Review: By Schism Rent Asunder by David Weber

Rating:

By Schism Rent Asunder by David Weber
2008, Tor

Review Summary: Weber’s By Schism Rent Asunder was more enjoyable than the first in the series, Off Armageddon Reef, if only because the author has started introducing more of a female perspective into the novel, though I would have to say that its still not enough, and not soon enough.

Full Review:

Weber’s By Schism Rent Asunder was more enjoyable than the first in the series, Off Armageddon Reef, if only because the author has started introducing more of a female perspective into the novel, though I would have to say that its still not enough, and not soon enough. As the author has portrayed women (in the context of military and leadership roles) so well in the past and particularly given the background of one of the main characters, “Merlin Athrawes”, this is particularly disappointing.

Plot-wise, events continue to roll along, and we begin to see some of the handicaps to having a nearly omnisicient character amongst your cast – very few of the events actually manage to suprise, as a big part of the story is how Merlin is using the advanced technology at his disposal to keep the Charisians one step ahead of everyone else.

Thematically, Weber threw a twist into the proceedings that I’m not sure I 100% approve of, with the introduction of a secret-bearing cult within the church itself that knows the truth of their world’s fabricated history. I need to see where the story leads before I can determine whether this works out or is just an easy way to try to ensure that the storyline wraps up in under a couple hundred years. I very much approve of Weber’s decisions to discuss economics and economic innovation in the context of the larger wars being fought, recognizing that war is not an entity in and of itself, but very much tied in to the politics and economics of a state as well.

Though I am not expecting anything spectacular from the series at this point, I will continue reading it for those types of discussions, and watching the innovations being enacted in this world at such an accelerated pace.
10/19/08 CSL

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