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Old Soldiers Hardcover – 6 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (6 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000RO9YWY
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. C. Stolk TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The best part about "Old Soldiers" (the second Bolo-novel written by Weber, in the universe created by Keith Laumer) is that in this 372-page paperback novel, Weber doesn't have the space to "bloat" his story like he has done in other recent works. Instead, it forces him to focus on all-out action - something he excels at writing! The story clips along at a furious pace, dragging the reader with it like he/she's being hooked behind a Bolo travelling with the pedal-to-the-metal.
Complex tactical strategies, as viewed in detail from both sides, will have you scratching your head as you try to figure out how our heroes will be able to beat the vastly superior 'Dog Boys' when the remnants of the Concordat and the Melchonian empire finally start butting heads with all guns blazing.
Minor drawback is, that for the better part of this novel most of the characters are no more than standard cardboard-cut out people that don't really come alive, except for headliners Maneka Trevor and Unit 28/G-179-LAZ, a.k.a. "Lazarus". It's only when battle is fully joined that characters (especially the bad guys!) really start to "breathe".
I am not going to spoil it by telling what happens, but the ending is somewhat surprising (not standard "Hollywood"-fare so to speak), although it is surprisingly suitable to the overall theme of this novel. So, for everyone who enjoys an action-filled, roalercoaster-ride of a read, buy this novel!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tom Brown on 20 Dec. 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have to confess a bias: I think David Weber is, by some distance, the best science fiction writer currently writing. In Old Soldiers he explores the role and relationships of the Bolo further and produces a novel that is both highly readable and holds an interesting conceit. Although it lacks some of the raw passion of his Harrington series he manages to make the potentially two dimensional Bolo, Lazarus, very human and the interactions with Maneka are beautifully constructed and developed. His action scenes won't let down die-hard fans and it is nothing if not a page-turner. However, with all that said, if you haven't read any of David Weber's other work I wouldn't start here; it is still highly engaging but not his best work. For the fan though, put it in your basket!
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By Amazon Customer on 28 Feb. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
book was a good read.... not happy that the series ended. would like the authour to continue writing the bolo series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Terrific novel... 8 Aug. 2005
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Captain Maneka Trevor, of the Dinochrome Brigade, is one of the few to have survived the horrible battle on the planet Chartres. Though still active military, she carries guilt of surviving when her Bolo "Benjy" and the others in her brigade did not. Maneka is surprised to find herself before Rear Admiral Sedgewood until she learns why she was summoned. Maneka has been chosen to be part of a special mission called "Operation Seed Corn". The Melconian Empire is winning the war. The Humans are losing. Those chosen for this special mission are to travel far away, find a new habitual planet, and begin a new human colony.
Commodore Lakshmaniah was to be in charge. However, when the Puppies arrive she and her people go out to meet them head on, in hopes of keeping them away from the transports and industrial ships. They mostly succeed. Both teams seem to wipe each other out. Yet some of the "Seed Corn" convoy is also destroyed. Maneka and Lazarus, the Bolo who is assigned to her and was also at Chartres, are now in charge. Commodore Lakshmaniah, before her death, had believed there was at least one Puppy ship under stealth somewhere. Though Maneka prays the info is incorrect, she takes all precautions. (The reader knows from the beginning that Lakshmaniah's info IS correct. The stealth ship shadows the convoy until, over a year later, a new planet is found by the Humans.)
The new planet is named "Indrani". As the humans settle in, the Melconians prepare to attack. They intend to wipe out the human race and take the human's higher tech equipment as their own. Only two Bolos stand in the way of the overwhelming number of Melconian troops.
**** This is David Weber's second Bolo novel. The first is compiled out of several stories, like an anthology where the stories all link together eventually. This novel, however, is one long story. The author, David Weber, is famous for having complex tactical strategies in his works. This book is no different. The readers get to see the tactical equations taken by the Humans AND the Puppies. Many of these are utterly brilliant! All-in-all, another winner for Weber. I look forward to his next release, which is to be another "Honor Harrington" novel (due out in October 2005.) Stellar reading here! ****
(...)
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Better, Much better on the whole. 17 Sept. 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The books is a take off of one of the stories from David Weber's Colletion of Bolo stories entitled "BOLO!" and I found it a decent read.

Captain M is a wounded Bolo commander and would like nothing better than to have died with her Bolo... But soldiers sometimes aren't given a choice and she is sent off to defend a secret mission to establish a colony where hopefully the Dog Boys won't find it.

But unfortunately things don't go according to plan and the enemy does find them. To make a long story short, victory while costly doesn't destroy the colony... But it does give Captain M a much longer lease on life as a Bolo commander...

I found this book to a good deal better than the previous effort by Weber's Bolo! Definately a good read if you like David Weber and Bolo's!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
a Bolo as the antithesis of a Beserker 4 Nov. 2005
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For years Keith Laumer wrote Bolo stories, and now, after his death, David Weber skilfully continues the storyline. There are certainly places in this text where you can see Weber's style of writing from his Honor Harrington series.

This book could have been improved with a map of the land conflict between the humans and the Dog Boys. Think back to such classic military SF as Pournelle's Janissary series, or Stirling's General books. Both series came with simple maps that greatly helped the narrative.

You may already be aware of another long running series - about Beserkers, by Fred Saberhagen. Weber's book, and the earlier Bolo stories, are a nice antithesis to the bleak universe containing Beserkers. Or to the entire idea that dates back to Frankenstein, of a machine turning against its creator. The Bolo in this book is crucial in preventing a group of humans from being wiped out. Indeed, the backdrop of the book is a larger genocidal conflict between humans and the Dog Boys, where the humans are outnumbered and losing.

While there are some logical discontinuities between this story and earlier Bolo tales, some readers will surely wish that Weber writes more in this setting.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
terrific military science fiction thriller 26 Aug. 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dinochrome Brigade Captain Maneka Trevor is the only human survivor of her brigade at the devastating battle on planet Chartres; her Bolo unit Benjy died in the battle. Lazerus also survived that fight as the only Bolo to make it from the slaughter, but without its human host who died in the combat. Doctors heal Maneka's physical wounds, but she remains with the military because she does not have any options while suffering survivor's guilt. At about the same time, the Bolo technicians repair Lazerus.

Rear Admiral Sedgewood selects Maneka to participate in "Operation Seed Corn", a desperate ploy to save the human race facing extinction against the mighty Melconian Empire, which sacrifices soldiers in exorbitant numbers to overwhelm the enemy. The last hope is to colonize a new planet. To help her, Lazerus is assigned to her though he embellishes her feelings of survival guilt by being there. When the enemy arrives to destroy this mission, a fire fight breaks out leaving both sides mostly dead. Maneka with Lazarus as her chief aid takes charge of the Seed Corn survivors. One year later, the humans settle on "Indrani" while the Melconians prepare for the final battle of Armageddon.

The second Bolo tale (see BOLO) is a terrific military science fiction thriller that symbolizes an American-Chinese conflict. The story line goes into great depth to showcase the short term military strategy with the humans employing higher levels of technology against the much greater in number of soldiers that fight in massive waves but are considered expendable; the acceptable philosophy is that multiples might die for every human killed. Fans will appreciate this deep look at war in outer space as David Weber ventures outside his Harrington universe with this strong tale of intergalactic war between two species.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Bolo doesn't just fade away 24 Feb. 2007
By D. C. Stolk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The best part about "Old Soldiers" (the second Bolo-novel written by Weber, in the universe created by Keith Laumer) is that in this 372-page paperback novel, Weber doesn't have the space to "bloat" his story like he has done in other recent works. Instead, it forces him to focus on all-out action - something he excels at writing! The story clips along at a furious pace, dragging the reader with it like he/she's being hooked behind a Bolo travelling with the pedal-to-the-metal.

Complex tactical strategies, as viewed in detail from both sides, will have you scratching your head as you try to figure out how our heroes will be able to beat the vastly superior 'Dog Boys' when the remnants of the Concordat and the Melchonian empire finally start butting heads with all guns blazing.

Minor drawback is, that for the better part of this novel most of the characters are no more than standard cardboard-cut out people that don't really come alive, except for headliners Maneka Trevor and Unit 28/G-179-LAZ, a.k.a. "Lazarus". It's only when battle is fully joined that characters (especially the bad guys!) really start to "breathe".

I am not going to spoil it by telling what happens, but the ending is somewhat surprising (not standard "Hollywood"-fare so to speak), although it is surprisingly suitable to the overall theme of this novel. So, for everyone who enjoys an action-filled, roalercoaster-ride of a read, buy this novel!
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