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Shiva Option [Hardcover]

David Weber , Steve White
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 1, 2002
When confronted by the predatory Bugs, who have overrun planet after planet, the warriors of the Grand Alliance determine that The Shiva Option is the only choice between victory and racial extermination.

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Shiva Option + The Stars at War (The Starfire series) + Crusade
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of space opera who have been eagerly awaiting this sequel to Weber and White's In Death Ground (1997) won't be disappointed, to put it mildly. Humanity and its various allies find themselves under attack by an enemy with whom no communication, let alone coexistence, is possible, since their foes lack individual sentience and are driven by a Darwinian imperative to regard all other life forms as food sources. Countered against this nightmare are an assortment of diverse species, some unknown to one another, who share the ability to make moral choices, "including the ultimate choice of sacrificing that very individual consciousness in the name of what all of us recognize, in one form or another, for what it is: honor." This capacity is stretched when it is discovered that, in this war, genocide is a tactical weapon. The authors have created a fictional reality with all of the verisimilitude of a technothriller, but this doesn't credit them enough, since unlike, say, Tom Clancy, they have had to create their own weapons, tactics and even societies. Characterizations are strong and vivid, particularly the Human and Orion command team that spearheads the fight and a fighter pilot who's haunted by the ghosts of her dead. Ultimately, Weber and White have written an exposition, in the form of a novel, of Heinlein's axiom that "ethics are a survival mechanism," leaving the reader both exhilarated and enriched. (Feb.)Alternative (Forecasts, Nov. 19).

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In the 24th century, the Grand Alliance, made up of four sentient, allied races, finds itself on the losing end of the ongoing war against the Bugs, a hostile race of spacefaring, alien carnivores intent on conquest. In desperate straits, the warriors of the Alliance muster a last-ditch effort to destroy their enemy once and for all regardless of the cost. Coauthors Weber ("Honor Harrington" series) and White (Eagle Against the Stars) excel at large-scale military sf, combining intense scenes of interstellar battle with compelling portraits of men and women locked in interminable war. Along with its series predecessors Insurrection, Crusade, and In Death Ground, this title belongs in most collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (February 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671318489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671318482
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,344,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952. Weber and his wife Sharon live in Greenville, South Carolina with their three children and "a passel of dogs".

Previously the owner of a small advertising and public relations agency, Weber now writes science fiction full time.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not quite as powerful as "In Death Ground" February 7, 2002
In Death Ground, the prequel to this story, was one of the best space opera shoot'em ups I ever read. Lots of detailed battles with massive tons of spacecraft being demolished in the process...then spending time inside of the survivor's heads. The battles were described in such forensic detail, that I felt like it was the Saving Private Ryan of space opera books in many ways.
Many years later there comes the sequel. Right off the bat, IDG was going to be a hard one to follow up. Does it succeed? Yes and no.
The story reads more like an assessment of the war from the command seat rather than the cockpit. There's lots of detail leading up to every battle(about the ships, the strategies and the characters) but none of the fighting itself really exceeds 2-3 pages as opposed to IDG where battles could last 20-30 pages before cutting away to something else.
This is a long book and for it's length I was surprised by the lack of detail in the space battle scenes that I've really grown to love Weber for. There's some great stuff in this book and some good dialogue, though Weber/White can't resist using a few of hero "one liners" here and there.
Overall I recommend it but don't expect another IDG. In some ways that's good...why bother to write the same book again? But in the same token, they have diluted what was so great about the earlier book a bit too much for my liking.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stepping on the Bugs March 3, 2002
The last book ended leaving you hanging. The Bugs had been stopped, but were still a mysterious and lethal prescence. This book picks up with the delayed Zephrain offensive, and it never stops moving. It's harder core science than a lot of sci fi books, almost the Larry Niven style, though not as grounded in today's physics as Niven is. The war is not going to be easy, and the Alliance knows this, but it begins as did the Russian Campaign after Stalingrad: On the attack. This is a great book. The people are well-defined. The new allies are interesting. The loose ends are tied up.
The battle scenes are always good, and the Bugs have retained their nasty tendency to spring traps. Weber continues his practice of letting you really like a character, who then dies in the war. Moreover, it's not an especially 'heroic' death, it's just...death. Like real life. No final speeches, no gasped last words.
The book has a few weaknesses though. First, the Bugs are pretty much a known quantity. The mystery is stripped away, you discover where all those ships came from, and the Bugs are just faceless bag guys, not the invulnerable force of nature they were when THEY led attacks in IDG.
Second, Weber or White has succumbed to the temptation for Hollywood-style 'coincidences.' The Bugs somehow managing to keep a small world alive is one, but that's not the most unforgiveble. I won't get into that one, but let's jsut say that the whole scene involving ONE GUY in a SPACESUIT after a battle was just too contrived, and ws horribly out of place with David Weber. He takes an almost perverse delight in killing off his main characters on occasion. As such, Star Trek style saves, where only the faceless guys die, stand out way too much. Other than that, though, this was an excellent book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Tone . . . September 21, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I will not try to write a full-scale review since at this point many good reviews are already listed. I do feel that a few observations may still be helpful.
I read the earlier book, IN DEATH GROUND, which begins the story told in THE SHIVA OPTION.
One aspect of IN DEATH GROUND that kept me on the edge of my seat was the defeat of mankind and his allies. From the first collision with the bugs, the war began to go badly for man -- and it went more and more wrong.
At the end of IN DEATH GROUND man and his allies were fighting a desperate last-ditch battle at Alpha Centauri, which in this story was the web link directly to Sol -- and Earth. This battle was only won by a hair-- and by some extraordinary good luck. In other words, mankind was hanging on by their fingernails, and the bugs were prying those fingers loose! When IN DEATH GROUND ended, mankind was in imminent peril of going down to annihilation.
The continuation of the story in THE SHIVA OPTION has an opposite character. Men and their allies begin winning early in the book, and the victories are big. In every battle, while there are losses on both sides, Terra wipes out ten bugs for each human (or allied) death. As men and their allies rack up a chain of major victories, the book actually gets less and less interesting. By the midpoint of this book, the ending seems a foregone conclusion. Man is sure to win "by a knockout." As we plow through the final half of this very large book, we wonder if we really need to "observe" each and every individual bug planet go down to destruction.
One very interesting new element that adds to THE SHIVA OPTION is the reemergence of the bugs' "old enemy." Men are the bugs' new enemy, of course.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, at least there's closure? February 4, 2002
I'm a little disappointed in that it was not the hard hitting, in your face, extremely fluid reading "In Death Ground" was, I re-read the prequel prior to the sequel and I found the reading of the sequel, a little dull. The two stars is primarily for the character out of the first book whom I never expected to see, her story was well thought out and purposeful, unfortunetly it had gotten lost with everyone else's quest for purpose. Too many questions still linger and too many things were left hanging. Finally, are we to expect yet another novel with the Bugs in the far off future? This book would suggest, yes. Probably not worth the wait for all of us diehards, but I just had to know.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want to read about spaceships and explosions without thinking a...
It's a David Weber space battle book. There's stupid politicians, brave admirals, implacable foes, technical details, casualty lists, orders of battle, lasers, missiles, ECM, one... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I have read this at least five times and loved it.
As with InSurrection, I have read this at least five times and loved it.
Published 5 months ago by Linda C. Bush
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
David Weber and Steve White are excellent at no matter what they collaborate on. This was excellent.
Published 5 months ago by Tinker
5.0 out of 5 stars Shiva Option Review
Great read. Good accounting of interstellar combat from the tactical and strategic perspectives. When will be a next Starfire series book
Published 5 months ago by Kurt Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a awesome book. The entire series is sort of a story with a...
I discovered the paperback novel and wound up reading it several times. Later I found out that it was a entire series, so when it eventually came out on Kindle, I had to get them... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Earl Bollinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great book
This book is right up there with first two Starfire book in this series. The writing flows together great makes it easy to read and fun.
Published 8 months ago by Old SciFi fan
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely great read!
This turned out to be great! A book and a series that you can really immerse yourself in and enjoy the ride. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Completion to the Story
This was a great end to the who war against the bugs. Lots of people die, but they always seem to go out in a blaze of glory. fun read.
Published 10 months ago by SF_SharkBait
4.0 out of 5 stars Weber books
book was like all the david weber books and was very interesting to read. it had many facts that were incorporated to make it interesting that might have happen if this occurred.
Published 10 months ago by Robert Hutcheson
5.0 out of 5 stars the shiva option review
this book is one of those books that keeps you so riveted to the story that you'll keep trying to read even though your eyes burn with fatigue' your brain saying "time to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Keith Lang
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