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Nova War (Shoal Sequence Book 2) by [Gibson, Gary]
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Nova War (Shoal Sequence Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Complete Series

Product Description


'A sharp, sophisticated and hugely entertaining SF novel.'

'With the second novel in the Dakota Merrick trilogy, Gibson stakes his claim to be considered alongside the leading triumvirate of British hard SF writers: Al Reynolds, Peter Hamilton, and Neal Asher. What Gibson does well, he does exceedingly well. ' --Guardian

'A sharp, sophisticated and hugely entertaining SF novel.' --SFX

'The inventiveness and sense of wonder are raised a notch and the novel is a page turner you do not want to put down... In the top class of the field alongside PF Hamilton or Iain M. Banks.' --Fantasy Book Critic

'For an enthralling widescreen space opera with characters and aliens that are both interesting and engrossing this is the books to read. Very highly recommended.'
--Walker of Worlds

Book Description

One woman and a terrifying secret stand between us and destruction.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1693 KB
  • Print Length: 569 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; New Edit/Cover edition (4 Sept. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003GK21CQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,038 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The preceding volume to this one, Stealing Light, culminated in the human protagonists, Dakota Merrick and Lucas Corso, fleeing an exploding star having discovered the dark secret that a superluminal drive could force a sun to go nova, making it a phenomenal weapon. They ended up in a system controlled by the Bandati, a race whose social organisation resembles that of insects, with Hives ruled by Queens.

It is at this point that Nova War takes up the story: Dakota and Lucas have been captured and extensively tortured by the Bandati, who want to know all they know about FTL travel Meanwhile, Shoal agent Trader-in-Faecal-Matter-to-Animals, is continuing in his efforts to prevent the spread of knowledge of the FTL secret, and preserve his race. His job is made more difficult, however, by the revelation that the Bandati have long had a Magi derelict of their own, and have been secretly in contact with the Emissaries, an aggressively expansionist race who also possess FTL technology, and with whom the Shoal have been fighting a secretive cold-war for centuries. With conflict occurring between rival Bandati Hives, suddenly Dakota and Lucas' knowledge of the Magi makes them valuable commodities, and they have no choice but to negotiate their way through a tangled web of treacherous alien agendas in order to find some way to protect the Human race, as the Shoal-Emissary conflict enters a new phase, and the purposes of the intelligent Magi starships become clearer, too.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gary Gibson's 'Nova War' is the second part of the Shoal Sequence trilogy. Part One is Stealing Light. It doesn't make a lot of sense to read this without first having read Stealing Light.

It is a classic Space Opera, spanning the galaxy, leaping from spiral arm to spiral arm but, like it's predecessor, it really could have done with a bit more active editing - Gary Gibson's use of hyperbole and seriously over-the-top metaphor intrudes frequently and makes a gripping tale pretty hard going at times.

It starts slowly, if rather painfully, with the first hundred pages or so given over to the torture of our heroes Dakota Merrick and Lucas Corso by the 'Bandati', a race of winged aliens with peculiar names (such as the Proustian 'Remembrance of Things Past') - clients of the Shoal, themselves a race of strangely named fish-like aliens who possess the secret of superluminal (i.e. faster than light) travel.

Once that is out of the way, the book really gets going. It expands into not just a story of a few humans faced with aliens, but a great political struggle between factions within the Shoal, rival Hive Queens within the Bandati and the arrival of the hilariously bloodthirsty, violent and fanatical rivals of the Shoal - the Emissaries.

Behind all this is the struggle for the possession of not only the Nova bomb technology but also the search for the Magi and the Makers. So - a wonderfully complex and devious plot.

The timeline is not straightforward, as the story jumps about, filling in details from the past. In particular, we find out the origins of the thoroughly nasty Hugh Moss.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second in this series, following on from Stealing Light. While this book continues the story of Corso and Dakota, some more of the backstory of Dakota, the Shoal and the earlier races becomes clearer. This is good for the continuity of the story and the series; however, I felt that there was quite a light of padding in this book - quite a lot of unnecessary descriptive digression that stole the flow of the story, and could easily have been removed from the page count without any loss to the impact of the story. A 568 page book could easily have been shorter and yet have left more of a lasting, positive impression.

The alien races are well characterised, but I keep getting left with a nagging feeling that they are fairly derivative from other books and sci-fi novels. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, the overall sense I am left with from this book, and the series so far, is `good, but not great'. That's a pity - I hope the final book in the series picks up and takes the story to a great level in its conclusion. Time will tell.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's hard to write a review where so much has already been said so I won't bother saying too much now. This is book two in the Shoal Series and as such builds on from the first book, Empire of Light. The book is well written and keeps you wanting to read the next page: you just do not want to put it down. In this book, the story has moved on and we now find that the Shoal, the FTL-capable species from the first book are at war with another FTL species. There is a dark, or rather light, secret that threatens to tear the galaxy and possibly the universe apart. What will be the outcome...?
A better book than the first, but then it has more meat to the story so that helps. You would do yourself a favour if you bought this book.
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