Monday, November 30, 2015

A Call to Arms by David Weber and Timothy Zahn

And once again we return to the story of (mostly) Travis Uriah Long, a young officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy who is constitutionally incapable of breaking the rules, and who manages to get into trouble, mostly political, when he tries to make sure they're always applied, even to the politically connected.

It's rather interesting to visit Manticoran prehistory, to learn about events taking place before the wormhole in the system is opened up and Manticore becomes a major power in the area. There's a constant struggle in the halls of power between the royal family and their loyalists in the Navy who know that the best defense is a strong offense, and the opposition who believe that limited resources must be spent domestically, not chasing mythological creatures like pirates, nor threatening aggressive neighbors by patrolling too strongly in their back yards.

There's a plot afoot by secret agents employed by the Axelrod Corporation, who have come to suspect the existence of the Manticore Junction, and who are determined to control it and the system surrounding it, so they've hired a fleet of mercenaries to invade, just at the time when the Navy has grown weak.

The story jumps around between various POVs, as we've come to expect from a Weber book, and can be a bit confusing sometimes, moving from cliffhanger to cliffhanger.

Taking an awful long time to get from point A to point B. Glad we're not paying by the word.

By the way, though I've probably not reviewed any of his stuff here, I'm a big fan of Timothy Zahn, Weber's co-author. I eagerly snatched up the first half dozen or so novels he wrote, back in the eighties. He's a powerful writer all on his lonesome.

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