First, Charles Keating is a great reader and was excellent in rendering this story. Second, Weber's premise was an interesting variation on the theme of aliens invade Earth and eventually get their asses kicked. The problem is that Weber contrived an ending that made no sense from the rest of the story. He could have developed many more plausible endings that would have flowed logically from the various story lines. So, it looks to me like he wanted to finish off the story, was tired of it, and just came up with a whacky way to do it. You will hear the usual Weberian internal musings, digressions, and ocassional political polemics that characterize his later work. He sounds a lot like Tom Clancy in his love of weapons of violence and their many models, attributes, and killing capacities.In summary, this is a decent piece of commercial work for Weber, but not anywhere close to his best.
The biggest problem here is again the interminable suffering of Sayon. He goes through three kinds of hell and we live each moment with him. Not sure how this advances the development of his character or the plot of the story. However, the problem presented to Sayon is profound and requires him to make Hobson's Choices around conflicting morals and beliefs that would drive most humans insane. That he does so and remains sane is part of the remarkable allure of this story.
This story unfolds, folds back, circles, returns, and surprises. At times, it seems to drag as the protagonist suffers interminably in so many different ways. However, as we learn who he is and what he has done, we appreciate the weaving. The reading is good, but not great. The story bogs down here and there, but is still very engaging and entertaining.
I liked the first series. I like this series just as much. What a fun and interesting way to meld our ancient myths into a futuristic story. Well done.
If you like space opera this one is fun. Douglas puts an interesting twist on the future as the US gets a substantial dose of its own real politik. There are a lot of classic plot lines and good characterization for this genre. Definitely worth it.
If you have been following the series and Weber's writing in general, this is more of the excellent work. Weber's early work, even before the Harrington series, was much more action oriented. As he has aged, matured(?), he has moved deeper into the motivations and psychology of his characters rather than focus on plot. He is much more interested in exploring basic conflicts within the human experience. This installment of the Safehold Series is no different. Ignore the criticisms about the reader. Kevin Collins did a great job and improved as the story evolved. The civil war is mired down in Siddermark as the the sides evolve quickly from 16th century to early 19th century technology. The war, like many wars, drives technological advancement. Weber relishes the history of weapons development and uses that history throughout this work. I thought I would be bored, and I was not. In typical Weberian fashion, I am now waiting for the next installment. Charles Dickens has nothing on David Weber.
This one starts a little slow, but hang in there. Ms. Norfolk's accent takes about 15 minutes to get used to, then she is an easy listen. The story is first rate hard science fiction with very good characterization and an amazingly interesting and complex plot line. All kinds of fun Perils of Pauline moments, which you know will generally turn out well, but not quite the way you expected. I am going to take a break and listen to Weber's latest turgidity in the Safehold series. I am sure he will drive me back to the Gibson/Norfolk team for clean, clear, directed characters, plots, and interesting speculative science and history.
Ever since the Prince Roger series, I have wondered why Stefan Rudnicki could not be engaged to read another great story. Finally, I think this is one. The story itself is immensely clever and innovative. Stover creatively weaves two worlds and multiple plots together with skill. His prose is excellent, and I particularly admired his ability to place me in the scene with his descriptions and metaphors. The story has twists and turns, with plots, sub-plots, and intrigue layered on intrigue. We get to know Hari Michaelson/Caine very well. If there is a weakness, it's that the other character development suffers a little. Rudnicki is a brilliant reader and wrings everything out the story that there is to be squeezed out. This one is a keeper that I will listen too again. Thanks Mr. Rudnicki and Mr. Stover for a job well done.
This book suffers from complexity. Too many plot lines, locations, and characters. It is very difficult to follow as a audiobook, especially in segments over time (driving). The concept is unique and interesting. I just wish Mr. Gonzales had kept to a simpler structure. If you like very complicated story lines, many characters, and many locations jumping at you every five minutes, you will like this one. Otherwise, pass.
If you like complex, drawn out stories, this is for you. Sanderson does an OK job with the moral disengagement and re-engagement of the major characters, but secondary characters like Saddeus are not as well developed. The over-archng plot is difficult to grasp, but the subplots are clear enough and easy to follow. If you have a spare 45 hours and lots of driving or flight time like I do, this helps pass the tedium. However, it was not a story that compelled me to drop everything and listen to completion. Good, not great is my review.
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