Very nice book. Weber kept the book the story line moving while he introduce new adversaries. Looking forward to listening to the next book.
This book is waste. The complete Manpower story line is just magic. By Weber’s own description is they are a small but wealthy system who specialize in biotech. I can buy they are the galaxies leader in biotech. So having 2 super advances in that field makes sense. The genetic upgrades they have done is major and I can believe they can control politics. The bio-virus that controls people is believable if your are that deep into genetics. It stays within their expertise. For me at this point it is still SF.
It starts to become magic when they come up with 3 non-biotech advances that are all undetectable.
1) They made a drive that takes them well into the higher hyper bands.
2) New sub-light drives that are undetectable using a totally new propulsion system.
3) A grazer that keeps its’ power but can fit into a missile.
That becomes unbelievable. It would be hard to believe they came up with one of these technologies. You have two naval empires that can not create these technologies with all their research. Then to add insult, Mr. Weber has them create a navy without anybody noticing. Not even the Ballroom!
If they were capable of all this on top of their biotech everybody in the galaxy would be watching them. This has lost its' SF taste.
He tries to compare it to Japan in WWII. No match. Japan did not have any super weapons. They had advances the US did not have. Great Britain had similar technology. They convinced the US they were not advancing their navy, but everybody knew the Japanese had navy. The surprise was where it was located.
I found the story to be very predictable at times. Other times I had a hard time differentiating between the chameleon and the changeling. Over all this was still an enjoyable listen.
This book is a transition book and it is very slow. All the main characters are only side notes to the most boring political dialog I have listened to.
The story was very good and the narrators performance was great. The datafile had some skips in it.
Over half the book is just porn that does not improve the plot. The remaining story is a good start.
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