Antares Victory Paperback – August 19, 2002
"The Fifth Doll" by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician Series transports readers to a darkly whimsical world where strange magic threatens a quiet village. | Learn more
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- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Paperback : 350 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1929381093
- ISBN-13 : 978-1929381098
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 19, 2002)
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#1,872,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #16,174 in Military Science Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I started with author Michael McCollum based on a review of his Euclid's Wall that likened his writing to my early Science Fiction author of choice - Robert Heinlein - who I read in my youth. Although I was somewhat disappointed with Euclid's Wall, I tried the Antares Trilogy. After reading all three books in this trilogy - Antares Dawn, Antares Passage and Antares Victory - I rate the first (Antares Dawn) and this last book (Antares Victory) both at four (4) stars because they kept my interest and I would find myself wanting to read more.
I rate the second book - Antares Passage - at three (3) stars because it got bogged down in retelling a lot of the happenings from the first book; and it was a bit slow in parts. But Antares Passage did provide a good, and necessary, connection between books 1 and 3.
Like the first book - Antares Dawn - this last book has more action and keeps you turning pages. While Antares Victory's outcome is somewhat pre-told by the title, there were several twists where the author constructed alternate endings and a thread of believability to the final outcome.
In all three books of this trilogy, McCollum provides good character development, and descriptions of the environment - from star systems to technologies deployed, and of Alien species and their culture and worlds. As new star systems were described, I found myself checking my Star Walk IOS app to research them and this provided a connection to real stars. This connection made the stories more believable, and gave a better appreciation of the distances traveled.
The Antares series is one of the few trilogies I have read, where each novel in the series is better than its predecessor (a reverse of the usual pattern.) If you enjoy fast-paced, realistic SF without too much technical detail, these novels will not disappoint.
I read the first two novels, Antares Dawn and Antares Passsage, back in the '80s in the Del Rey editions. They were one of my favorites, but the second book ends with (in my opinion) a cliffhanger. No third novel had been published at that time, and it left me feeling unfulfilled. So, when I discovered that McCollum had published the third novel, Antares Victory, I returned to the series eagerly and re-read it.
This series of novels propose the "jump point" method of faster-than-light travel, a classic SF device. What McCollum does which is interesting, is the way in which this method of FTL affects the logistics of the ongoing war between Humanity and their mortal enemies. The constraint of using jump points creates a two-dimensional battlefield with built-in advantages to the defender, resulting in an extended stalemate. The plot of the trilogy focuses around the way in which Humanity gets around these constraints, as well as the relationship between humans and an alien race whose motivations are quite different from humans'. McCollum applies that difference to each races' military strategy in a thought-provoking way.
Antares Victory is the book which is truly focused on the human-Ryall relationship and the differences which were the cause of the war in the first place. This is the novel's strength in my opinion; but the space battles and military strategy are also fast-paced without becoming trite or "Hollywoodish." In particular, McCollum focuses on the "real" way warfare might be possible between interstellar ships on different orbits; he avoids the tendency of so many other SF writers to liken war in space to war between aircraft.
Top reviews from other countries
That said, overall I enjoyed the set, even if the characters were a little flat, and I knew how it was going to finish from the end of book one (and was right, although it did take a couple of unexpected routes to get there).
I'm an unashamed 'gadget' reader, and the technology is pleasingly consistent, even if this has become less a selling point since the series originally came on the market.
The conclusion of an old fashioned, space opera trilogy about humanity's struggle to fend off genocidal alien lizards.
I love this stuff, no doubt due to an unhealthy childhood diet of Robert Heinlein and Star Trek. I don't care. Despite the wooden characters, unbelievable plots, glorification of space war and that mankind's star spanning civilization is all just like Iowa, I don't care. Sometimes I just need my cheap heroic, United Federation of Planets future, happy ending. Stuff your conflicted characters, your subtle metaphors, your German literary terms. A ray gun's always just a ray gun in this universe, to misquote Freud.
There are some original ideas, McCollum wants to get the science right, the aliens are mildly interesting. He also tries to write what he thinks are strong female characters but he really shouldn't. For one thing he uses the term 'gravid' way too often.
But boiled down it's still Buck Rodgers and Flash Gordon fighting Ming and monsters, like it was almost 100 years ago. And thank goodness for it.