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Showing 1-10 of 34 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 94 reviews
on April 22, 2012
<Spoiler Alert> Plot elements may be discussed. This book is the sequel to the recommended "In Death Ground", and picks up as if you were just beginning another chapter instead of another whole book. The fate of Humanity and its allies is in doubt, and only the greatest of individual and societal sacrifices will save the day. Death and destruction continue from the first book on a scale that is near incomprehensible. The arachnid enemy has pushed the alliance into several corners, and will not listen to any sort of peace entreaty. The only conclusion possible is reached and implemented with a cold efficiency that will sap the very humanity from the souls of those who must prosecute the option. It is a simple matter - fight to win, or die. Most of the action is similar to the first book, epic space engagements with a give-and-take through the chapters as one side or the other employs a fleeting advantage in technology. There is a slightly different method to the author's descriptions of the battles, less on the details of the battles as they occur, but more of an emphasis on the outcomes of the battles as a setup for the next phase of action. Nonetheless, "Shiva Option" is a very satisfying read and a fitting conclusion (?) to this mini-series. Only one quibble to mention, and that would be the star charts at the beginning are nearly incomprehensible as to how the different star systems are oriented to each other. But don't let that detract from an otherwise highly satisfactory effort. Recommended.
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VINE VOICEon August 16, 2011
This is the best military Sci-Fi I have ever read. But it is the second novel about a war. For maximum enjoyment, read "In Death Ground" first. Humans and 3 other races are allies, when a new race, the Bugs, attack without warning at first one planet and then another hundreds of light years away. The Bugs never communicate. And when the Bugs capture a planet, they kill all the inhabitants. Or worse.

Interstellar flight is only possible through warp points. Some warp points between two star systems are "open", that is, detectable from around either star. But others are "closed", that is, detectable from only one star. If a fleet in one star system advances to a second system, it can be ambushed by an enemy fleet entering the first system to cut off its retreat.

Battles between fleets involve battleships, cruisers, carriers, fighters, missiles, and stationary space fortresses. The Bugs are willing to sacrifice any number of ships to defeat an Allied fleet. And the Allies often have to use suicidal rear guard actions to give time for civilian evacuations or for a fleet to escape. But after awhile, the Allies learn to cooperate better and begin winning some battles and retaking some captured planets.
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on February 28, 2017
An excellent read by someone that gave the subject some thought. I didn't care for the aliens eating people since we would either be indigestible or toxic but aside from that it was a well thought out story.
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on February 28, 2002
Dave Weber totally rocks. Loved the earlier books in this series, LOVE the Honor Harrington books. Need to say that first, so I can then say this one was not as enjoyable as most of his other books. It has a problem it shared with the last (or the next previous, I forget) Honor Harrington book - there's so much military technology worship going on that the scifi part is definitely short-changed. Both books promised so much - big fat ones that should last for days. But when as much as HALF of the book is going on and on about armaments, and new armaments, and comparing armaments, and in this case, one space battle after another (and THIS time they started with the fighters; and THIS time the enemy did this so we had to start with missiles and follow with gunboats; and THIS time . ..). You get to the end and you realize the storyline was pretty paltry. I like to see these characters' lives advanced, but to be frank there needs to be more of a balance between characters/story and loving descriptions of ships, operational roles and weapons capabilities. If there was only this much story to tell, the book simply should have been shorter.
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on February 28, 2002
Dave Weber totally rocks. Loved the earlier books in this series, LOVE the Honor Harrington books. Need to say that first, so I can then say this one was not as enjoyable as most of his other books. It has a problem it shared with the last (or the next previous, I forget) Honor Harrington book - there's so much military technology worship going on that the scifi part is definitely short-changed. Both books promised so much - big fat ones that should last for days. But when as much as HALF of the book is going on and on about armaments, and new armaments, and comparing armaments, and in this case, one space battle after another (and THIS time they started with the fighters; and THIS time the enemy did this so we had to start with missiles and follow with gunboats; and THIS time . ..). You get to the end and you realize the storyline was pretty paltry. I like to see these characters' lives advanced, but to be frank there needs to be more of a balance between characters/story and loving descriptions of ships, operational roles and weapons capabilities. If there was only this much story to tell, the book simply should have been shorter.
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on December 20, 2013
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 sleep"
the richly diverse species; overcoming differences to overcome a common enemy is crafted within the telling of this book and the ultimate sacrifices given to preserve their alliances is riveting
having an e reader is great because it is one of those books that can be stored for re-reading at a later date
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on September 23, 2008
I've been a great fan of David Webers books many years now. The most famous "Honor Harrington" series is truly great to read.
I found this book without actually looking for it. And by the look of it seemed interesting. So I got this one and the one before it (which is part one out of a two part series) which is called "In death ground". This book ends the story but you should really read the former one first to get all the needed backstory and a proper beginning.
There is a lot of charachters. Some deeper compared to others. Also a great deal of space battles. Epic ones to be honest. The basic conflict is about two VERY different ways of life. Two extremly different kind of life: ours and our allies and the "Arachnids" who sees us as simpy food. This time EVERYTHING is on the line and loosing the war simply is NOT an option!
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I've been waiting for the next release in this series for 5 years - and it's not a disappointment. Took a while to get into the plot again - but that's what the intro was for. We meet a new sapient species that has also been 'a bug squashin' for a long time, learn much about the bugs, their methods and hardware.
Plenty of military jargon (as you'd expect!) and tons of action. If you're a fan of the series, get it. If you've never read the series, you'd probably want to skip it. You really need to have the history of the series to appreciate and enjoy this book. As military SF, it's very good - although not as good as Drake's "With the Lightenings" or Weber's own "Honor Harrington" series. It's space opera - many of the really great characters in the series get killed off in these books, the baddies are really, really, evil, and many events are predictable.
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on October 27, 2014
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 side winning because their toys are more advanced, and probably a kinda stilted romance.
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on February 10, 2002
This is the fourth book in the series, the order of books is Crusade, In Death Ground, The Shiva Option, and Insurrection. (Insurrection was written first, but it takes place last.) The series is fascinating, well thought out, and full of great sci-fi military action, so I suggest you pick it up sometime. The Shiva Option, however, doesn't live up to the rest of the series.
The Shiva Options has great military action, but the plot is too simplistic at times and could have used better editing. There are far too many coincidences and unrealistic deductions by the characters. For instance, one enemy world changes its deployment based on what happened at another enemy world even though the book previously stated that those two worlds aren't in contact. To make matters worse, it becomes obvious pretty early how the book will end. The book bogs down in the middle, and you almost want the good guys to lose just so something interesting happens.
The publisher, Baen, has a two hundred page preview on their website. Or if you're interested in other books that have a lot of good sci-fi military action and a great plot, pick up the Honor series by David Weber or A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo.
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