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A Call to Arms (MechWarrior: Dark Age #2) by…
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1041178,708 (3.27)None
MechWarrior-aspirant Raul Ortega finds himself called to battle when warring factions-who have seceded from the Republic-wage war on his home world to obtain one of the few working interstellar communication nets.

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Where Ghost War served to introduce readers new and old to the current state of the BattleTech universe, A Call to Arms dives straight in, letting readers follow and try to catch their breath.

This approach mostly works, with Stackpole having set up much of the background for the reader in Ghost War. But some elements of BattleTech—mainly the Clans—went untouched in the prior book, and here Coleman uses them without much of an introduction.

But while A Call to Arms may be slightly confusing to a first-time reader, that's no obstacle to someone familiar with the universe. The book remained just as good as it did when I was a first-time reader; better, perhaps, now that I've seen the fates of some of these characters 20+ books down the line.

A Call to Arms, despite the name, is far more than a book of combat scenes. (If you want that, try Endgame.) Instead, Coleman spends much of the time developing the characters and the relationships between them. While the lines between "good guys" and "bad guys" and "worse guys" are fairly clearly drawn, he still takes the time to explore them and their motivations in depth. Even though it's hard to sympathize with Erik Sandoval-Groell and Star Colonel Torrent, it's no secret why they're acting the way they are.

A Call to Arms was a fun book to come back to, seeing just how much it sets up for other authors to play with down the line. While there's not much here for someone not interested in the BattleTech universe, it's definitely an interesting and essential book for someone who is. ( )
  ATimson | Mar 12, 2008 |
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For Janna Silverstein,
who immersed herself in the BattleTech universe and helped to make a good book better.
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Sporadic artillery crumped along Raul Ortega’s rearward flank: twenty-pounders.
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