David Weber is a prolific writer of a good number of series, but this one stands apart from his work because of the scope, excellent character/plot interaction, and a grand sense of an epic tale just getting underway. Future technologies, vast space armadas, aliens, medieval settings, fantastic intrigue, and wait...a warrior/priest/wizard robot using disguised technology to guide an entire planet into their destined future...AND I HAVEN'T EVEN GIVEN MAJOR PLOT POINTS AWAY!
Why not pick a great narrator to match the work, someone who could carry this exciting centuries-spanning tale with the energy and depth it deserves? Say, a "Roy Dotrice" style narrator, who brings accents, timely verbal emphasis, and a stronger sense of placement to the narration? No offense, Wyman, but this is a work that is still a bit beyond you. Work on it. Practice makes perfect, but not on this audiobook just yet.
Still, this is no reason not to get this audiobook. It's an WONDERFUL listen, despite the narrator, and it's only the first in the series - Please do yourself a favor, and buy this audiobook. I've gone back twice to listen to it all over again, and enjoyed it. I'm confident you'll do the same.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is book one of a new series called Safehold. Safehold is a planet that humans have hid on to seek survival of the human race from destruction. The goal was to stay a low tech world so it would not be seen by the enemy. They set up a religion to control people and a simple society. The story starts from here and was slow to get going but by the end of the book I was hooked and looking forward to the next book. I think I prefer the Honor Harrington series better but they are much different stories.
The premise is quite original; placing an historical novel in the future is a nice twist. The problems I have with the book are twofold: first, the characters are terribly one-dimensional. The first reviewer references George R.R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones", but Martin knows how to build characters of startling complexity. They begin as villians and become, gradually, heroic - or vice versa. Weber's characters are nearly comedically bad or disgustingly good. They have no crises that alter their personalities and I nearly found myself cheering for the wrong side at the end. The second problem is that despite Weber's attempt to make the odds seem overwhelmingly against the protaginists, it is painfully clear that there is no way in the (new) world that they will so much as work up a sweat utterly defeating their enemies. There is virtually no suspense; nothing hangs in the balance. Still, the anti-technical society, the theocratic rulers and the detail in which the world (as opposed to the characters) is rendered give me at least some hope for the next installment.
A good book if it willbe the first in a series. That being said if it's meant to stand on it's own it's mildly muddled. I assume, given the description that the main chracter is Nimue. that being said "she" doesn't appear that often and when "she" does it's either for some rather unbelievable action sequence or to suffer a historical dissertation.
Don't get me wrong, history is important but the relevance of the speches given (or thought) is something that weighs the story down. Unlike where there's a fairly clear dominant main character in the say the Prince Rogers series, this book suffers from too many characters with little or no background to understand thier motivations.
The book is described as a "sci-fi epic" it's not, it's more a historical military novel with a few sci-fi bits as plot props.
I really can decide how I feel about it. I'm going to reread it again but at least for the first read-thru I didn't care about any of the characters and the bits of SF that were included are very good concepts but either allow deus ex machina style plotting or add littleif antyhing to move the story forward.
I suppose it could be arged that SF is a relative term given the planet's tech levels but for my midn that's stretching things a bit.
This book was very well written and researched. If you enjoy reading long detailed narratives of 17th and 18th century weaponry and naval warfare, then this is the book for you! You can also look forward to lots and lots of political scheming, in (what was for me) excruciating detail.
Admittedly, I'm not a fan of this type of "medieval" sci-fi. It is however well written, and if you like stories that heavily involve the aforementioned subjects, then you will find this book, and I imagine the series, interesting.
I wouldn't have printed it. Or I would have called it 'Deus Ex Machina'.
I might. The guy has some good ideas for sure. He's still on my list.
The performance was not bad given the material. I'm not knocking the narrator who did a nice job.
I wanted to like this. I really did. I love really long books. After listening to half a dozen mainstream [and heavy] novels, I was looking for some space opera: a long, involved space yarn. This ain't it. Oh no.
This is a story about medieval navel tactics, period, and it drones on, and on, and on, and, well, on. Do you care about sail patterns and rigging? This is your novel.
The only SF in the novel? It's used to explain some odd plot points. And, yea, the overall idea is fairly intriguing. It is and I won't give it away here: in a far future an implacable foe is killing off human colonies, so the humans setup a colony with no tech whatsoever thinking that the aliens won't be able to find a planet that depends on horses. Great idea, right?
So they get a bunch of human volunteers and they somehow 'wipe' their memories, implanting new ones that accept an agrarian world of serfs, castles, and duplicitous church officials. Are you bored yet?
But it's just boring boring boring: King this, Earl that, Church officials, all kinds of chicanery in detail that fails to move the plot or add depth/interest to any of the characters. The protagonist is a robot plunged into a world of humans made to think they are living in a world where the church rules- like Europe in the middle ages.
He convinces the King that he has 'visions', which are actually intelligence gathered by very hi-tech bugs; there visions provide intel on enemy movements. Boring. Boring.
I'm within 9 hours of completion. And I'm calling it quits. I can't take it.
Did I mention it's not SF? And it is boring?
Corruption ... greed ... lies ... the rich and powerful manipulating others for more money and power.... I can't even finish this. This is what we see in everyday news. It is tedious listening at best.
Maybe the plot evolves past the men pretending to be Gods and manipulating the brain washed people in the beginning of the book but its a show stopper for me. I also tried David Weber's "A Beautiful Friendship" and shelved it before chapter 3.
I think David Weber is joining Veronica Roth and Diana Gabaldon on the don't bother list.