12 August 2012

Out of the Dark

I love the Honour Harrington series and re-read the lot every four or five years (whats not to love about Hornblower in Space eh?) So I thought I would try one of David Weber's more recent (2010) stand alone novels "Out of the Dark".

Essentially, its a hard-core souped up "Independence Day" without the cheese (Indeed that movie is commented on in the book in a fairy derogatory manner).  A multi-racial alien Hegemony (dominated by passive Herbivore types) decide that Humans (as first observed by their scouts during the Battle of Agincourt) are a bloodthirsty lot and so send of their of more dominant canine like carnivorous species (who reminded me of the Vargr from the Traveller RPG actually) to occupy and pacify Earth.  When they show up (in the year 2012) they are shocked by the level of technical evolution and the lack of social evolution that usually goes with it but go ahead with the invasion anyway - which is kicked off by dropping kinetic energy weapons (rocks) from orbit onto all the world's major cities.  Predictably, the remaining population of Earth (which is down to approx 50% at this stage) isn't too happy and start a global scale insurrection against the occupation force.  Its those characters and their story which dominate the book.

Overall, I found that the individual stories melded together quite a lot.  A bit too much of the "hatred filled guerrilla fighter who lost all his family and now lives only to strike back at the enemy" style of story.  Quite a fun read but not up to what I have come to expect from Weber.  The story has a major right hand turn climax which you wont expect and you'll either love it or hate it.  Again no spoilers from me!

If you like David Weber and military style writing with technical aspects of weaponry then you'll enjoy this book.  
If you want lots of deeply fleshed out characters then look elsewhere.  I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.

More here (warning: spoilers!)

Next on the reading list is Bitter Seeds


  1. I didn't finish this one. Seemed a bit corny/samey as you said. Not my favourite Weber book at all. Lest I seem like Mr Negativity, may I say Bitter Seeds is great and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do. Weird War 2 - Nazi mutants vs British sorcerers - yes please!

  2. Hi Paul:

    Like you I am a fan of the HH series (though usually one a year does me fine, there always seems a lot of exposition and political wonkiness to wade through for the good bits) but I find that DW's one offs are less interesting. I saw Out Of The Dark in the library and passed on it.
    On another note, I have heard rumours that Weber has signed a preliminary movie deal for a plot based on Basilisk Station, the first HH novel. It may be many years, if ever, before that comes to be, but I thought that was good news.