The Spoils of War (The Damned) Hardcover – 1 Apr 1993
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About the Author
Alan Dean Foster is the author of many SF adventures, the Spellsinger fantasy series and a number of film and TV tie-ins - including the hugely popular Alien novelizations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It was a very interesting series. Yes, the basic premise is sorta silly. A thousand yr war has been going on...basically by 'civilized' species that abhore war. Then, Earth is discovered, and humans, being insanely warlike and aggressive...are enlisted into this war and we turn the tide. If you can get over the silly notion that thousands of yrs of war has been perpetuated by species too civilized for it...and that humans are really the uncontrollable aggressive species in the universe...it's a very enjoyable read.
The way FOSTER delivers the series, you can suspend your beleif's about the obvious inconsistency in my first paragraph...and just enjoy the story and great characters.
Each book can basically be a stand alone story. Tho, I really wanted to get to the next one in the series...each book has a unique storeyline. If I remember correctly, even the first 2 books portrayed differing timelines. The first book was all about the initial encounter between humans and the "Weave". The weave being a consortium of races bound together to battle the "Amplitur" and their all encompassing expansion of a religious type of doctrine called "The Purpose".
The Second book had different characters and was further along the timeline of this war. This last book, the war (since first contact with humans) had been going on for hundreds of yrs...so again, you have a different cast of characters and a different storyline. The basic premise of the "Weave vs Amplitur" war is still going on...but, now, the war is coming to a conclusion.
This book is all about how the war ends, and...more importantly to this book...what to do about the overtly aggressive humans once the war is over.
Yes, humans are portrayed as primatively aggressive. But, we realize it, we understand this in ourselves. At the same time we are trying to come to grips with our aggressiveness, we are a little dismayed that the "weave" consortium is both afraid of us, and unwilling to accept us into their little club at the end of the war. After all the sacrifices we made to end it. We are portrayed as both thinking and intelligent...but also aggressive and primative. We scare the hell out of our allies, they want no part of us at the end of the war.
A unique "Wais" scholar...small, fragile and birdlike species...has been studying humans. She puts herself in battle situations with humans (completely unheard of from any other wais)... to study how we interract with other species. She forms a bond with a colonel, Nevan...and they both try to come to grips with who humans are, and how we can deal with life after the war. She is both an admirer of humans, and a critic...
Book has some unique twists...you really care about the characters and what happens to them. This is what saved me from putting the book down. I was able to overcome the implausabilty of the storeyline, by just enjoying the story and the people.
I still think the first 2 books were much better. Both of them being very good. This book tended to want to make a statement and talk more about social and evolutionary changes in human nature. Much of it I couldn't really agree with...but some of it I couldn't disagree with. Being the book it was...it just wasn't as fun as the first 2.
Still, I enjoyed it...had a good time reading it (2 days)...and it concluded the series in good fashion. I would recommend it for those who want to finish the series.
Lalelelang, a Wais who studies humanity, is the main character, and human Colonel Staait-ien (also of the telepathic Core) is the secondary character. Unlike the other books, Foster stays magnificently focused on the story with about 90% of the book directly involving scenes with the main characters that advance the plot. This is a huge improvement. Foster can write well, provided he doesn't go off on zillions of tangents (a case with his work in general).
This novel gave me exactly what I wanted: a philosophical novel which concluded the Weave/Amplitur war and wasn't rosy afterwards. It explores the potential for violence in humanity within the confines of Foster's idealized alien universe. If you like either of the previous books in this series, you'll love this one because it's better than both of them.