I admit to bias - I will pick up a David Weber book without glancing at the dust jacket to see what its about. Off Armageddon Reef does not disappoin..Show More »t. Set in a completely different universe from his other books, its a study from multiple political, scientific and religiuos viewpoints of the emergence of a medival/renaissance level society to industrial age sophistication, set against religous strictures forbidding the change - with good reason - but flawed execution. The characters are well drawn - even the bad guys aren't all bad.
As always with David Weber, you have to be willing to sit through detailed descriptions of how the technical stuff works. If you are the type that skips that part to get to the action, you may find yourself hitting fast forward occasionally. I found that listening to the descriptions was actually easier than reading them and ended up listening and Not skipping over the technical stuff.
It is odd to read reviewers of this Weber opus to find those who decry the slow deliberate political intracacy. This is the entire point of the work. ..Show More »Draw whatever parallels you may with interaction of religion and politics in our current world - they exist as intended by the author. This series isn't some mindless actioner although there is enough action to keep it moving and interesting. The thought processes of the characters are explored in depth as they wrestle with the political and religious realities of their time and place.
This is a fascinating world that is much like our own and the questions involving religion and politics are what makes it great. This is wonderful for the thought it provoked and I expect the continuing saga to be as involved and detailed as the first two installments. I see no need to hurry while I enjoy every minute with these characters and their minds.
First, I want to say that I'm a Weber fan, having read this series, the most of the Honor Harrington series, the Prince Roger series, and even some of..Show More » his more obscure stuff. I know Weber has a tendency to ramble on, but the action scenes have always made it up for me.
Unfortunately, Mighty Fortress was very disappointing and finally pushed me over the edge. What do I mean? There are several things that always annoy me about Weber's books and Mighty Fortress has them in spades.
1. There is at least 20:1 ratio of meaningless conversation to exciting action scene. During the conversations, the story progresses at a snails pace, if at all.
2. Those meaningless conversations are made that much more painful by the NON-STOP use of the phases "to be honest", "truth to tell", etc. Once you notice this, it will drive you CRAZY.
3. You will note that there are really only two, maybe three characters in Weber's books: 1) rational good guy; 2) rational bad guy, who would be a good guy if their honor, patriotism, faith did not force them to the wrong side; and 3) irrational bad guy. How do you differentiate them? The first two character types are really the same, using the phase "to be honest" often, they're just on different sides. The third type, the irrational bad guy will not use the "to be honest" phrase and will often be irrational to an unbelievable degree.
If you've read the rest of the series, let's face it, you'll probably read this one also. If you decide to boycott the book, great! If enough people do so, maybe Weber will "be honest with himself" and realize that he owes us a better sequel.
I am so very disappointed with Mr. Keating's reading that I am probably going to discontinue listening and spend an additional 15 bucks for a copy fro..Show More »m Amazon.
Mr. Keating's name and place pronunciations really annoy me after having listened to the other 4 books in the series. Both Mr. Culp and Mr. Wyman give far superior performances. Mr. Keating may be a fine narrator (I???ve not heard any of his other performances) but he was absolutely the wrong choice to bring in at this time.
This was are very tough review for me. My first impulse was to give it only two stars, but I ultimately awarded a third. The easiest way to explain my..Show More » opinion is to supply simple pros and cons list, so here goes.
Pros: 1. Weber spends a lot of time discussing the details of war that are often overlooked (This is also a con and I'll explain why in the cons list). The importance of manufacturing, uniform measures, supply routes, intelligence, and a myriad of other details are both interesting and rarely come up in the genre. 2. The history of technological development and it's impact on the world is also very interesting and rarely covered in the science fiction world. 3. The underlying plot is very engaging. I really want to see what happens when and if the grand inquisitor finds out the truth. I am curiouser and curiouser about the alien species that nearly destroyed humanity.
Cons 1. The things interesting in #1-2 above become drudgery after getting the details hour after hour. At times I felt more like I was reading a dry history textbook than a novel. The great characters and plot are crowded out by ceaseless discussion of how long it takes to manufacture a gun and why cavalry rant as good in war as you might imagine. Even well researched info gets boring after a while. 2. Most of the endless discussion from the first con, is delivered in prose. Sometimes whole chapters slip by with almost no dialogue at all! 3. The main plot is moving along about the same rate as Jabba the Hut in a foot race. In the last several novels very little has actually happened. A subtitle for several of the books might be "The War continues".
Honestly, I still think it deserves a 2 star rating, but I am interested enough in the plot I'll probably read the next one. I have a hard time giving two star to a novel if I plan to read the next book in the series. There are glimmers of greatness that keep me ganging in there. I am hoping it will suddenly improve and I'll be glad I hung in there. Books 8-10 of Wheel of Time made we want to give up too, but I'm glad I kept reading. I'll hang in there and award 3 stars.
I write as a David Weber fan of long standing so I would like it said I wish I could say this was a good book. The quality of Webers work has bee..Show More »n in a steady fall for years now, a combination of disinterest in his own series and the lack of anything resembling good editing.
This book follows no single character or plot and send to have no real driving force. The story is just one big intermission as both sides in the conflict build up for the next big clash of armies inter spaced with contrived wins and losses for both sides so the players can all be in the correct spots for the next book. As well as try and head off a inevitable complains of invincible protagonists buy showing they to can be hurt but is such a way that all it does is delay the plot for another book.