Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hope Reborn: The General-David Drake and S. M. Stirling

Hope Reborn: The General

David Drake and S. M. Stirling

Baen, Mar 5 2013, $13.00

ISBN: 9781451638776

“The Forge.” Over a millennium ago, the fall of the Galactic Federation left those civilizations on the fringe like planet Bellevue isolated. In a divided Bellevue, the Priests claimed that sin destroyed the Federation and one day the worshipped Computer Battle Central will return starting a holy enlightenment. In the present, Civil Government soldiers Raj Whitehall and Thom Poplanich explore the catacombs when they find Battle Central. The Computer places Thom is a suspended state while ordering Raj to save the planet. Reluctantly he accepts the mission after Battle Central displays the destruction if he fails to act against the Colonists.

“The Hammer.” Two years have passed since Battle Central sent Raj on his military mission. He returns to the catacombs for the first time since he left Thom there. Awakened Thom is stunned to have been left behind and missed so much. Raj argues that a new Southern Territories Expedition is needed though the previous one two decades ago proved a disastrous failure. Now a Brigadier General, Raj leads the expedition while corrupt leaders make success less likely.

The reprint of the first two rousing Raj Whitehall science fiction thrillers are exciting tales as the Bellevue world seems a plausible mix of nineteenth and twentieth century technology within a belligerent Holy Roman Empire feudal society. The battles are realistic especially the dark side of war as civilians are killed, maimed, raped and their assets taken. The insightful look at the worship of the silent Computer who abandoned the people but left behind the bible (manuals) is fabulous; especially the scholarly debates. Readers will enjoy this saga as the divided planet enables Raj opportunities to advance.

Harriet Klausner

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