humanity on the defensive immediately.

There are some interesting plot twists to the book, both with the Humans and the alien Thebans, who often show many of the dark tendancies of medieval man. The book itself is not straight up action like In Death Ground and the Shiva Option, going more in depth into the characters and their driving forces and how the universe is shaped by events they cause. A good portion of the book is focused on those in the resistance on occupied planets, and the Theban leaders who have their own thoughts on the war. This is a major strength compared to the other books who don't focus much on the aliens, or their interaction with Humans.

Crusade is not of the grand scale that is found in the two aforementioned sequels. You won't find battles between hundreds or thousands of ships, and neither enemy seems to have a limitless supply of ships. However, the more in depth character plots help to balance this out.

I had read In Death Ground before Crusade, but that didn't hinder liking the book at all. The smaller scale throws you off a bit, as do less plot twists, so I would suggest reading this before the others, but if not you won't be dissapointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some amusing unintentional irony and plenty of action
The alliance between humans and their cat-like former opponents isn't perfect, but it seems to be working. Working, that is, until starships emerge from a warp point that has resulted in the destruction of every starship that ever entered it. The intruders claim to be human--descendants of a colony ship that fled through the warp point generations before. They fake a willingness to negotiate and destroy the Orion fleet guarding the system. From there, the 'Thebans' attack the humans who, thanks to an agreement reached to head off war against two enemies, become solely responsible for punishing the attackers. Punishing takes second place to surviving, however, as the Thebans trick the human 'Peace Fleet' and virtually destroy it.

Human politicians overrode military commanders and were responsible for the destrution of the peace fleet but now, their backs to the wall, they call on the military to save them. Led by former admiral and ex-president Anderson, the human spaceyards begin to churn out weapons with which to confront their enemies who, it turns out, turned their first contact with the human colony ship into the basis for their religion--and a need to purify 'Holy Terra.'

At this point, the war takes a typical David Weber direction. The 'goodguys' (humans in this case), unfettered by milksop politicians, are able to gain secret weapons that virtually annilalate the Thebans when they face them. When the Thebans are able to gain an advantage, human superweapons and good luck mean that the badguys (Thebans) take almost as much damage as they deliver (compare any of a number of Haven victories in the Honor Harrington universe). Honor Harrington fans will also be familiar with the types of spacecraft, the missile throw weight statistics, and the evil represented by civilian politicians back home.

CRUSADE definitely has its redeeming qualities. From a literary perspective, the straightforward writing style used by Weber and co-author Steve White is engaging. First Admiral Lantu of the Thebans is a much-welcomed multidimensional character as he struggles between everything he has been taught and what he has dedicated his life to, and the truth as he discovers it to be.

I suspect Weber and White meant CRUSADE to contain a political message favorable to conservatives and scornful of liberals in America. If so, the decade since this book was written provide a welcome, if unintended irony. Politicians who lied to lead their country into war (although unintentionally in the case of CRUSADE, are singled out as the worst horrors of all. Hateful bigotry and a wish to simply genocide opposition is also argued against--an increasingly 'liberal' view.

I prefer military fiction where strategy and tactics play a more important role than superweapons, and where multiple complex characters wrestle with the reality of war--and the difficult and painful decisions that must be made. CRUSADE shows some of these tough decisions (the final decisions of whether to invade the Theban world or simply bombard it to lifelessness had to bring parallels of the decision on bombing Japan, for example). I would have enjoyed it more if it had taken this direction more fully.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Different Space Opera
I am hooked on the Honor Harrington series. I have spent so much time reading them that, when I was done, I was disappointed because I had nothing else from Weber to read until the next one comes out. I forgot to check for some of his other works. I wouldn't have thought he would have time to write anything else. WRONG!

CRUSADE pits the human federation against a new alien species which considers itself saviors dedicated to saving Terra and humanity for the evil Orions who just happen to be uneasy allies of humanity. It takes a while to figure out how this strange turn of events came to be but, when it finally comes out, it makes sense. Religious zealots are at work promoting a jihad for personal advantage. Their only contact with humanity came at a time when it was at war against the Orions.

A major problem is that the Orions are a warrior culture and their alliance with humanity is an uneasy one. When the new aliens, the Thebans, are first encountered, it is the Orions they attack and they do so in the name of humanity. Resolving this is left up to humanity but the Orions are keeping a suspicious eye on the situation.

The battles are well thought out and fans of space battles will appreciate the book. Just as interesting are the political battles. For me, they are even more interesting to read. It's a good book worth the time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fun and all
As noted before, there isn't much character development, but this is a fun space opera. The events in the book occur before Insurrection, so you need not have read it before this, unless you just want to get a feel for the weapons and structure of the universe. I found my eyes glazing over during the ground combat moments, and of course the literal translation of the Scottish accent was death to me, but overall I enjoyed the book. I'm looking forward to In Death's Ground, as it seems to have a bit more substance, but I recommend this book as well. ... Read more

18. Hell's Gate (BOOK 1 in new MULTIVERSE series)
by David Weber, Linda Evans
Mass Market Paperback: 1248 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.34
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416555412
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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The Union of Arcana has expanded through the portals linking parallel universes for over a century and a half. In that time, its soldiers and sorcerers have laid claim to one uninhabited planet after another—all of them Earth, and in the process, the Union has become the most powerful, most wealthy civilization in all of human history. But all of that is about to come to a screeching halt, for the Union’s scouts have just discovered a new portal, and on its far side lies a shattering revelation. Arcana is not alone, after all. There is another human society, Sharona, which has also been exploring the Multiverse, and the first contact between them did not go well. Arcana is horrified by the alien weapons of its sudden opponents, weapons its sorcerers cannot explain or duplicate. Weapons based upon something called . . . science. But Sharona is equally horrified by Arcana’s “magical” weapons. Neither side expected the confrontation. Both sides think the other fired first, and no one on either side understands the “technology” of the other. But as the initial disastrous contact snowballs into all-out warfare, both sides can agree on one thing. The portal which brought them together is Hell’s Gate itself!

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Customer Reviews (73)

3-0 out of 5 stars Overly long intro to a new series
Parallel universes have been a source of plots for science fiction novels for generations. This book is one of those attempts at exploring that interesting concept. In this case, a civilization has evolved and found portals to parallel universes appearing at random. The other universe is the exact same planet as the initial one (and in all cases, it is geographically the same as the earth we know) but the portal location is not the same on both sides. So, for example, if the portal is north-facing in New York, it might be southeast facing in some remote region in the equivalent of China. However, since the world is the same, the mineral deposits and other natural riches are in the same places thereby providing an incentive to map out the new world and claim the known gold, coal, and other deposits as soon as possible.Also, there might be portals to yet another parallel universe somewhere in the new world, with its own gateway to yet another new world, and so on.

The question asked here, is what if there are two different civilizations that both are doing the same thing and suddenly meet on one of the newly discovered universes? To complicate things a bit, let us assume that the cultures are different but somewhat equivalent in size and sophistication. To make that happen, let us assume that one is technologically advanced (up to the level of 1880 in our world, roughly), while the other relies on magic and magical beings (Dragons, Unicorns, and the like). So, what would happen when first contact takes place?

This book supposes a series of events that are misinterpreted by both sides that lead to a war of the different civilizations. Which means that we can explore what happens when magic fights technology, etc. Both of these concepts are very interesting and should have lead to a book that was difficult to put down with lots of exciting action and fun reading.

But that is not what happened to this book, which is why I only give it three stars in this review. The co-authors are clearly intending this to be the foundation book of a whole series of follow-on novels. And therefore are simply establishing the concepts in this introductory one. The trap that they fell into, though, was to focus so much attention on the descriptions of the two different societies and how they are organized, and what their differing developments are, that there is very little action in this book. Essentially, beyond the initial encounter, we find two skirmishes and then are teased into knowing that a battle is about to start as the book ends. While that would have been Ok in a book of 200 pages or so, this particular tome is over 1200 pages in length!

The second major problem is that the authors decided that we need to understand a lot of background material, and they are very, very verbose in their descriptions. As an example, quite early on it is obvious that the world they are describing is the same earth that we all inhabit, but they take a 30+ page detour at one point to describe each of the countries of one of the two cultures. Since they cannot use earth-names (like Ireland, Italy, or Mexico), they describe the geography in great detail so that you get it. Thirty pages of geographical description which devolve to where some minor countries in that culture reside, is about twenty nine and a half pages too many. I wish the editors of this book pointed this out to the authors and forced them to cut out all of that unnecessary fluff and boring descriptive passages.

Another problem is that the authors decided to get cute and keep the parallelism going to what I consider to be excessive extremes. Both cultures appear to have the same abhorrence of war and its destructiveness, as they both are horrified when civilians are killed. Not only that, but there is exactly one woman civilian on each side who is - of course! - very prominent and well known and loved. So, when they are either harmed or affected by the skirmishes, the whole culture that they belong to vows revenge. Then we find on each side that there are young men who are in the military who are the heirs to the crowns of the leading empires on both sides. Both of then, of course, are involved to some extent in the initial fighting and both of them, of course, are beyond nobel, smart, and do no wrong. Many other officers in either military are portrayed as being either completely stupid, or having other motives beyond what is obvious. I presume that any follow-on novels will explore this in more detail as there is certainly fertile ground laid for all kinds of additional stories and storylines!

My final comment about the excessive length of this book is that the authors use this book to explore and explain what they do not like about different societies that exist in today's earth. That added way too much excessive baggage to this book, which added to its length, which makes it difficult to read and enjoy.

In summary, while the initial idea and plot are interesting, this book fails to keep your interest through adding way too many details and political, geographical, historical, and cultural explorations that burden it too much.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hell's Gate
Not great, not bad..sort of in between.But it's missing pages 923 to 954 so as you read through there all of a sudden you realize you've missed something.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sometimes...
Sometimes when you buy a 1000+ page book, you get Shogun or The Stand. Sometimes you get... this. An interesting story, but waaay too wordy. Read a chapter, flip through a chapter of boring exposition, read another chapter, repeat... for twelve HUNDRED pages. These authors were not well served by their editor(s). The excision of about 400 pages of filler would have earned this book three stars (or even four) from me.

Consider also that almost four years after release of book 1, Books 3 and 4 of the series don't have release dates yet. So unless you're vewy, vewy patient...

2-0 out of 5 stars Failed potential
I'm on page 900 and seriously considering quitting the book. Really too bad, as there are characters that I like, but way too much lecturing from author...like taking a history class on some made-up society that you could care less about. There are many plot contrivances that are just annoyingly absurd, like idea that an advanced culture with advanced weapons just can't conceive of the idea of flight. Wish I woulda read reviews before buying this dud>.<

5-0 out of 5 stars Weber & Evans Create Two Believable Cultures
Hell's Gate by David Weber and Linda Evans

Book one of the Multiverse series is a most engrossing 1200 pages.Evan's and Weber portray two unique civilizations on a road to conflict. Arcana bases their technology on magic.Sharona has psychic talents but bases their technology on science.The multi-universal aspect is that both civilizations have discovered portal to alternate earths that have no populations until they confront each other.

David Weber and Linda Evans do a superb job in describing two dissimilar cultures and those cultures' idiosyncrasies. As they alternate back and forth from culture to culture you find your sympathies vacillating as well. The beauty of their work is that you truly find things that are both laudable and stimulating for each culture.They are being drawn into conflict by serendipitous contacts and malicious behavior in spite of their root similarities. I can not wait to read the next volume, "Hell Hath No Fury".

I highly recommend it and all of David Weber's Work.
... Read more

19. The Stars at War II (Bk. 2)
by David Weber, Steve White
Hardcover: 1056 Pages (2005-07-05)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$14.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743499123
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The war wasn't going well. The alien Arachnids were an enemy whose like no civilized race had ever confronted. Like some carnivorous cancer, the "Bugs" had overrun planet after planet . . . and they regarded any competing sentient species as only one more protein source. Defeat was not an option. . . . The Grand Alliance of Humans, Orions, Ophiuchi, and Gorm, united in desperate self-defense, have been driven to the wall. Billions of their civilians have been slaughtered. Their most powerful offensive operation has ended in shattering defeat and the deaths of their most experienced military commanders. Whatever they do, the Bugs just keep coming. But the warriors of the Grand Alliance know what stands behind them and they will surrender no more civilians to the oncoming juggernaut. They will die first-and they will also reactivate General Directive 18, however horrible it may be. Because when the only possible outcomes are victory or racial extermination, only one option is acceptable. The Shiva Option.And peace isn't always wonderful Once the enemy is defeated, the central governments of the Inner Worlds were anything but willing to relinguish their wartime powers. To insure that their grip on the reins of power remained firm, the bureaucrats are allowing the non-human beings of the Khanate in, while keeping the Fringe Worlds out, smugly confident that this will keep the colonial upstarts in their place. The Fringers have only one answer to that: Insurrection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars o man
i didnt know that the two books in this book were related now i will have to read them both again yea...

4-0 out of 5 stars Conclusion to a Great Space Opera
If anyone has ever doubted Webber's (and apparently White's) mastery of military science fiction, then this novel (as well as it's predecessor The Stars at War (Weber, David)) should prove them wrong. Stars at War II is actually two novels in one, The Shiva Option and Insurrection.

The Shiva Option picks up where In Death Ground (the second novel in Stars at War) leaves off, the Grand Alliance and the Bugs at a standoff, both licking wounds and trying to regroup. It is intense, unrelenting, and filled with incredible battles. Though the final conqueror is probably easily anticipated by most readers, the "how" of the journey they take is intense and full of twists and turns. It is definitely hard to put down.

Insurrection takes place several hundred years after the war with the Bugs, and basically follows as the fringe worlds separate from the Terran Federation. Interestingly enough, this novel, unlike the first in the book, actually brings you down to focus more on individuals, as opposed to how The Shiva Option focuses more on the war and what it is costing to win or lose.

Overall this is an excellent book. It is huge - finishing at almost 1040 pages! But well worth it. And when it is all said and done you'll be asking for more!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great book
This is another great book from Steve White and David Weber.Well worth your money.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wars of Terra, Continued
The Stars at War II (2005) is an omnibus edition of the Starfire series, including The Shiva Option and Insurrection.The Shiva Option is the third novel in internal chronological sequence within the series and Insurrection is the fourth novel in internal sequence following The Shiva Option.This is the first hardback publication of Insurrection.

The Shiva Option (2002) is a continuation of the events described within In Death Ground.This duology describes a war similar in many ways to the Pacific theater of World War II.The enemy has the worst aspects of the Japanese military, but exaggerated to the ultimate degree.IDG has the desperate battles prior to Midway and the Coral Sea and TSO has the grinding battles after that, successively retaking island after island until finally Okinawa falls.

The Divine Wind is prominent in this book, but the amphibious assaults and ground combat of that war are mostly eliminated by the Shiva Option.Considering that the defensive phase of war in the Pacific took only a few months, yet the offensive phase took four and half years, it is obvious why this book is so long.If the enemy can be stopped, it most often must be done quickly or not at all;defeating the enemy, however, is long and hard.

The prologue occurs shortly after the failure of Operation Pesthouse.Fleeing the Bugs, Survey Fleet 19 encounters a new set of sentient beings, the Star Union of Crucis, who have already had violent contact with the Bugs.This new group joins with SF19 to destroy the pursuing Bug fleet and then both withdraw to the Star Union.

Meanwhile, back at Alpha Centauri, the Joint Chiefs of the Grand Fleet, and their staffs, meet to discuss strategy now that the Bugs have ended their current offensives.Naval Intelligence reports that a new class of warships, designated Monitors and even larger than superdreadnoughts, has been deployed by the Bugs.They also state that analysis of the Bug artifacts has shown five distinctly different construction techniques, probably indicating five separate manufacturing centers, designated as Home Hives.Moreover, the initial Bug contact was probably with Home Hive Five.

The remainder of the novel is a series of strategic offensives against the Home Hives.Like its prequel, this volume is full of spatial warfare.It also includes several nuclear bombardments of enemy planets -- the Shiva Option -- and one planetary assault with subsequent ground combat.

The Arachnid civilization in Starfire owes a lot to the Bugs in Heinlein's Starship Troopers, but the approach in this series is entirely different and much wider in scope.These novels concentrate primarily on naval combat and equipment;the only use of armored combat suits is by the Telikans in the above mentioned planetary assault.

Insurrection (1990) begins several generations after the Fourth Interstellar War against the Bugs.The Legislative Assembly of the Terran Federation has long been dominated by the Corporate Worlds at the expense of the Fringe Worlds.Now the Corporate Worlds have devised a plan to reapportion the Assembly by merging with the Orion Khanate, thereby reducing the Fringe World power base.

They are frustrated at the last moment by bad publicity generated when Oskar Dieter, a Corporate World leader, personally insults Fionna MacTaggart, leader of the Fringe Worlders.However, the leader of the Corporate World delegation, Simon Taliaferro, plots to assassinate Fionna in order to throw the Fringe Worlders into a fury so that they will resign from the Assembly.His plot works as planned, but the consequences are more that he reckoned with.

Terran Federation Navy Task Force 17 moves against Beaufort, Fionna's home planet, as a show of force, but it moves too slowly and the insurrection has started before it arrives.Admiral Forsythe is advised to go slowly and negotiate with the rebels, but refuses and plans to fire on opposed ships if necessary.This triggers a mutiny, with the Fringe Worlders taking or destroying all TF17 ships.

As the word is spread, other ships mutiny and flee to the Fringe Worlds.Tenth Cruiser Squadron is too far within the Federation to flee, so takes the desperate gamble of raiding Galloway's World to destroy the largest Federation shipyards.Overall, the Federation loses approximately half of Battle Fleet, about 80 percent of the Frontier Fleet, and most of their shipbuilding capability for at least 6 months.This bad news forces the fall of the current government and brings Oskar Dieter to power as prime minister.

This story is based on the political and economic situation between the British Empire and its American colonies prior to the Revolution.As with that situation, the Fringe Worlds are being economically exploited by the Federation mercantile class with the assistance of the Legislative Assembly.While Simon Taliaferro is not a king, he is just as mad as King George and just as dangerous to his own long-term interests.The ensuing military actions in this story are naval rather than military, but otherwise the results are much the same.Since the Khanate basically remains neutral, this story is greatly simplified compared to the Revolution by the lack of other major powers.

Von Clausewitz's On War is quoted several times in this book.The story reminds me of another axiom: "War is an extension of politics by other means".Politicians should be careful what they ask for;they may get it . . . and choke on it.

This book is recommended for all Weber & White fans and anyone who enjoys tales of realpolitik, naval combat, and politician bashing -- i.e., Heinlein fans -- and inside jokes (think Operation Bughouse).

-Arthur W. Jordin

4-0 out of 5 stars Two More Books under One Cover
Like THE STARS AT WAR, this is not really a new book. It is a collection of two previously published works although there are reputedly about 20,000 new words included. If you already own either of the books, there is little reason to buy this volume. Otherwise, it is a good buy.

The two included books are THE SHIVA OPTION and INSURECTION. Reviews of each appear below.

THE SHIVA OPTION conludes the story begun in IN DEATH GROUND. The story and the options are just as horrific and the consequences are just as bad.

Humanity and its allies face a war to the end with a race that will either eat every race it comes across or die trying. They cannot be negotiated with. They can either be killed or allowed to win. Killing them is not easy because they don't care about their own casualties. They have only a hunger and nothing can assuage it.

The space battles are well though out as is the strategy presented. They should appeal to fans of space battle. Like the predecessor, however, the real story concerns the hard choices of the leaders.

This is not a fun book to read but it is interesting and worthwhile. It also leaves open the possibility that more bugs will appear in later volumes.

Insurrection takes place in the same universe as IN DEATH GROUND and THE SHIVA OPTION about a generation after the events of the latter. Humanity has been at peace but that doesn't stop nasty politicians from trying to do nasty things to people. Finally, a time comes when the people will take it no more and the result is civil war.

This book makes clear that there are honorable people on both sides of the conflict but the horrors of war are such that innocents are bound to suffer. Like the other books of this series, the action sequences are well though out and well written but the main lessons come from choices faced by the protagonists. Weber and White are good at writing about space battle. They are even better at writing about political issues and human choices.
... Read more

20. Racial Frontiers: Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans in Western America, 1848-1890 (Histories of the American Frontier)
by Arnoldo De León
Paperback: 160 Pages (2002-09-18)
list price: US$21.95 -- used & new: US$19.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0826322727
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Once neglected, racial minorities are now the focus of intense interest among historians of the American West, who have come to recognize the roles of African American, Chinese, and Mexican people in shaping the frontier. Racial Frontiers is both a highly original work, particularly in its emphasis on racial minority women, and a masterful synthesis of the literature in this young field.

De León depicts a U.S. West populated by settlers anticipating opportunities for upward mobility, jockeying for position as they adapted to new surroundings, and adjusting to new political and economic systems. Minority groups discarded unworkable political traditions that had followed them from their homelands and sought to participate in a democracy that they trusted would see to their well-being. Many embraced capitalism in preference to the economic systems they had left behind but refused to give up their cultural traditions. The result was a U.S. West of many colors.

Known as a skilled writer, De León tells countless stories of the lives of men and women to guide the readers through his narrative. Personal histories and revealing quotations illustrate the struggles and victories of the newcomers, enriching our understanding of the settlement of the trans-Mississippi West since the middle of the nineteenth century. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars De Leon's American West...
Arnoldo De Leon's book Racial Frontiers: Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans in
Western America, 1848-1890 is yet another academic book dealing with minority groups and
their role in the history of the western United States. The "races" De Leon
chooses to concentrate on consist of Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans. His
primary thesis: These three minority "races" either adapted or were pushed aside
by white prejudices and institutions in the burgeoning American west. In what De
Leon sees as an openly hostile and often violent environment, these "races"
competed with whites and each other while doing their best to cling to their
traditional values and cultures.

Under De Leon's model, the American West is not only viewed as an actual
frontier, but a "racial frontier" as well. De Leon's racial frontier is a place
where races and cultures meet. More importantly, it is a place where his three
target "races" interact with each other and what he generally presents as the
homogenous white race. De Leon sees this interaction in political, social, and
economic terms. Definitions aside, the American West offered many minorities the
opportunity to start their lives anew. African-Americans, Chinese, and Mexicans
all sought out the dream of the new frontier. In the face of racism and a
general distrust from the dominant culture, even disadvantaged groups found
advantages in the American West.

In place of celebrating obvious successes in early race relations in the
American West, De Leon attempts to place the square pegs of history in his round
multicultural holes. One of many glaring instances occurs in his description of
1880's Presidio County in Texas.He describes a community made up of whites,
blacks, and Mexicans centered around the military installation of Fort Davis.
This community lived as one, and intermarriage was not unheard of. De Leon's
explanation is presumptuous beyond belief: "Thus all three races had to modify
their imported identities to exist as part of a tricultural community" (p. 100).
What? How does De Leon know what their "imported identities" were? Could it
possibly be that these people were united by a commonality beyond their
nationalities and the color of their skin? Could it be that some "Anglo"
community leaders were not knuckle-dragging racist thugs? He even goes on to
admit that there is no historical evidence whatsoever to back up his claim, but
this seems to matter little to De Leon.

In referring to whites, or "Anglos" as Dr. De Leon sometimes calls them, he
shamelessly baits the reader into inferring that all whites held racist
attitudes: "...whites had constructed attitudes toward people of mixed ancestry
that argued unluckily for Mexicans" (p. 31). Really? Whites also "...meant to keep
the oppressed some distance from one another, lest they question white dictates
over jobs and wages" (p. 51). All whites?Additionally, whites "...saw little of
redeemable quality in the ways of Africans, Chinese, and Mexicans." (p. 68) If
not all whites, which whites is De Leon referring to? On nearly every page, De
Leon uses his broad brush to vilify and misrepresent an entire group.Isolated
acts of violence become the rule and successful interactions between groups are
downplayed by De Leon. Is he referring to native born American whites? Mexican
whites of Castilian or other European decent? Protestant or Catholic whites?

Pale, olive, or brown skinned whites? Or is it just anyone who qualifies as a
white oppressor in De Leon's scheme of things?

The author scornfully refers to Gaudalupe Vallejo as having tried to "pass
herself off" as white, but was she not? A cursory inspection of the globe
reveals that Spain is indeed located on the European continent and Spaniards are
indeed Europeans. Subtle differences in Mediterranean and Latin skin tones
aside, for the author to refer to Mexicans as a separate "race" is historically
inaccurate on nearly every level.

The author makes much of the frontier lynching of minorities and does his best
to emphasize the racist motivations behind them. Sing Lee, Chepita Rodriguez and
the legendary hanging in Downieville California are all cited as examples of
"...the victimization of helpless minorities" (p. 33). What De Leon fails to
mention is that racially motivated lynching was a relatively infrequent
occurrence in the American West, and that most of those found dangling at the
end of ropes were Caucasians. Considering that the most violent areas of the
West were populated by a generally young, male, and heavily armed population, it
is near miraculous that violence of this sort was not even more prevalent.
Regardless, as the population increased, collective violence declined markedly,
most notably because it was considered the lowest form of barbarism by the
dominant "Anglo" culture.

De Leon concentrates on the extremes in a turbulent and violent period of
American history. Rather than research the obvious unifying social factors and
cultural tolerance of millions of white Americans in the nineteenth century, De
Leon prefers to use a broad (and highly biased) brush to concretize his own
divisive and separatist views. Racial Frontiers is an unfortunate book. In the
books introduction, De Leon makes a strange disclaimer as to the accuracy of his
blanket statements regarding race: "As a matter of convenience, I have gone with
current trends..."(p. 3). But, if the current trends are wrong enough to merit
such a disclaimer, why write in such an obviously misleading fashion? While
solid in its thesis, Racial Frontiers descends into the modern politics of
collective guilt and blame. ... Read more

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