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A Mighty Fortress (Safehold) Hardcover – 3 May 2010

33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1 edition (3 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076531505X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315052
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.7 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 579,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Gripping... Shifting effortlessly between battles among warp-speed starships and among oar-powered galleys, Weber brings the political manoeuvring, past and future technologies, and vigorous protagonists together for a cohesive, engrossing whole." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Off Armageddon Reef."

About the Author

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author whose most popular and enduring character, Honor Harrington, has been developed through 13 novels and four shared-universe anthologies. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. R. Cantrell on 1 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a great many things wrong with this book, starting with the cover art: it has a flying saucer zapping a sailing ship with a death ray, something that - thankfully - doesn't happen in the book. Then there's the length: over a thousand pages, making it thicker and heavier than my copy of the bible, although admittedly the typeface is larger. And it is at least a better story than the bible, making use of such advanced techniques as causes preceding effects, characters having believable motivations etc. Trouble is, it's still not that good. Much of that length is taken up by lengthy internal monologues which serve to set the scene but which digress to such an extent that, when they occur in the middle of a conversation (as they almost invariably do) it's hard to keep track and is terribly jarring when a character finally decides to say something. And there's nothing exciting and new at all when compared to the earlier books in the series. It's merely a small development of themes that we're already very familiar with from the first three volumes. Add to that a cast of so many characters that the appendix listing them all covers 32 pages, and that they all have idiotic names which are based on normal names but with all the vowels hideously butchered, and it's too easy to lose track of what's going on.

I quite enjoyed reading it, but it's dreadfully flawed.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 25 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
This whole series seems to be getting slower and slower.

I took the first book away on vacation (on my kindle) and found the whole fleeing from Earth premise quite fun. I watched the hero of the piece start to introduce new technologies to the society where he wakes and I thought it might be good to read the rest, so I downloaded them.

What did I get? A cleverly tweaked replay of the history of the British Empire, a series of sea-battles and a bunch of unpronounceable names!

After the first burst of techno-intervention, our hero has been very careful not to unduly influence the rate of innovation and that has stuck the whole series in a time where there are only endless sea-battles to be described. I'm sure that I've learned a lot about topmasts etc. but if this society is ever to defeat the alien menace from the first book, I'm going to have to wade though hundreds of years of technological innovation seemingly carried out at only a slightly accelerated pace. Is this going to be a 100 novel series I have to wonder?

As for the names...well they've been mentioned in other reviews already. Take a normal name, replace the vowels with "y" and the G's and J's with "Zh" and you have it. It's a cheap gimmick and just wears thin after 4 books. Anyway, it's just occured to me that the hero Merlin should probably be called Myrlyn - so why isn't he?

All-in-all I'm too far into this series to give up now, I may carry on. My advice is to buy the first book, enjoy the idea and then run for the hills - unless you want to be an 18th century fighting ships expert.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Scott on 8 Feb. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I feel I have to add to other reviewers slating this book.

The series started spectacularly well - 'Off Armageddon Reef' was a really interesting book. We had space battles, a fleeing colony, a corrupt social system to overcome. All very interesting. However, books 2, 3 and 4 then stuck us in an 18th century world with very little sci fi.

I think Weber completely misjudged his readership. Anyone who read the first book and enjoyed it enjoyed their sci fi. Anyone that enjoys the later books obviously prefers their naval history and pondering storylines. These two groups are quite different.

Unless the next book picks up the development, has humanity starting to gear up to fight their nemesis etc., I'm going to give up on Weber's reading entirely. I've wasted enough money on a story not going anywhere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 May 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of David Weber. And I'm a big fan of the Safehold series. But this book...

I understand we're dealing with rebuilding a world and a society. I understand that a good story has a proper flow and lengh, and has to be properly told. But this book is simply too *slow*! There's simply too much going on, too many secondary characters poping up (we have a 37 page index of names, for Langhorne's sake!), too many locations, too many descriptions. The story grinds down for the sake of too many useless details. A certain tutor's journey to Zion, for example, could have been dealt with in just a few pages, rather than entire chapters. It's what happens in Zion that matters, not all the ity-bity stuff on the way (a full description of a hotel? Really?...).

I like where the book leads us in the end, but getting there almost becomes a chore, rather than a pleasure. I think that, even without loosing charaters, some editing of descriptions and journeys would have chopped 10-15% off the book... and nothing of the story would be lost.

Mr Weber, please: I can tell that you really loved to write all that but, for the sake of your fans (and of the story) cut down a bit on the extras.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fulby on 13 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of David Weber's work and this isn't up to his usual standard. It's far longer than necessary and it's not until half way through the two-inch thick book that things start to get interesting. The ending is also anticlimactic given how long the run-up to it is.

I bought the earlier books of this series in hardback but having been disappointed by the second and third books waited for the paperback for this one. Glad I did and will do the same for the next one - not worth the extra money for the hardback and I'm not gripped by the series enough to want the next one quickly.
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