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Hostile Takeover [Mass Market Paperback]

Andrew S Swann

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2004 Hostile Takeover
In the 24th century, humans have built a star-spanning Confederacy that encompasses 83 worlds-plus one. The 84th planet is Bakunin, where power belongs to whoever can seize it. With no taxes, no antitrust laws, and no governing body, it's the perfect home base for mega-corporations and criminals.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 976 pages
  • Publisher: DAW (Nov. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756402492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756402495
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 4.2 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #874,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Darn Good Dec 29 2004
By J. R Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book I've read by Swann (after the Moreau Omnibus), though both are actually complete trilogies. First, let me just get this out of the way - Daw has significantly cleaned up its editing errors on this book. The Moreau trilogy was so badly edited that it made an otherwise outstanding story jerky and second-rate. Hostile Takeover is far cleaner - thank you.

Okay, on to my take on the story. Set in the same universe as the Moreau books, Hostile Takeover tells of the dissolution of the government that the Moreau books began to set up. The year is 2350, and all of human space (80+ worlds) is joined into one unwieldly Confederacy, which is starting to seriously fray around the edges as the various ethnic and political divisions start to diverge.

The planet Bakunin, established as a dumping ground for Earth undesirables, is now an anarchic 'pirate planet', where anything goes, and established Nation-States are anathema. Colonel Klaus Dacham is sent in to take over a local arms manufacturer as a prelude to a full-scale Confederacy invasion. The whys and wherefores of this action are the meat of the story, and very tasty meat it is...

The main character is Dominic Magnus, the exiled brother of Dacham, and also the CEO of the targeted arms manufacturer. His character is by far the most well-developed and sympathetic, but Swann does an outstanding job of taking us into the minds of even peripheral characters. The fates some of these characters meet is not at all what I expected, and is the reason I gave 4 instead of 5 stars. Granted, that's merely a personal opinion; the story itself deserves at least 5 stars.

The technologies, the byzantine political maneuverings, and the motivations for each character are so well thought-out that this universe really came alive for me, even more so than the Moreau trilogy.

I can only hope that Swann will someday write a sequel to this work, letting us know what became of Tetsami and Shane...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not terribly original, but well written and well executed SF Jan. 12 2007
By Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This series is hard to categorize. Equal parts space opera, cyberpunk, speculative fiction, and social commentary-none of the individual elements are terribly original but Swann manages to weave them into a satisfying melange nonetheless.

Swann has improved his pacing considerably since his last outing in this universe (the Moreau series, which I read after Hostile Takeover). He has a distinct knack for description and excels at portraying spectacular action setpieces, but he no longer seems to feel the need to string together long, mostly gratuitous, series of breathless fight/chase sequences with their correspondingly high bodycounts. Make no mistake, there's plenty of action to go around, but it isn't the focus of the story.

There is a considerable amount of exposition here, as Swann spends no small amount of time developing his future history, but he manages to avoid coming off as didactic. Rarely did I find myself bored-Swann has put together a compellingly detailed picture of a balkanized star-faring humanity held together in an uneasy compact by the most tenuous of ties-avoiding the naive notion that nationality and ethnicity will magically stop mattering once we reach the stars. Of particular interest is Bakunin, which is an anarchist free-for-all split between corporations who carry out business (often violently) from heavily-armed fortress compounds and isolated communes of misfits and radicals pursuing their own idiosyncratic paths largely oblivious to goings-on outside their walls. It's all very gritty, paranoid, and disturbingly plausible.

The characters are reasonably well-drawn, though the star (Dominic Magnus/Jonah Dacham) is by far the best realized. The lethal sibling rivalry between Klaus and Jonah does a good job providing narrative drive, though Swann could have stood to make Klaus a little less one-dimensional.

All is not rosy however. The book's main flaw is that there is _too_ much going on. Between the political maneuvering on earth, the ground war on Bakunin, the Dolbrians (a vanished alien race), Proteans (a commune of post-humans with complete mastery of nanotechnology), the non-humans of Tau Ceti (products of 21st century genetic engineering), the Tetsami/Dominic romance and myriad other subplots there's precious little time for the reader to absorb it all, or for any of the characters to really develop.

Hopefully Swann will rectify some of these problems in the sequel (which judging by the end of Revolutionary looks to focus on the nonhuman seven-worlds and the Dolbrians). A tighter focus and a little more attention to characterization could make this into a hard-SF great. As it stands it's still a solid and enjoyable effort by an author who knows what he's doing and doesn't insult the intelligence of his readers.

I'm lined up for more.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old-fashioned military SF. 4.6 stars Jan. 2 2006
By Peter D. Tillman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Dominic Magnus" owns an arms factory on the anarchist world of
Bakunin, which has long been a thorn in the side of the Confederacy.
A TEC task force commanded by Dom's estranged brother is dispatched
to deal with the situation...

"Hostile Takeover" is a page-turner with lots of shoot-em-ups, but a
surprisingly low body-count. No startling innovations here - tho the
Church of Christ, Avenger comes close - just intelligent writing, well-
drawn characters, and clever plotting. I liked it. If you like mil.sf, so
will you.

Note that "S. Andrew Swann" is the pseudonym of Steven Swiniarski. Nice omnibus reprint.

Happy reading--

Peter D. Tillman
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book Sept. 5 2006
By John L. Mahan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although I am not a big fan of cyber-punk novels this was a bit different. I picked this up at a book kiosk at a train station and was very pleasantly surprised.

This book seems like a hybred of several genres, time travel, cyber-punk and military SF. With a mix like that I was expecting a mess but what I got was a well woven tale. The characters are well fleshed out and are not all perfect.

If you are looking for a different kind of SF book then take a look at this one, like me, you will not be disappointed.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as any space soap gets Nov. 9 2004
By Cees Jan Mol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So you're the brother. The good one. Only problem is your brother (the other one, the evil one) has it all: the power, the guns, the big, bulky, loaded space ships. And he has the law on his side. In short: you're an out-lawed, slightly irritated, pretty clever, sort of a pirate guy who knows he's much better than his brother. And this, my friend, makes you want to get out among people. To steal their money, take their weapons and go after your brother. Which is what you do. And the result? Aahhh... Well... Suffice to say it's worth it. And will good prevail in the end? This book was written at a time we still believed that... So, who knows?

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