Top critical review
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OK, OK, I bought it. I had to.
on 7 December 2015
The first book in this series, Off Armageddon Reef, was truly outstanding. But really Mr. Weber should have stopped there. Sadly, I'm hooked albeit I wait until the paperback price has dropped to a fiver before I buy. The series is suffering from worditis - a voluminous out-pouring of Mr. Weber's thoughts which at times meander all over the place. In this book, he introduces pointless characters, utterly boring descriptions of the economies of Charisia in particular, detail on the finer points of how to generate an industrial revolution, the development of a military/industrial complex in a feudal society: and advances the whole story line infinitesimally.
Want to know what happens? Another avatar of Nimue is created, for no real reason other than to allow Athrawes to be in more places at the same time, there is ever increasing use of technology, despite fear of whatever is hidden beneath the Citadel; and the boys from Charisia and Chisholm start to do rather well in the war against the Faithful. Er - that's it.
What saves the book are Mr. Weber's always excellent battle descriptions and the overall marvellous story arc. I fear however that at this rate I'll be long retired before we find out if humanity ever drags itself out of the 15th century in a fit shape to tackle the aliens.
Buy this book cheaply and persevere to the end: better still, borrow it from someone because you'll never read it again. But you'll be happy that you read it once.