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Mechwarrior Dark Age 12 Hunters Of The Deep [Mass Market Paperback]

Randall Bills
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Oct. 4 2004 Mech Warrior: Dark Age (Book 12)
The MechWarrior saga continues

The Clan Sea Fox is about to be torn asunder. ovKhan Sha Clarke wants to rule his own faction of warriors, and take his rightful share of wealth, glory, and power. But ovKhan Petr Kalasa knows Sha is plotting a rebellion, and will stop him at any cost.

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By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many Battletech fans have yet to embrace the new Mechwarrior Dark Age series, and - unfortunately - Randall N. Bills' Hunters of the Deep isn't going to help matters in this regard. Bills is something of an expert when it comes to Battletech technology and hardware, which makes it all the more disappointing that there is so little actual Mechwarrior action in this novel. Most Battletech fans want battle action, and plenty of it. Hunters of the Deep consists predominantly of politics inside Clan Sea Fox, and there's really not much of a tie-in with events taking place throughout the Dark Age universe as a whole. There is talk of an invasion of the Republic by House Marik, but that invasion is given exceedingly short shrift in these pages. To put it mildly, I found the politics of this novel somewhat confusing. Worst of all, there is really no one to admire in this story; indeed, I wasn't even sure who I should be pulling for until I got about halfway through the book. You basically have two ovKhans of Clan Sea Fox pitted against one another; one, ovKhan Sha Clarke, seeks to break away his Spina Khanate from Clan Sea Fox, a most un-clan-like thing to do, while the other, ovKhan Petr Kalasa, is a weak leader with a history of loss and defeat at the hands of Sha. Petr's only saving grace is his loyalty to Clan Sea Fox, but I couldn't help but wonder throughout the novel how such a tainted, rash leader who allows his primary aide to endlessly bait him for his past failures has managed to hold on to his position for so long.

Clan Sea Fox should be an interesting clan, for its members spend almost all of their time on naval vessels, wandering from one world to another making trade deals by negotiation and/or intimidation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 1.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing in terms of both story and Mech action Sept. 23 2005
By Daniel Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many Battletech fans have yet to embrace the new Mechwarrior Dark Age series, and - unfortunately - Randall N. Bills' Hunters of the Deep isn't going to help matters in this regard. Bills is something of an expert when it comes to Battletech technology and hardware, which makes it all the more disappointing that there is so little actual Mechwarrior action in this novel. Most Battletech fans want battle action, and plenty of it. Hunters of the Deep consists predominantly of politics inside Clan Sea Fox, and there's really not much of a tie-in with events taking place throughout the Dark Age universe as a whole. There is talk of an invasion of the Republic by House Marik, but that invasion is given exceedingly short shrift in these pages. To put it mildly, I found the politics of this novel somewhat confusing. Worst of all, there is really no one to admire in this story; indeed, I wasn't even sure who I should be pulling for until I got about halfway through the book. You basically have two ovKhans of Clan Sea Fox pitted against one another; one, ovKhan Sha Clarke, seeks to break away his Spina Khanate from Clan Sea Fox, a most un-clan-like thing to do, while the other, ovKhan Petr Kalasa, is a weak leader with a history of loss and defeat at the hands of Sha. Petr's only saving grace is his loyalty to Clan Sea Fox, but I couldn't help but wonder throughout the novel how such a tainted, rash leader who allows his primary aide to endlessly bait him for his past failures has managed to hold on to his position for so long.

Clan Sea Fox should be an interesting clan, for its members spend almost all of their time on naval vessels, wandering from one world to another making trade deals by negotiation and/or intimidation. As space naval men, though, they spend comparatively little time inside 'Mechs practicing or waging battle. As such, they are not exactly experts at battle maneuvers or strategy - Petr certainly isn't. His rashness has allowed Sha to best him more than once in the past, and there's no reason to think that things will change when his current negotiations with the merchants of Adhafera are disrupted by Sha's own bid for trade rights with the planet (for such disputes are generally settled with a duel between ovKhans). Sha is up to something, though, and Petr finds the most unusual of information sources in a female assassin named Snow. Their clandestine meetings become exceedingly tiresome because they always consist of little more than bizarre flirting sessions, made all the more unbearable by the frequent descriptions of Snow's exceeding ugliness of features and perpetual filthy, smelly state. Still, Snow, who seems to be linked to the Republic in some way and certainly knows more about Sha's plans than Petr's intelligence agents even suspect, makes it possible for Petr to try and protect Clan Sea Fox (and the Khan) from Sha's traitorous power play.

Bliss has the annoying habit of starting at the end and working backward when it comes to describing important events - such as the one-on-one duel between Sha and Petr in the Rituals of Combat surrounding a Trial of Bloodright. Sometimes, I found little explanation of any kind for certain major happenings. In the end, I can't help but feel that Hunters of the Deep represents the Mechwarrior Dark Age series at its least appealing, as it seems to specialize in the very things many classic Battletech fans like least about the new series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time Jan. 10 2005
By Gnatstomper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At best this book is an awkward read with numerous typos and some name transpositions. What kills it are the countless inconsistant pieces of story and illogical plot functions. The story is summarized here: Two rival Sea Fox ov-khans conflict with each other and the unappealing protagonist ov-khan wins at the end. (He is so unappealing that his aid and friend for years treacherously abandons him at the end of the book to side with the apparently more appealing Antagonist who of course promptly loses) Almost a sidenote is that House Marik launches an invasion of the Republic and fails (In the book this part of the story takes up less space than my review).

Unless you want to read some hundred odd pages about meaningless Clan Sea Fox politics and their leaders acting like dishonorable Spheroids (while thinking about how Clanly they are), then don't waste your time reading this book.

The Clans are becoming less and less Clanly. Without the plentiful Quiaffs and Affs these Clanners would be difficult to distinguish as such since their conduct is very unClanny. Kerensky would not be proud.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars really a battletech novel? Sept. 18 2005
By B. Just - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read numerous sci-fi novels and all of the current mechwarrior novels. This one is not an easy read or an intriguing story. As the other reviewers noted, the typographical errors and the name transpositions are distracting. In addition, Mechwarrior and Battletech novels usually feature the behemoth machines that give the series its name, but this novel falls short in this regard. In addition, the novel doesn't advance the plot of the the series overall. I am 140 odd pages into the novel and that is as far as I will get. This is only a good purchase if you feel the need to complete a set of novels; it is not a worthwhile read.
3.0 out of 5 stars Clan Sea Fox espionage Nov. 6 2012
By Helionprime - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was interesting to learn something about little known Clan Sea Fox. I felt the book was lacking a certain something. Basically it was all about petty infighting among subdivisions of the Clan. I was hoping that it would contain more about their interactions with the spheroids.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I agree with the guy above...Don't waste your money May 12 2005
By J. Morse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Randall Bills is the BattleTech God who keeps the Classic BT world together. He's written and edited countless tech manuals and resource guides that all us BT fans love. Unfortunately, all that skill and knowledge doesn't translate well into his story telling. From what I understand this is Randall's first novel, ever. And it painfully shows. I didn't make it past the first three pages of the Prolog before putting this book down. The hard to follow conversations and rough descriptions made the prolog very tough to follow. Essentially, this book needed more attention and assistance from the rest of the writing staff than it got. Too bad really because I really respect Randall Bill's other works. Unfortunately I think he needs to spend more time perfecting his story telling before releasing another book. If he wasn't already part of the BattleTech and Mechwarrior Dark Age communities he would never have gotten this first book published without a lot more spit and polish.
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