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A Call to Arms by Allan Mallinson

A Call to Arms (2002)

by Allan Mallinson

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission. Title: A Call to Arms Series: The Damned Author: Alan Dean Foster Rating: 4 of 5 Stars Genre: SFF Pages: 343 Format: Kindle digital edition Project Reread:
I am attempting to reread 10 books in 2016 that I have rated highly in the past. I am not attempting to second guess or denigrate my younger self in any way but am wanting to compare how my tastes have changed and possibly matured. I am certainly much more widely read now [both in the good and bad quality sadly] than then.
I will hopefully be going into the reasons for any differences of opinions between then and now. If there is no difference of opinion, then it was a hellfire'd fine book!
Links may link to either Booklikes or Blogspot, depending on when the original review was. Synopsis: (Copied wholesale)
For eons, the Amplitur had searched space for intelligent species, each of which was joyously welcomed to take part in the fulfillment of the Amplitur Purpose. Whether it wanted to or not. When the Amplitur and their allies stumbled upon the races called the Weave, the Purpose seemed poised for a great leap forward. But the Weave's surprising unity also gave it the ability to fight the Amplitur and their cause. And fight it did; for thousands of years.

Will Dulac was a New Orleans composer who thought the tiny reef off Belize would be the perfect spot to drop anchor and finish his latest symphony in solitude. What he found instead was a group of alien visitors; a scouting party for the Weave, looking. for allies among what they believed to be a uniquely warlike race: Humans.

Will tried to convince the aliens that Man was fundamentally peaceful, for he understood that Human involvement would destroy the race. But all too soon, it didn't matter. The Amplitur had discovered Earth... My Thoughts: Originally read this back in 2005. Enjoyed it enough that I went out and bought the whole trilogy in hardcover. It has since sat on my bookshelves for over a decade. So it was a prime candidate for Project Reread. Thankfully, I liked this just as much this time around as I did last time. Which means I had awesome taste back in '05 and still have it today :-D The biggest surprise to me, this time around, was how much time was spent dealing with the Amplitur and the Weave before ever coming to Earth. I had remembered the Weave/Human interaction as the starting point, and it wasn't. The other main thing I noticed was Foster's idea that killing non-humans, for humans, was something that they could deal with without guilt or side effects. It forms the whole philosophical basis of this book, ie, Humans are killing machines but hadn't found the proper outlet yet. I think that he is wrong this time around. I concur that humans can fight [not just killing, but the conflict] and in many cases enjoy it. However, seeing how war [Gulf II, Irag, Afghanistan, etc] has affected our soldiers [even the ones who keep it together], I am not so blithely sure that humanity can engage in conflict without consequences. Most of the difference, I know, stems from the fact that I am a Christian and I'm pretty sure Foster is an atheist. In '05 I noted that I stayed up until midnight to finish this. This time around I stayed up until 3am. And did I pay for that the next day! 3hrs of sleep is nowhere near enough for me these days. I find it interesting to note my physical changes in my book reading habits. Ha. Finally, the cover of this Gateway edition is butt ugly. I liked the hardcover edition covers that were all colorful and showed aliens and weapons. I would WANT to read those. This one, not so much based on the cover alone. " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This book is part of a serie and should be read after [[A Close Run Thing]].

A light dragoon, Matthew Hervey has resold his Commission after Waterloo.

In Rome with his sister he meets by accident the English poet Shelley when during an altercation at a post office, he breaks the tediousness of having to wait in line when he rescues the famous poet against the savage agression of a man who cannot bear Shelley's alleged Atheism.

After a memorable incident during which he fights alongside Italian Carbonari- a group that fought the 1815 repression very similar to the "Terreur Blanche" in France - to cooly repell an Austrian troopers' bayonet charge, Hervey returns to England, since he now has a fresh taste for battle, to buy back a Captaincy, find his former sergeant and recruit what Wellington called "the scum of the earth".

He also has a memorable evening at Apsley House during which he estimates its staircase Napoleon classic nude statue covered with a fig leaf at approximately twice the actual size. A lady remarks that had this bronze been made by Michelangelo, the fig leaf would not have been used.
He then heads for India - a six month Indiaman voyage - with his new regiment commander.

More sensitive than Sharpe's book to its intellectual time period, including philosophy, politics, poetry and architecture; less action oriented than the famous rifleman of Bernard Cornwell, this book does make you want to read more work from this fine writer. When the action arrives, however, it is thrilling. How can one compare anyhow Cavalry to Infantry? ( )
  Artymedon | May 6, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553813501, Paperback)

1817 and 1818 have not been good years for Matthew Hervey. His beloved wife Henrietta is dead and he is no longer in the Sixth regiment. Now he is kicking his heels in a corrupt and unruly England far removed from its once glorious past. 1819 sees Hervey in Rome with his sister Elizabeth where a chance meeting with man of letters Percy Bysshe Shelley leads him to rethink his future. Realizing just how much he misses the excitement of military action and the camaraderie of his regiment, Hervey hurriedly purchases a new commission and is refitted for the uniform of the 6th Light Dragoons. Hervey’s most immediate task is to raise a new troop and to organize transport, for his men and horses are to set sail for India with immediate effect.

What Hervey and his greenhorn soldiers cannot know is that in India they will face one of their toughest trials. A large number of Burmese warboats are being assembled near the headwaters of the river leading to Chittagong, and the only way to thwart their advance involves an arduous and hazardous march through jungle territory. What begins as a relatively simple operation becomes a journey into the heart of darkness, as Hervey and his troop find themselves in the midst of hot and bloody action once more.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:40 -0400)

It's 1819, and the last two years have been tough for Matthew Hervey: his beloved wife is dead, and he has turned his back on the cavalry regiment. Hervey travels to Rome with his sister and meets one of England's most controversial figures, who reminds him of why he joined the Light Dragoons. Hervey rejoins, and is assigned a new troop and horses.… (more)

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