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When Earth herself lay under siege by an enemy humankind could not defeat, mankind undertook one last throw of the dice: Operation Ark. Earth's final colonizing expedition was meant to build a new civilization, on a planet so distant even the Gbaba might never find it and without the high-tech infrastructure whose emissions might betray its location.
Eight centuries later, a commander from that Expedition, Nimue Alban, woke up in a cave on a planet called Safehold. She was surprised to discover that the fanatic administrators of Operation Ark had used mind-control techniques to create a false, brutally suppressive religion whose entire purpose was to forbid invention and innovation forever.
But a tiny fraction within Operation Ark's leadership remembered the truth and believed in human dignity and freedom. They've given Nimue Alban a carefully hidden cache of technology and the capabilities of the android body in which her memories, loves, hopes, and dreams live on. Now it's her job to somehow provoke the technological progress and freedom of thought and belief that the Church of God Awaiting has worked centuries to crush.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Alison on 09-08-07
David Weber always good
I admit to bias - I will pick up a David Weber book without glancing at the dust jacket to see what its about. Off Armageddon Reef does not disappoint. Set in a completely different universe from his other books, its a study from multiple political, scientific and religiuos viewpoints of the emergence of a medival/renaissance level society to industrial age sophistication, set against religous strictures forbidding the change - with good reason - but flawed execution. The characters are well drawn - even the bad guys aren't all bad.
As always with David Weber, you have to be willing to sit through detailed descriptions of how the technical stuff works. If you are the type that skips that part to get to the action, you may find yourself hitting fast forward occasionally. I found that listening to the descriptions was actually easier than reading them and ended up listening and Not skipping over the technical stuff.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
By Rena on 12-03-12
The narrator sold me on this book.
I'll try to be as spoiler free as I can manage here...
This isn't the type of book I normally read, since it's pretty heavy on politics and warfare strategy. However, I was intrigued by the premise of a female's brain in an android's body, surviving her actual body and trying to right the wrongs of decades past. The name of Merlin intrigued me too. I'm a Merlin fan.
Once I started listening to the audiobook though (I originally borrowed this audiobook from my local library), I was completely sold on the story due to the dynamic and wonderful reading by Oliver Wyman. Scenes which, when I read them in a book are dull and tedious were brought to life in an entertaining manner. I don't think I would have enjoyed this book if I'd tried to read the paper version. Listening to it narrated here though, it was a fantastic mix of technology, slight of hand, and derring-do mixed in with the politics and strategizing.
When I'd finished, I was really looking forward to the next installment. This book was a fantastic listen. I'll be listening to it again soon.
33 of 36 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mary K. on 02-02-15
Enjoyable, but predictable, with the result - ie clever android with serious tech manipulates a pre-reformation civilization.- never seriously in doubt. If you like the "1632..." series you will like this novel. Characters interesting and my attention was held. Very good narration..
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Shaun on 05-14-17
Amazing, just amazing
The story, reading and just everything about this book and the world's within it are captivating and awe inspiring.