Now if you're new to Weber's books and you're reading Schism after finishing the first one, you'll find this second book to be an excellent piece of work. Well written, amazing depth and enough intrigue to chew on for at least a week.
For a long-term Weber fan, however, this book MIGHT leave you a tad underwhelmed.
Do not get me wrong, this book is an excellent read, no question.
But Weber's book have always had an nigh perfect balance between large scale action and human interaction on a personal/political/religious level that has always been exquisite, in my eyes at least.
In Schism, he has 'unbalanced' this equation to a rather large extent and whilst there are any number of action sequences, they are not the sort of battles i have come to expect.
Especially as, in all his works, these battles are never just for the sake of having a fight but to push the conflicts in certain directions, hinging the course of the war on the outcome of these battles.
In this book, Weber appears to utilise political manuevering on a grand scale to set the course of the Safehold War instead.
Whilst a fairly big proponent of the 'if it ain't broke...' modus operandii, i'm all for experimentation and growth and this was a bravua effort from Weber.
My problem was, all his past works have 'educated' me to expect a large battle and reaching the end of the book with only a few skirmishes to whet my appetite only left me hungry for more. So whilst this book was an excellent read, for me, it never really rose to the levels of some of his other works.
If you're a Weber 'fleet warfare' junkie like myself, it's not one to avoid exactly, just start reading with your eyes open about the fact that you're not likely to get your fix with this particular book.
Roll on Spring 2009 and 'Heresies Distressed'!!!!!