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Mechwarrior Dark Age 17 Heretics Faith [Mass Market Paperback]

Randall N. Bills


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Roc (MM) (Aug. 2 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451460405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451460400
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.8 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,472,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The ancient volcanic mountain pressed against his consciousness, until Kisho dug his nails into wind-whipped palms to stay present. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Building depth and complexity into a fictional universe Sept. 12 2005
By Michael J. Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read the book, and I've read the reviews, and I felt compelled to write a review.

I give the book four stars out of five based on the fact that it's a pulp sci-fi book, and not intended to be a great work of fiction. If you want great fiction, look elsewhere, but like I've said in other reviews, if you're wanting a good time to imagine somewhere else...this series is a good bit of fun.

That being said, it's also worth noting I've been a fan of the Battletech/Mechwarrior universe since the 1980's. While I sympathize with some of the reviewers here, I respectfully disagree. Having a long series one exciting battle after another is fun, but if you want a series of books to last beyond five or ten books, you sometimes have to build more background, which isn't always going to be done in the most exciting manner.

As one reviewer noted, members of the clans are almost alien. While much attention has been given to their reasons for fighting and their skill at doing just that, why they think and do things differently than other humans just hasn't really been well developed. This book aims to change that, by taking one individual clan member, and showing us his upbringing, his thoughts, his struggles. In fact, by showing us the "heretic," it gives us a much better view of the psyche of a clanner. One of the chief themes of the book is a universal one, "what is my role in the universe." It's one of those things that almost everyone goes through at some point, but the point of this book is that those in the clans rarely if ever doubt their role. The book not only tells us this, but shows us why by exploring the childhood of those in the clans and interactions between adult members.

In fact, looking at the series as a whole, it's surprising that there are children at all in the Battletech/Mechwarrior universe, as they are so rarely seen.

Why four stars? Well, the book was enjoyable and well written (but with the editorial errors as noted, so minus one star), but more importantly it's given me more insight into the entire universe, so after this book I'll enjoy seeing clans more, and Nova Cats in particular. As a member of the military in real life, knowing why people fight is important to me. It will be fun when they go back to their epic battles, but now I'll care just a little bit more since I have a better appreciation for why. That difference is worth four stars any day.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bills continues to fluff out the universe Aug. 7 2005
By Andrew Timson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In HERETIC'S FAITH, Randall Bills's second MECHWARRIOR: DARK AGE novel, Bills continues to explore some of the less-important factions in the current setting. Previously, he brought us a look at live in Clan Sea Fox; in FAITH, he returns to the subject of his first BATTLETECH novel, Clan Nova Cat.

FAITH follows up on the events of DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON, the previous book in the series. Katana Tomark, a newly-made Kuritan warlord, decides to recruit the Spirit Cats in order to supplement her rather woeful forces. This sets Kisho, Nova Cat mystic and the titular heretic, down a path of reconciliation.

It's tempting to compare FAITH to DAUGHTER. Both are character-driven novels, by authors who like to get the readers into the characters' minds. But it's hard to do so fairly; DAUGHTER focuses on two characters who are all too human. Kisho, as a Clanner, is for all intents and purposes an alien.

FAITH was an enjoyable read. However, the book didn't so much end as it did stop. Kisho's personal journey reaches a turning point, one that would have made a good end; however, the plot isn't actually resolved. Threads are left hanging, and it's stated that Kisho will be involved--but we're left there.

In the end, Bills leaves the reader wanting more, and not necessarily in a good way. But that doesn't detract from the fact that it's an excellent character piece well worth reading.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Alert July 28 2005
By Apollo124 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you read the BACK COVER of the book, there is a spoiler that the author didn't spill the beans on until the last twenty pages. Shame on whomever wrote the back cover copy. Also, they should have checked the dates involved. DECADES ago, Minoru Kurita joined the Nova Cats, not centuries. That should have been caught by some editor.

All that said however, this was a really good book. I have no problems recommending it to others.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than Daughter of the Dragon Oct. 11 2005
By R. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been waiting for more background and updates on the current activities of the Nova Cats and the Spirit Cats, and this story elaborates on these factions with a fair amount of detail. The story focuses on Kisho Nova Cat, a mystic that was introduced in "Sword of Sedition". After throwing "Daughter of the Dragon" in the trash, where it belonged, this book was a pleasant surprise to me. The author goes a little overboard on the inner turmoil content, pushing Kisho's behavior slightly beyond believable. However, the story and action provided enough of a foundation to keep my interest. Although not blatantly pornographic, like "Daughter", there is one subtle sex scene that spans chapter 7, so parents, be forewarned. The author aparently also has permission to kill off a couple well-known characters from the MechWarrior miniatures universe. I was very dissapointed in the pointless way they were eliminated. I'm worriedly holding out hope that WizKids and their authors will reveal some actual purpose for these executions, other than to just eliminate factions in their game.

This book does a nice job of illustrating the nobility and pride of the Nova and Spirit Cats, while also exposing the conflicting nature of their eugenics program; the brutally harsh system that the Nova Cats have swathed in a semi-religious belief system. Although not as good as Loren Coleman's books, or "Target of Opportunity", this is a good read, especially for those interested in the status of the Nova Cats and Spirit Cats.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler Alert indeed Aug. 23 2005
By Jeremiah Rose - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The back cover spoiler was QUITE annoying, as I always read the jacket/cover stuff.

I like Randall's previous works, but this one was a little too light and fluffy for me. Not enough battle is not always a problem, but since there wasn't much else going on, it definitely showed.

I was intrigued by the mystic concept, but ultimately I feel let down. This was the first time in all the Dark Age books (or any Btech book for that matter... ) I just couldn't seem to latch on to the story...

Note that the interludes were interesting, and did give some unique insights which I liked... but the "breadcrumb"ing of the past is only going to work for so long... :)

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