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Redliners by David Drake

Redliners (edition 1997)

by David Drake

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3911039,394 (3.86)16
Authors:David Drake
Info:Baen (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

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Redliners by David Drake


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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Quite enjoyable if you don't mind character casts dying off faster than you can blink. Here, it was far from gratuitous though. A minor niggle was the ending, a bit "Huh, that's it ?". ( )
  Jarandel | Jul 7, 2015 |
Excellent, excellent military sci fi novel, and a great way to start off the new year. Thanks, Mr. Drake; I highly enjoyed the read! ( )
  GunnarGrey | Jan 2, 2015 |
I liked some aspects of this book, but I disliked other aspects.

Let’s start with the beginning. I was overwhelmed in the beginning. We’re immediately thrust into a major battle, with a large number of characters splitting up into small squads, each heading off in different directions to accomplish various objectives toward a larger goal. Jumping right into the action isn’t normally a problem for me. The problem in this case was that we’re introduced to about a dozen different characters within the first 3% of the book, combined with quite a bit of new terminology to absorb. Meanwhile, while I was trying to keep track of who all the characters were, I was also still trying to wrap my head around the big picture of what everybody was trying to accomplish. I was even a little confused about the political situation and about who was fighting whom because they used two different names for the same enemy.

Once we started cycling back through scenes with characters we’d already met, and once I had gathered more context with which to understand the world I’d been dumped into, I slowly started to get things straight in my head. The beginning was really just setup to help us understand what kinds of things the characters had been through, and why they were so messed up. That leads me to one of the things I liked about this book. The soldiers’ attitudes and frustrations seemed very realistic. They were doing their jobs, at great personal cost, for the benefit of civilians whom they felt didn’t care about them and didn’t understand the sacrifices being made on their behalf – if the civilians even bothered to think about them at all. The bulk of the story involves the soldiers protecting a group of colonists on a dangerous planet, and I really liked the mutual respect that developed between the two groups of people over the course of the book.

I also liked the overall story itself. I was curious about just what was going on with the planet, I was curious what each next threat would be, and I was curious about how everybody would survive (or not) those threats. On the other hand, I didn’t feel heavily invested in the characters. I liked them, and they were interesting and felt realistic, but they were dropping like flies. It’s difficult to invest in characters when you know there’s a good chance they’ll be dead within a few pages. When it comes to character deaths in books, I think less is more. One or two deaths of major characters can add tremendous emotional impact, but large numbers of deaths just build numbness. On the other hand, given the situations the characters were in, all of those deaths were undoubtedly realistic. So it’s a little hard for me to complain, because I do like realism. But, at the same time, it reduced my investment in the characters and that’s a large determining factor in how much I enjoy a book.

Although I liked the ending somewhat, I felt like it was too abrupt. The resolution to the problem at hand was sufficient, I thought, although it did leave some open questions and it wasn’t all that well fleshed out. But I really wanted to know more about what happened to the characters afterward. The ones that were left, anyway. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jun 28, 2014 |
In a ragged group of frontline soldiers, all of them clinging to the fringes of sanity, if they haven't fallen completely over, the greatest mind in the galaxy finds his chance for penance and a colony is born.

Drake's style often reminds me somewhat of Andre Norton, in that his characters lack much in the way of softness, and fraternal relationships are built not on blood, but on shared hardship, loyalty, service, etc. The main characters here aren't exactly three dimensional, but they do seem more human. Stellar read, in spite of a few annoying plot holes. ( )
  SunnySD | Dec 18, 2013 |
This title is great. The first thing I read by [Drake] was the short story collection [[Hammer's Slammers]], which I hated for its shallow, wooden characters, lovingly detailed homophobia (a psychotic killer is fey; doors "sphincter" open and closed for him), and jumbled plots.

[[Redliners]] however is a standout in the military sci fi genre (itself a relatively cramped, poorly writen, and stupidly characterized field so this isn't a piece of great literature). The plot revolves around some soldiers who, following a traumatic battle where like half of them get killed, are "redlined" (aka totally freaking out, aka pushed past the redline, aka denied loans via a system of geographic racism...no just playing on that last one). The future government's plan to rehabilitate them involves sending the unit? platoon? company? in any case it doesn't even matter because what's left of them gets sent to a suicidally hostile planet filled with malevolent, sentient plants. And even worse they have to guard a bunch of rich civilians who were drafted to colonize the planet.

There is some fancy tech with computers implanted in people's brains and an evil alien race that humans are warring against show up, but the meat of the story (and the reason it's good) is the relationships that develop between the civilians and the soldiers. Cute girl children are adopted by stoic soldier men, useless civilian hotties are boned by stoic soldier women. Basically, the civilians toughen up and learn to respect soldiers and the soldiers all grow human hearts again so everybody wins. Obviously, there is cliche corn here, but it works and is fun and doesn't stereotype/pick on any one group too bad.

Although, [Redliners] isn't part of a series, I'm hoping some of his other books pick up with these same characters/setting. ( )
1 vote knownever | May 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Drakeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ruddell,GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When I entered Category 4 of the Unity civil service thirty-seven years ago, I gave up my former name and life to become a servant dedicated to all mankind.

Major Arthur Farrell's bones vibrated to the howls of the generators braking the captured Kalendru starship to a soft landing in the main military port of the world Unity planners had labeled Maxus 377.

The psychology of the Kalendru required them to battle the Unity for primacy where another human society would have been willing to coexist with us.
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Having seen too much war to be safely returned to civilian life, Strike Force Company C41 is assigned to guard a colony on a hostile planet, but when the mission goes terribly wrong, the troops encounter unexpected danger.

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