Review – Hell’s Foundations Quiver

Hell's Foundations Quiver (Safehold, #8)

Hell’s Foundations Quiver (Safehold #8) by David Weber
Synopsis from GoodReads:
TURNING OF THE TIDE
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 reemergence 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 Merlin Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of one of Earth’s longdead defenders, now reawakened after a thousand years to restart human progress and reclaim our place in the universe. Merlin 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—breechloading 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, Merlin 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 Merlin’s own.

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Like a Mighty Army

Like a Mighty Army (Safehold, #7)Like a Mighty Army (Safehold #7) by David Weber
Synopsis from GoodReads:
For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new-no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.

What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud–a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth.

Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost. Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.

And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss–a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.

The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…

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Review – Midst Toil and Tribulation

Midst Toil and Tribulation (Safehold, #6)Midst Toil and Tribulation by David Weber
Synopsis from GoodReads:
WAR AND FAMINE

Once the Church of God Awaiting dominated all the kingdoms of Safehold. Then, after centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of Mother Church–egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athrawes, who enjoys the Charisian royal family’s absolute trust.

What vanishingly few people know is that Merlin is the cybernetic avatar of a young woman a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which aliens destroyed Earth…and that since awakening, his task has been to restart the history of the long-hidden human race.

Now, reeling from the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis’s declaration of independence, the Republic of Siddermark slides into chaos. The Church has engineered a rebellion, and Siddermark’s all-important harvest is at risk. King Cayleb and Queen Sharleyan struggle to stabilize their ally, which will mean sending troops–but, even more importantly, preventing famine. For mass starvation in Safehold’s breadbasket is a threat even more ominous than civil war…

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Review – Six Wakes

Six WakesSix Wakes by Mur Lafferty
Synopsis from GoodReads:
A space adventure set on a lone ship where the clones of a murdered crew must find their murderer — before they kill again.

It was not common to awaken in a cloning vat streaked with drying blood.

At least, Maria Arena had never experienced it. She had no memory of how she died. That was also new; before, when she had awakened as a new clone, her first memory was of how she died.
Maria’s vat was in the front of six vats, each one holding the clone of a crew member of the starship Dormire, each clone waiting for its previous incarnation to die so it could awaken. And Maria wasn’t the only one to die recently…

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Review – How Firm a Foundation

How Firm a Foundation (Safehold, #5)How Firm a Foundation by David Weber
Synopsis from GoodReads:
The Charisian Empire, born in war, has always known it must fight for its very survival. What most of its subjects don’t know even now, however, is how much more it’s fighting for. Emperor Cayleb, Empress Sharleyan, Merlin Athrawes, and their innermost circle of most trusted advisers do know. And because they do, they know the penalty if they lose will be far worse than their own deaths and the destruction of all they know and love.

For five years, Charis has survived all the Church of God Awaiting and the corrupt men who control it have thrown at the island empire. The price has been high and paid in blood. Despite its chain of hard-fought naval victories, Charis is still on the defensive. It can hold its own at sea, but if it is to survive, it must defeat the Church upon its own ground. Yet how does it invade the mainland and take the war to a foe whose population outnumbers its own fifteen to one? How does it prevent that massive opponent from rebuilding its fleets and attacking yet again?

Charis has no answer to those questions, but needs to find one: quickly. The Inquisition’s brutal torture and hideous executions are claiming more and more innocent lives. Its agents are fomenting rebellion against the only mainland realms sympathetic to Charis. Religious terrorists have been dispatched to wreak havoc against the Empire’s subjects. Assassins stalk the Emperor and Empress, their allies and advisers, and an innocent young boy, not yet eleven years old, whose father has already been murdered. And Merlin Athrawes, the cybernetic avatar of a young woman a thousand years dead, has finally learned what sleeps beneath the far-off Temple in the Church of God Awaiting’s city of Zion.

The men and women fighting for human freedom and tolerance have built a foundation for their struggle in the Empire of Charis with their own blood, but will that foundation be firm enough to survive?

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Review – The Rolling Stones

The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones by Robert A. Heinlein
Synopsis from GoodReads:
The rollicking adventures of the Stone Family on a tour of the Solar System. It all statred when the twins, Castor and Pollux Stone, decided that life on the Lunar colony was too dull and decided to buy their own spaceship and go into business for themselves. Their father thought that was a fine, idea, except that he and Grandma Hazel bought the spaceship and the whole Stone Family were on their way out into the far reaches of the Solar System, with stops on Mars(where the twins got a lesson in the interplanetary economics of bicycles and the adorable little critters called flatcats who, it turned out, bred like rabbits; or perhaps, Tribbles….), out to the asteroids, where  Mrs. Stone, an M.D., was needed to treat a dangerous outbreak of disease, even further out, to Titan and beyond.

Unforgettable Heinlein characters on an unforgettable adventure.

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Review – The Rise of Endymion

The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos #4)The Rise of Endymion by Dan Simmons
Synopsis from GoodReads:
The time of reckoning has arrived. As a final genocidal Crusade threatens to enslave humanity forever, a new messiah has come of age. She is Aenea and she has undergone a strange apprenticeship to those known as the Others. Now her protector, Raul Endymion, one-time shepherd and convicted murderer, must help her deliver her startling message to her growing army of disciples.

But first they must embark on a final spectacular mission to discover the underlying meaning of the universe itself. They have been followed on their journey by the mysterious Shrike–monster, angel, killing machine–who is about to reveal the long-held secret of its origin and purpose. And on the planet of Hyperion, where the story first began, the final revelation will be delivered–an apocalyptic message that unlocks the secrets of existence and the fate of humankind in the galaxy.

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