How Firm a Foundation

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How Firm a Foundation audiobook

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Review #1

How Firm a Foundation audiobook free

This book is still part of the series that does not know how to get to the end. A series that wastes too many words on all the meetings it feels compelled to tell you about, with the terrible use of phonetic names.

There are some moments that work. The story of our young Ensign and then Lieutenant works, but these are vignettes within the entire book. It is as if someone had to tell you all about the Second World War, and instead of trying to tell you in one sitting, they broke down the years, and even though this is broken down into months, the way this is playing out is as if the years of WWII are just seasons, and each event, not major event, but each event, and all the national leaders, major cabinet members, and leading generals and admirals, with a few noncoms thrown in, have to have thier POVs on record in the tale.

You have nonsense about what a character who is never going to be seen again, likes to drink, or eat for breakfast. How he looks the first time you see them, and only time, because they are blown up in the next chapter.

Review #2

How Firm a Foundation audiobook in series Safehold

I have enjoyed most of David Weber’s books over many years. The SAFEHOLD series continues to strengthen his image as one of modern science fiction/fantasy’s great authors. This is the fifth book in the series. I have continued to read the series, in sequence, and have now (25 June 2015) read the seventh book in the series, “Like a Mighty Army.” I have preordered the next book, “Hell’s Foundation Quiver,” that is due for release 13 October 2015.

For those who may not be familiar with David Weber’s writings, I would also strongly recommend reading his HONOR HARRINGTON series. That series has been around for several years and David continues to add to the series with some regularity.

Note. I read all of both the SAFEHOLD and HONOR HARRINGTON series as they were originally published. Now, that I am retired and ebooks make purchases more affordable, I am buying the entire series and rereading them — to a great deal of satisfaction as I discover that enough time has passed that much of the content seems as if I am reading the books for the first time.

Review #3

Audiobook How Firm a Foundation by David Weber

David Weber is the prolific author of both the Safehold and Honor Harrington sci-fi/fantasy series. How Firm A Foundation is his fifth Safehold novel and I delight that Weber can produce these quality stories so quickly. Like Martin’s Game of Thrones series, and the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Weber has created a fully-realized world which is both inventive and believable. Safehold is the last refuge of mankind following the destruction of earth by a race called the Gbaba. To hide their new home from this dangerous predator, the founders of Safehold create a theocracy that strictly represses any technology that could register on Gbaba scanners. The founders construct a religion that is designed to aid in controlling the masses in furtherance of this mission. Nine hundred years later, this religion has become cruel, oppressive and corrupt, but a male “cybernetic avatar” containing the mind of a long dead human woman appears and sets about rousing the people of Safehold from their stagnating lethargy. This machine personality, Merlin Athrawes begins to slowly guide Safehold technology to a level advanced enough to survive the next Gbaba attack.

Review #4

Audio How Firm a Foundation narrated by Oliver Wyman

Okay. Book 5 of the Safehold series. If you don’t know what’s going on by now then either look away or hunt down Book 1 (Off Armageddon Reef) and start reading.

In a nutshell this is more of the same. Politics, religion, war. The jihad launched by the Church of God Awaiting against the Empire of Charis has gone badly for the Church. Charis has survived, and not only that is now taking the war to the Church.

As with other books in this series Weber relies heavily on sometimes over long scenes of infodumps. Then throw in another 5% of the book being taken up by the Charisian galleon HMS Destiny battling against a ferocious storm. It’s well written and tense and technically expert as we learn how sailing ships survive in hurricane force winds, but 5%? Really? And then there are the scenes where different characters hold long conversations that tell the reader what is going on for the story progression. And that’s the problem, we are told not shown.

Review #5

Free audio How Firm a Foundation – in the audio player below

This book starts terribly. We are treated to sixty pages of incomprehensible gibberish in which sailors desperately thwart the top-gallants and abaft the mains’l while the sea larboards the weather side. Yes, we get the idea that they’re in dire peril, but for God’s sake GET ON WITH IT. At a ‘mere’ 800 pages for the whole book, far fewer than its bulky predecessor in the series A Mighty Fortress, which weighed in at over a thousand, this is approaching 10% of the book, and much of this nautical nonsense serves little purpose. Yes, what little of it is comprehensible to people without peglegs and clavicular psittaciformes is exciting, but it doesn’t advance the story much, and certainly not by nearly 10%.

Thankfully, normal service is soon restored and as well as interludes of exciting local action as navies smash each other to bits, the global story is significantly advanced. One particular advance opens the way for what I’m sure will be very dramatic events in the next volume in the series.

Returning to my criticisms of the previous volume, the cover art is far less awful – it’s still not great, but at least it’s not offensively bad this time – and the internal monologues are kept under better control. They’re still there, they’re there in everything Weber writes these days, but at least they don’t distract too much from events. The stupid names? Well, yeah, they’re still there. It wouldn’t really be possible to fix that now. But I still hate them.

If it wasn’t for the meaningless interludes of ahoying of spinnakers and the stupid names I’d just about award this five out of five shiny gold stars. It’s not a great book, but it is at least thoroughly enjoyable, which matters far more to me than all the literariness in the world. Of course, this deep into a series it will make little sense if you’ve not read all the previous volumes, but with those caveats I recommend it.

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