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Showing 1-9 of 9 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
on June 18, 2003
The departure of Mike Stackpole from the BattleTech series saddened me to no end, back when it happened. He was the one B-tech author I could really stand to read-in all honesty, Mech Combat isn't that interesting to read about, but Stackpole's byzantine plots and general COOL Political and covert-ops storylines were a joy to read, and his characters, while not all believable, were people that I found really interesting, and at times unpredictable.
Now, to my surprise, he's returned to the B-tech scene with this new book, Ghost War.
The book starts out confusing. I missed most of the rest of the books in the MechWarrior series, so I go from about 3065 to about 31something in a snap. Suddenly, everyone's dead!! Several of the main characters from the old books had kicked the bucket, Victor Davion is old and feeble, and this Republic is here again. This is dissapointing...I hated the republic.
So imagine my surprise and joy when it all starts tumbling down! I look forward to another succession war soon.
Anyway. Mike stackpole has a unique writing style that never fails to dissapoint. His interesting dialogues and humor that creeps up on you unexpectedly and evokes a laugh from you always keeps me entertained and wishing for more, and, as always, the plotline doesn't dissapoint, with just the right amount of intrigue to keep you turning pages.
4.5 stars, I give this one, mostly lacking the half for it's setting. Hopefully they'll start the 5th sucession war soon and get me really into it.
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on March 10, 2003
Battletech books have always been fun 300-page novels. And Ghost War is certainly that but no more. Credit has to be given to Stackpole for using a different perspective and having the unenviable job of taking the Dark Age storyline on its maiden voyage. He holds up rather well, his writing is often smart and sometimes clever even if the story isn't. But Stackpole has fun fleshing out the Dark Age universe and does a good job painting a gritty covert war undermining a peaceful era.
However the story is long on exposition and short of everything else. Many pages are chewed up by the main character explaining some plan, part of history or motives of other characters. The main character himself is almost James Bond-like. He can charm the ladies, outsmart the local government and is always one step ahead of his enemy. When all else fails, he happens to be a crack Mechwarrior. Thus since he cannot fail there is little suspense. By the end of the book the reader is still left with the big questions from the start. Ghost War is more of an elaborate prologue to MechWarrior Dark Age than anything else.
Still it's fun and it's good to see something fresh in the Battletech storyline.
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on January 14, 2003
For those who've read a lot of books by Michael Stackpole, they will be pleased to see him go back to a first person narrative and a brash, active, go-for-it type of hero (easily compaired to Wolfgang Kies). For those who've read tons of Battletech-novels, this one might seem very different from Stackpole's other books in the series. There are hints of the larger picture in this universe, the so-called center-thread Stackpole used to "own" before ... but the events are not of the same magnitude: the plot is about single planets (perhaps indicative of the communications problems that define this new era) instead of star-spanning realms or even the whole Inner Sphere. Then again, as it was probably intended, it is a good jumping-on point for new readers (new players of the new game) with only minimal referals to all that happened a century before.
My only real "beef" with the book, is that 95 % of the story could just as easily have been set in another story- or game-universe (heck, it would've been a good Wolf & Raven story) ... with only a few Mech-battles thrown in.
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on December 4, 2002
I was very pleased to see that Michael Stackpole was returning to the Battletech universe. His previous novels were central to the old storyline, and I'm sure he will continue in this new age of 'Mech combat. This novel is written in the first person, which is a welcome change, and it seems that Mr. Stackpole enjoyed playing with the character of Sam Donnely. Having read many of Mr. Stackpole's other novels, I found it quite entertaining to see some scenes and ideas from his fantasy novels (i.e. Talion: Revenant). The story introduces the reader to the new Inner Sphere; The Republic, after several generations of peace, is now coming apart at the seams. Sam Donelly finds himself in the middle of this unrest and must use all of his considerable skills to ensure the innocent are not harmed. While the Mech action found in the old Battletech series is not as evident in this novel, the foundation is laid for the general conflagaration that will soon (it seems) envelop the Republic of the Sphere. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It was well-written and the "overly intellectual" musings of Sam are quite humorous. Of course, it was good to see Victor Davion make a cameo and soothe those who thought that everything from the old Battletech universe was stripped away. Can't wait for the next novel.
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on January 29, 2003
I was shocked when I discovered I enjoyed reading this. I was much a fan of the old storyline (at least before it went down hill in the end) and was expecting to hate this "prequel" which turned out to be a sequel instead. Well done and professionally written Michael Stackpole pulls off a nice take on the future of the Battletech Storyline with the first novel in the new Mechwarrior Darkage series. I hope the rest of the movels are as well done as this is. There is a plot twist that wasn't too transparent most Btech fans will enjoy as the continued existance of at least one character from the old storyline. Be ready for something different yet the same and pick up your copy today!
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on May 19, 2004
I actually give this book about a 3.5... The only flaw with this intriguing introduction to the Dark Age of the Inner Sphere is that, at times, things seem to work out a little too well for the protagonist, Mason Dunne. Most of the time, his plans go exactly as he wants them to go. Also, if he is ever beaten, he just shrugs the bruises off and goes about his life the next day like nothing happened at all. If this doesn't deter a reader, then this novel is worth a chance. Fans of the Battletech series and the Dark Age collectible game would thoroughly enjoy this introduction to the latest saga of the mighty MechWarriors of the 32nd Century.
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on July 15, 2003
First off, I'm a huge fan of Battletech and the subsequent Mechwarrior derivatives so I'm a little biased to begin with. While not having read many (maybe one) of the novel series, I decided to see what the Dark Age direction was like. I was pleasantly surprised. Stackpole does a fantastic job of telling an intricate, conspiritorial story. The plotline is very well thought out and it a treat to work through. If you enjoy a rich story, this book is a good fit.
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on March 30, 2003
I almost thought this book should have been called Stackpole the return. He returns to the First person narrative that I've always loved. his main character is reminiscent of others I've enjoyed in the past I.E; corran horn, Tarrant Hawkins, and of course Phelan Patrick Kell. A very good book. I would have given it 5 stars if there was more Mech action but i guess a book can only be so long.
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on December 28, 2002
This book is not half bad, true it is slow, but it worth a read. One thing jumped out at me, that being that I think Stackpole has gone nuts, after ranting about why he uses the word "azure" instead of blue, this rant being within the first 10 pages of the book.
Still worth a read
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