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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"Gripping." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Great Series. A true master work of fantasy.

This series is one of the greats. Just the right balance of personal insight without bogging down in too much touchy feely nonsense. Battles on a grand scale and personal combat that doesn't take whole paragraphs to describe a sword stroke. I dig it.

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action packed! epic!

very good. lots of details. a hair long winded in the middle. very worth the time.

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Story Intro that never ends

Would you try another book from David Weber and/or Oliver Wyman?

David Weber has written some of my favorite books. This book, however, is not one of them. Granted my judgement may be unfair because I only got about 25% through the book. All of the elements of a good story are present, but the narrative spends excessive amount of time explaining characters and back stories. Unfortunately, this build up to the real story was what I could not get past. Additionally, the story requires the reader to accept a path of human evolution that I think is as likely as finding lemon trees on the surface of the sun.

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Amazing

It's an amazing story and series up there with Lord of the Rings & The Wheel of Time. It manages to stay strictly science fiction while introducing elements of fantasy in the way the main character performs its role as a "Segin". To be honest, I got audible for the sole purpose of getting this series and can't wait to read the rest.

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Not really sci-fi, FYI.

The book is good for what it is, but if you are looking for a good sci-fi, look elsewhere.

Oh, it starts like many sci-fi stories do, but that is all just background setup for the real story: what might happen if the world went back to a pre-Industrial Revolution technology level, and there was a worldwide church that was in full control? Now, add a robot with memory of space traveling level tech to the world, but they have to act in secret because the church is anti-technology and very serious about it.

Basically, the book is a religious/political drama with some nautical warfare. It's okay, but not good sci-fi at all. I didn't hate it, but feel no need to go further in the series.

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Great book

I got started with David Weber books with a mighty fortress and I was hooked this book did not disappoint. I will recommend it to everyone I know

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  • Robert
  • United States
  • 02-07-17

Ugh...

Been trying to get through this book for two years. But I never could and always return it. But this time I will finish it in the hope that subsequent books in the series will be better. I am about 2/3 done and my head is about to explode, but again being a member for so long, I am running out of books to listen to in my favorite genres. But I will return this book as Audible allows us to with books we dislike as I really, really hate this book.

It's not the religion, I get that it's a very important part of the plot. But it's that everyone is so damn polite. It's almost comical. "I am very sorry sir, but I now must strike off your head, please hold still if you will". Okay, I made that up, but you get my drift.

And Merlyn comes off as a preachy 'know it all'. Maybe it's the narrator.

This book is starting to come off as if intended for pre-teens.

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Great book if you have insomnia

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Insomniacs and people with infinite amounts of patience for a rambling story that might get somewhere eventually.

What was most disappointing about David Weber’s story?

A good book should have your interest in the first page, and should have you hooked by the end of the first chapter. I listened to this book for over 3 hours, and became steadily less interested. I like a good long story, but this was rambling, seemingly going no where and taking a long time to do it. Maybe if you had an infinite amount of patience, it would eventually get around to having something worthwhile to say, but I don't.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

the reader did a fair job given the relatively poor material.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The basic idea of a human civilization hiding from scary aliens bent on annihilation of all of humantity is interesting enough. Just get on with it though.

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Really wanted to like this story but ...

It's a great premise. The opening chapters were great - held great promise. But then as chapter after chapter went by relating the politics and machinations of the different factions I started wishing it would just get to the point. I started skipping ahead and sampling the first several minutes of later chapters. Finally I gave up and put it away for good. I've read and enjoyed "big" stories - the Foundation Trilogy then the whole saga including prequels. Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Different feel entirely.

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  • jason
  • United States
  • 01-01-17

Slow and just bad

Would you try another book from David Weber and/or Oliver Wyman?

No, this is my second attempt and he takes for ever talking about<br/>Every little thing, i dont like political stuff, i like more action

What was most disappointing about David Weber’s story?

So slow and just boring

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was doing the best he could with what he had

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Off Armageddon Reef?

Several all the in depth church politcal stuff , it when i one ear and out the other