Like a Mighty Army : Safehold

  • by David Weber
  • Narrated by Oliver Wyman
  • Series: Safehold
  • 27 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For centuries, the world of Safehold, last redoubt of the human race, lay under the unchallenged rule of the Church of God Awaiting. The Church permitted nothing new - no new inventions, no new understandings of the world.
What no one knew was that the Church was an elaborate fraud - a high-tech system established by a rebel faction of Safehold’s founders, meant to keep humanity hidden from the powerful alien race that had destroyed old Earth. Then awoke Merlyn Athrawes, cybernetic avatar of a warrior a thousand years dead, felled in the war in which Earth was lost.
Monk, warrior, counselor to princes and kings, Merlyn has one purpose: to restart the history of the too-long-hidden human race.
And now the fight is thoroughly underway. The island empire of Charis has declared its independence from the Church, and with Merlyn’s help has vaulted forward into a new age of steam-powered efficiency. Fending off the wounded Church, Charis has drawn more and more of the countries of Safehold to the cause of independence and self-determination. But at a heavy cost in bloodshed and loss - a cost felt by nobody more keenly that Merlyn Athrawes.
The wounded Church is regrouping. Its armies and resources are vast. The fight for humanity’s future isn’t over, and won’t be over soon…


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A long suffering reader ploughs on

This was are very tough review for me. My first impulse was to give it only two stars, but I ultimately awarded a third. The easiest way to explain my opinion is to supply simple pros and cons list, so here goes.

1. Weber spends a lot of time discussing the details of war that are often overlooked (This is also a con and I'll explain why in the cons list). The importance of manufacturing, uniform measures, supply routes, intelligence, and a myriad of other details are both interesting and rarely come up in the genre.
2. The history of technological development and it's impact on the world is also very interesting and rarely covered in the science fiction world.
3. The underlying plot is very engaging. I really want to see what happens when and if the grand inquisitor finds out the truth. I am curiouser and curiouser about the alien species that nearly destroyed humanity.

1. The things interesting in #1-2 above become drudgery after getting the details hour after hour. At times I felt more like I was reading a dry history textbook than a novel. The great characters and plot are crowded out by ceaseless discussion of how long it takes to manufacture a gun and why cavalry rant as good in war as you might imagine. Even well researched info gets boring after a while.
2. Most of the endless discussion from the first con, is delivered in prose. Sometimes whole chapters slip by with almost no dialogue at all!
3. The main plot is moving along about the same rate as Jabba the Hut in a foot race. In the last several novels very little has actually happened. A subtitle for several of the books might be "The War continues".

Honestly, I still think it deserves a 2 star rating, but I am interested enough in the plot I'll probably read the next one. I have a hard time giving two star to a novel if I plan to read the next book in the series. There are glimmers of greatness that keep me ganging in there. I am hoping it will suddenly improve and I'll be glad I hung in there. Books 8-10 of Wheel of Time made we want to give up too, but I'm glad I kept reading. I'll hang in there and award 3 stars.
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- Roy J. Meek "Justin Meek"

Wild Horses Can't Drag Me Away

If you could sum up Like a Mighty Army in three words, what would they be?

a delicious addiction continues
NImue Becomes Two

What was one of the most memorable moments of Like a Mighty Army?

When Nimue becomes two

What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

That there is absolutely nothing to dislike. Wyman does the job extremely well and his narration never detracts from the story

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A real answer: Nimue Becomes Two - Imagine being both a male and female version of yourself at the same time.

A more tongue in cheek answer: Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away - explanation: Weber has more "snorting" and "nostrils flaring" than you could possibly imagine. Enough that I now tell my cat the horses are back every time he uses those descriptors.

Any additional comments?

I'm captivated enough by this series to have now listened to the entire first 6 books a third time in anticipation of this last installment. The deliciously agonizing slow pace of the books and the interminable length of time between them causes my mind to wander and lose place so I miss enough to make a second and third listen worthwhile.

Given the content, the maps provided online are woefully insufficient for following the geography of the action. This needs to be fixed - more art and detail would be a very welcomed addition. We have to imagine an entire world and the locations are important enough to make a detailed map a necessity.

After waiting 2 years for book 7 I downloaded it the first day and have gone through it over 48 hours. I have to keep reminding myself "it's the journey not the destination" when my natural impatience moves me to wish for a faster pace. So a quicker/less deliberate listen can be followed by a slower repeat listen. It works well for me.

My only quibbles are the 'snorting" and "nostrils flaring" and Nimue/Merlin's absurd self blame for starting the war she/he never started. That's precious little for almost 200 hours of audible book reading.

The politics and religion of Safehold through the eyes of a futuristic PICA from the distant past with 'magical' powers born of a massive technical advantage makes for a compelling story. I can't wait for the next installment but I know I have to - and I am not anxious for the story to end - at least not long before I do. And at this pace it may be a close race.

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- B. Bozeman "Driving over 100,000 mile a year since 1983, I got hooked on audible books on tape 30 years back. I now listen from my bicycle 2 hours a day"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-18-2014
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio