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Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber
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Off Armageddon Reef (2007)

by David Weber

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Safehold (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,227306,487 (3.83)45
  1. 10
    Heirs of Empire by David Weber (infiniteletters)
  2. 00
    1633 by Eric Flint (Dragget)
    Dragget: These two are similar in a several ways: 1) Freedom of conscience versus religious intolerance. 2) Advanced technology introduced into a medieval/renaissance society 3) Military and political conflicts are the main focus of both works. 3) A large cast of characters with viewpoints alternating among them.… (more)
  3. 00
    Yukikaze by Chōhei Kambayashi (bunnygirl)
    bunnygirl: another story of human/alien war and confrontation, perhaps due to computers...or not?
  4. 00
    The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card (infiniteletters)
  5. 02
    Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri by Firaxis Games (theapparatus)
    theapparatus: When I was reading this book, I kept thinking how much it was like the compute game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.
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» See also 45 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This is about the language "drift" Weber portrays in the Safehold Series.
As a writer you are limited in trying portray "spoken" versus "written" language. Some authors have attempted to do it via grammar [Riddley Walker]. I have a strong inclination to believe Weber was using the off-putting spelling to reflect the SPOKEN drift. The actual spelling of names such as Haarahld (Harold) Nahrmahn (Norman), and Maysahn (Mason) would have been written as "normal" English, but the pronunciation of it is reflected in the Novel's spelling of the names. In this he is reflecting what English went through during the great :vowel drift" of the Victorian age (Re: Australian: puut aanoother shremp on the baarbeee maate).

I have done much research into the phonetic drift of the English language and though we modern American English speakers feel quite proud of our "clean" English, it is NOT pronounced nearly as cleanly as we imagine My mother is 94 years old and we have spoken at length of the drift of language over her life-time. So, yes, Weber can make it hard of the reader. But as a manner of speaking he has attempted what I consider to be a masterful rendition of a language drift that few authors would bother to attempt. My hat was off to Russell Hoban for {Riddley Walker], and my hat's off to Weber too
(though I do agree with the info-dumps and character internal dialogs). ( )
  AmishTechie | May 9, 2017 |
This is a really good book starting what is probably a really good series, yet it has some problems. First, it is about a world called Safehold, humanity's last planet, because an alien race that can detect technology has wiped out the rest of humanity. As a result, this planet was colonized by people who were mind wiped and given medieval technology and given a theocratic rule, by the Church of God Awaiting, founded by "Archangels," who are the people who founded the colony. Nine hundred years later, an AI "wakes" up in a cave to discover she/he has been lying dormant, waiting for the right time to emerge and wake humanity up and bring technology back to the people. The Church, which rules all, is completely corrupt. Merlin, the indestructible AI, goes to the kingdom of Charis, which he feels is most likely to accept change. He saves the prince from an assassination attempt, and then the first councilor from another assassination attempt, and is given a spot in the king's court.

And so it begins. The Church decides it no longer likes Charis. Merlin has been helping make changes in Charis, introducing looms, sails, muskets, quick firing cannons, etc., and the Church forces five neighboring kingdoms to gang up on Charis and sail in their navies to destroy the kingdom. There are a couple of major naval battles, which are written pretty well, and the book ends. At about 800 pages. It's a long book. And it could have done with an editor. It's too long.

Some of the problems. There are far too many characters. Weber loves characters. He loves to introduce them in his Honor Harrington series, but this is ridiculous! There must be hundreds of them here, and they all have titles -- Sir, Earl, Duke, Prince, King, Vicar, etc. And to make matters worse, he thinks he's being clever by intentionally misspelling them. Instead of spelling common names normally, he adds vowels and consonants, so that the names look like Haarahld, Nahrmahn, Maysahn, Kahlvyn, and Makferzahn. It's freaking stupid and it makes it totally impossible to remember them all. Impossible. Did I say stupid? Also, if I have to see the phrase, "He bared his teeth" one more time, I'm going to puke! Weber -- people don't bare their damn teeth!!! Dogs do. Wolves do. People don't. And he wrote this at least 15 times. It was damned annoying. And did I say the book was too long? Talk about infodumps! He could have pruned this book by 200 pages and still made it good. Was he being paid by the word?

Irritants aside, it was a pretty good book. He handles separation of church and state pretty well. The naval battles are really well done. The heroes are heroic and the bad guys are pure evil. Merlin is a little two dimensional, but he kicks ass and that's cool. I've already started on the next book, so I obviously wanted to know what happened next. This isn't exactly sci fi. It's partially fantasy, I guess? World building? Whatever the case, it's recommended. ( )
1 vote scottcholstad | Aug 2, 2015 |
A great story with a good plot and interesting characters.

A couple of things annoyed me about this book. First, there are so many characters. (There are 9 pages of characters listed at the back of the book.) Sometimes they are referred to by their first name, sometimes by their second name, and sometimes by their title. Second, the names of the characters are all phonetic corruptions, while almost every other name in the book are standard names. For instance Zherald Ahdymsyn. It took ages to get familiar with the names. These combined made it difficult to keep track of which character was which. ( )
  gregandlarry | Mar 14, 2015 |
Political intrigue, war on a global basis, what more could you want? This was a really fun read and I can recommend this to anyone who enjoys sci-fi, fantasy or historical fiction. The first book is great and the rest in the series follow along. I am ready though to see how he will wrap up all the story lines. ( )
  ConalO | Sep 21, 2014 |
Excellent world with a wonderful problem & plenty of sea action. Well set up for a more books & I really had high hopes for it, but I was disappointed. Weber's tendency for data dumps was evident, but even worse, he seemed to think his readers were idiots. It was nice to see an issue from both sides, but not every time & in so much detail. Often, even the same character would recap their thinking & plans, often in gory detail. Once was plenty, twice was boring, but the third time around was insulting & he was often insulting.

Still, the basics were all very good. If I could have skimmed this in a book, it would have been a lot better. As an audio book, it was almost painful at times. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This series is closer to fantasy than the overtly science fictional Honor Harrington series, but they are both Napoleonic in their different ways. Those for whom this is a plus will find a great deal to enjoy here. It’s a lot of fun—and seeing the mechanics of how the universe has been wound up is part of what makes it fun, even if it does have me muttering that some people really will do anything to justify writing a Napoleonic sea-battle
added by Shortride | editTor.com, Jo Walton (Aug 25, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Weberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, EllisaMapssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Für Fred Saberhagen, dessen Werke mir - und so vielen anderen - so viel Freude bereitet haben. Es ist immer schön festzustellen, dass jemand, dessen Werke man so sehr liebt, ein noch viel liebenswürdigerer Mensch ist.

Und...

Für Sharon, die mich liebt, die meinen verrückten Zeitplan erträgt, die mir immer dabei hilft, im Kopf zu behalten, welcher Tag welchen Monats gerade ist,
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765315009, Hardcover)

Humanity pushed its way to the stars - and encountered the Gbaba, a ruthless alien race that nearly wiped us out.
 
Earth and her colonies are now smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold, to try to rebuild.  But the Gbaba can detect the emissions of an industrial civilization, so the human rulers of Safehold have taken extraordinary measures: with mind control and hidden high technology, they've built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, a religion designed to keep Safehold society medieval forever.
 
800 years pass. In a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android from the far human past awakens. This "rebirth" was set in motion centuries before, by a faction that opposed shackling humanity with a concocted religion. Via automated recordings, "Nimue" - or, rather, the android with the memories of Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban - is told her fate: she will emerge into Safeholdian society, suitably disguised, and begin the process of provoking the technological progress which the Church of God Awaiting has worked for centuries to prevent. 
 
Nothing about this will be easy. To better deal with a medieval society, "Nimue" takes a new gender and a new name, "Merlin."  His formidable powers and  access to caches of hidden high technology will need to be carefully concealed.  And he'll need to find a base of operations, a Safeholdian country that's just a little more freewheeling, a little less orthodox, a little more open to the new.
 
And thus Merlin comes to Charis, a mid-sized kingdom with a talent for naval warfare. He plans to make the acquaintance of King Haarahld and Crown Prince Cayleb, and maybe, just maybe, kick off a new era of invention.  Which is bound to draw the attention of the Church…and, inevitably, lead to war.
 
It's going to be a long, long process.  And it's going to be the can't-miss SF epic of the decade.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:18 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Humanity pushed its way to the stars and encountered the Gbaba, a ruthless alien race that nearly wiped us out. Earth and her colonies are now smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold, to try to rebuild. But the Gbaba can detect the emissions of an industrial civilization, so the human rulers of Safehold have taken extraordinary measures: with mind control and hidden high technology, theyve built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, a religion designed to keep Safehold society medieval forever. 800 years pass. In a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android from the far human past awakens. This rebirth was set in motion centuries before, by a faction that opposed shackling humanity with a concocted religion. Via automated recordings, Nimue or, rather, the android with the memories of Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban is told her fate: she will emerge into Safeholdian society, suitably disguised, and begin the process of provoking the technological progress which the Church of God Awaiting has worked for centuries to prevent. Nothing about this will be easy. To better deal with a medieval society, Nimue takes a new gender and a new name, Merlin. His formidable powers and access to caches of hidden high technology will need to be carefully concealed. And hell need to find a base of operations, a Safeholdian country thats just a little more freewheeling, a little less orthodox, a little more open to the new. And thus Merlin comes to Charis, a mid-sized kingdom with a talent for naval warfare. He plans to make the acquaintance of King Haarahld and Crown Prince Cayleb, and maybe, just maybe, kick off a new era of invention. Which is bound to draw the attention of the Churchand, inevitably, lead to war. Its going to be a long, long process. And its going to be the cant-miss SF epic of the decade.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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