Hell's Foundations Quiver

Hell's Foundations Quiver

Book - 2015
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Centuries ago, the human race fought its first great war against an alien race, and lost. A tiny population of human beings fled to distant Safehold. Centuries later, their descendants have forgotten their history; for them, life has been an eternal Middle Ages, ruled by the Church of God Awaiting, whose secret purpose is to prevent the re-emergence of industrial civilization. But not all of Safehold's founders were on board with this plan. Those dissidents left behind their own secret legacies. One of those is Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of one of Earth's long-dead defenders, now reawakened after a thousand years to restart human progress and reclaim our place in the universe. Merlyn has intervened in the small Safeholdian realm of Charis, seeding it with ideas and innovations and helping it to rise to challenge the hegemony of the Church. It's been a long and bloody fight, but aided by a stream of inventions--breech-loading rifles, signal rockets, claymore mines, new approaches to manufacturing and supply-Charis and its few allies seem to have finally gained the upper hand. Now major realms have begun to consider switching sides. To all these ends, Merlyn Athrawes has been everywhere, under multiple disguises and wielding hidden powers. The secret of who and what he is has been closely held. But a new player has arrived, one who knows many secrets-including Merlyn's own.
Publisher: New York : Tor, a Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2015
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780765321879
Characteristics: 784 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm


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Jul 31, 2017

I made the mistake of starting this series with this one particular title...

I blame the public library for this, they never seem to be consistent with carrying other older books in a series title; scrolling through the aisles, it caught my eye and reading the jacket quickly, it sounded like an interesting read. After getting home (or I guess a facsimile there of; I'm homeless) and starting it, was unfortunately when I noticed that it was the eight one in the series. Suffice it to say that I was a bit lost to begin with and the language Webber uses doesn't make it any easier (the disregard to phonetics within the names and titles of places and persons; always with a 'Y'??)

I've worked my way through a good 1/5 of the book by this point and I can at least garner the series story-line which is why I picked it up to begin with. That original story sounded pretty interesting. I wanted to read more about that. Not this boring tripe being fed to us. What I have found so far is that there is a lot of tactical and strategic information that the reader probably doesn't need to complete the story (but I also think this would have made the book quite a bit thinner); with way too many characters involved, it also reads like a play by play of some fictional battle sequences worded as a historical battle (where you are just told every detail instead of imagining it as one does when they read a book). These end up just being 'nerdish' battles, boring and stuffy accounts of the fictional facts. Even the maps in the beginning don't even help!

I'm not sure if I will continue this series once I'm done this one novel; we'll see after reading the first novel. This is the eighth book and the technology on the planet is just at the level of ironclads and breech loading rifles; at this point I wonder if this planet will continue on the fight with the aliens that started all of this to begin with (or if we have another 20 or so books to get us to that point)...

All in all, way too much extraneous detail in this story (so far it seems too many books trying to say the same thing over and over again.)

As of yet, I can't even give a good account of David Webber's writing style. As a writer, that one fact is mind blowing to me. How many different (long-winded) people are actually writing this series, under the one name?

Jan 05, 2016

I'll be honest, at around 700 pages, I skimmed some of the slower bits, but the series is outstanding and this one leaves you wanting the next instalment. The tactics are believable, the strategy impressive. Action sequences are well told and thoroughly enjoyable, with just the right amount of skulduggery and espionage.

Dec 10, 2015

Original premise, but got the Tolkien curse: Too many characters, infodump galore & a grind to read.

Sep 07, 2015

All of Weber's books have philosophical/politically wordy sections, but that in no way impedes the progress of his stories. This is an excellent series!


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