Read The Spoils of War by Alan Dean Foster Free Online
Book Title: The Spoils of War|
The author of the book: Alan Dean Foster
ISBN 13: 9780345358578
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 23.43 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2661 times
Reader ratings: 7.6
Edition: Del Rey
Date of issue: March 16th 1993
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Warning: spoilers embedded in the review.
Well…it was an okay book, not a bad read, but…there were issues. Note that this is the third book of a series, of which at this writing I have not yet read (much less have found) the first two.
It starts out all nice and good as we are introduced to Lalelelang, a researcher of the bird-like Wais, who are members of a collection of interstellarly connected races called The Weave. Her specialty: humans. Now, for the Weave, combat, violence, etc, is pretty foreign to them and for many races simply *seeing* acts of violence – much less committing them, even in time of war – has debilitating effects (Lalelelang, specializing in humans for study, has developed mental and physiological techniqus ). For humans, not so much. So when the Weave was being set upon by another race called the Amplitur, who have the telepathic power of ‘suggestion’, able to just utter some words at members of another race and basically ‘take them over’, the Weave recruit the humans to do their fighting for them, to beat off the Amplitur. At which the humans, along with one or two of the Weave who can (barely) stomach violence, manage to do after centuries of war.
Now, it turns out that the humans are immune to the suggestive powers of the Amplitur (no one* of the Weave has telepathic abilities, which is why they were collectively afraid of the Amplitur; * - see below on the Lepar). And making a long side story short, have acquired the capability to suggest as well, due to a mis-adventure the Amplitur attempted with humans early on. This sets up the secret Core group, a society of humans who have telepathic powers (they can communicate with one another and can suggest to other races – such as “you should jump off a very tall cliff with a rocky landing” suggestion, and the member of the race so ‘suggested’ will attempt to do just that post haste). The humans keep their telepathic capabilities secret from the Weave, but ultimately Lalelelang discovers it, and the Core.
That’s where our human Core commander, so noted in the story background, comes in. Nevan Straat-ien enters the story a few chapters in, after we’ve established Lalelelang’s character and role in the story. He is a commander in the human forces, and does battle with ‘slave’ races of the Amplitur. He is also, as we find out later, very highly ranked in the Core, and a strong telepath with strong suggestive powers. He uses them infrequently, and at least once to save his and Lalelelang’s life (to the detriment of the being who was about to kill them). Parts of his character are reasonably developed, but other parts of it are….flat, 1-dimensional, lacking. There is a girl, but his interactions with her seem so very contrived in the story it would have been far better if Foster had just left that facet of Nevan out of the story. Nothing would have been lost.
The background story basically has the humans kicking the tar out of the Amplitur and their subjugated races, and suddenly the war is over by the middle of the book. The rest of the background story is the fallout and aftermath of the war and how the different races handle it.
We are introduced to a number of other characters along the way, who seem to have some import to the storyline then suddenly vanish. Kinda disconcerting. So the bulk of the book centers around Nevan and Lalelelang. However, suddenly near the end Nevan becomes a secondary character casualty, as he is killed ‘off camera’ by one of the lowliest of the Weave races after he, Nevan, averts an Amplitur plot to subvert the humans to the Amplitur cause. This lowliest of creatures, a Lepar, is the menial immigrant-style laborer of the Weave – but they are apparently immune to suggestion, and can actually ‘SEE’ telepathic energies, particularly when they are being used. They still abhor violence themselves and get incapacitatingly sick when they have to resort to it, but somehow one of these little Lepar manages to get the drop on combat veteran officer and battle-tested Nevan after Nevan has taken care of the Amplitur (to which the Lepar witnessed, and Nevan belatedly realized). And then Lalelelang is able to ‘get the drop’ on the same Lepar. Seemed a LEETLE bit of a stretch for me to hold.
In the end more Lepar attempt to assassinate Lalelelang, but Lalelelang has brought members of the Core to her side, and manages to broker a deal between the humans (well, the Core) and the Lepar so the two sides can watch over humanity and the Weave (and the Amplitur) in the decades/centuries to come. And Lalelelang goes back to her research and the story ends.
I would have liked to have seen/read more about Nevan and his exploits, and read more directly the accounting of his death rather than have it told second hand by the Lepar who killed him. I would have liked to have learned more of some of the other characters we were introduced to during the course of events of the story, but every one of them who proved to be potentially interesting was dropped from the storyline like a hot potato. It was….unsatisfying.
All THAT said, it wasn’t a bad read otherwise. I enjoyed it, despite my misgivings noted above.
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Read information about the authorBestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, but with a twist: the new places encountered in his books are likely to be on another planet, and the people may belong to an alien race.
Foster began his career as an author when a letter he sent to Arkham Collection was purchased by the editor and published in the magazine in 1968. His first novel, The Tar-Aiym Krang, introduced the Humanx Commonwealth, a galactic alliance between humans and an insectlike race called Thranx. Several other novels, including the Icerigger trilogy, are also set in the world of the Commonwealth. The Tar-Aiym Krang also marked the first appearance of Flinx, a young man with paranormal abilities, who reappears in other books, including Orphan Star, For Love of Mother-Not, and Flinx in Flux.
Foster has also written The Damned series and the Spellsinger series, which includes The Hour of the Gate, The Moment of the Magician, The Paths of the Perambulator, and Son of Spellsinger, among others. Other books include novelizations of science fiction movies and television shows such as Star Trek, The Black Hole, Starman, Star Wars, and the Alien movies. Splinter of the Mind's Eye, a bestselling novel based on the Star Wars movies, received the Galaxy Award in 1979. The book Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990. His novel Our Lady of the Machine won him the UPC Award (Spain) in 1993. He also won the Ignotus Award (Spain) in 1994 and the Stannik Award (Russia) in 2000.
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