Humanity is in hiding. Invention, progress, change... all are forbidden. Now it's time to change all that. The science-fiction epic of the decade begins here.
When Earth herself lay under siege by an enemy humankind could not defeat, mankind undertook one last throw of the dice: Operation Ark. Earth's final colonizing expedition was meant to build a new civilization, on a planet so distant even the Gbaba might never find it and without the high-tech infrastructure whose emissions might betray its location.
Eight centuries later, a commander from that Expedition, Nimue Alban, woke up in a cave on a planet called Safehold. She was surprised to discover that the fanatic administrators of Operation Ark had used mind-control techniques to create a false, brutally suppressive religion whose entire purpose was to forbid invention and innovation forever.
But a tiny fraction within Operation Ark's leadership remembered the truth and believed in human dignity and freedom. They've given Nimue Alban a carefully hidden cache of technology and the capabilities of the android body in which her memories, loves, hopes, and dreams live on. Now it's her job to somehow provoke the technological progress and freedom of thought and belief that the Church of God Awaiting has worked centuries to crush.
Listen to more in the Safehold series.
©2007 David Weber (P)2006 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
"Gripping." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
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.
I've listened through seven hours out of thirty. If you like your sci-fi novel to be about people sitting and talking or sitting and thinking this book is for you. The entire seven hours of talking was interrupted only once, around hour four, by something actually happening, but it was only for five minutes so it should not interrupt your reading about talking.
Slow and boring. The world the author creates is unimaginative.
There was only one scene so that one.
I wish Audible had a refund policy.
I was intrigued with the idea setting up the book; which is why I continues to listen to the end. The author at times at times writes truly beautiful word pictures and then gets caught up in how to rig the sails of a ship, over and over and over again. I wish he had spent more time fleshing out more of the relationship of the characters. While I wouldn't read another in the series, I am glad I listened to this one.
I know I'm in the minority, maybe it's just me, but I absolutely could not get into this book. The premise seemed perfect - technologically advanced humans who shun technology to avoid detection from aliens. That sounded unique. But after 4 hours I had enough. Other than a decent fight scene early on, I found myself drifting and couldn't focus on the story. The narrator was also putting me to sleep. No inflection and his tone was too high for my taste. I'm picky, I admit. And I also struggle with books more than 15 hours long. If it doesn't grab me in the opening chapter it two, I'm gone.
I would recommend this series to any science fiction fan who also enjoys 18th century political intrigue and naval battles. I found the book to be very well written (as I find all of Mr. Weber's work to be) and I really enjoyed the narration. I've given it so many stars because I've already listened to it 3 times from start to finish! Can't wait to hear the next one.
David Weber is THE master of character development, detail research, and story line. AND I would listen to anything read by Oliver Wyman. They both only do quality work!
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