Title: A Call to Arms
Series: The Damned
Author: Alan Dean Foster
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Kindle digital edition
I am attempting to reread 10+ books in 2016 that I have rated highly in the past. I am not attempting to second guess or denigrate my younger self in any way but am wanting to compare how my tastes have changed and possibly matured. I am certainly much more widely read now [both in the good and bad quality sadly] than then.
I will hopefully be going into the reasons for any differences of opinions between then and now. If there is no difference of opinion, then it was a hellfire’d fine book!
Links may link to either Booklikes or Blogspot, depending on when the original review was.
Synopsis: (Copied wholesale)
For eons, the Amplitur had searched space for intelligent species, each of which was joyously welcomed to take part in the fulfillment of the Amplitur Purpose. Whether it wanted to or not. When the Amplitur and their allies stumbled upon the races called the Weave, the Purpose seemed poised for a great leap forward. But the Weave’s surprising unity also gave it the ability to fight the Amplitur and their cause. And fight it did; for thousands of years.
Will Dulac was a New Orleans composer who thought the tiny reef off Belize would be the perfect spot to drop anchor and finish his latest symphony in solitude. What he found instead was a group of alien visitors; a scouting party for the Weave, looking. for allies among what they believed to be a uniquely warlike race: Humans.
Will tried to convince the aliens that Man was fundamentally peaceful, for he understood that Human involvement would destroy the race. But all too soon, it didn’t matter. The Amplitur had discovered Earth…
Originally read this back in 2005. Enjoyed it enough that I went out and bought the whole trilogy in hardcover. It has since sat on my bookshelves for over a decade. So it was a prime candidate for Project Reread.
Thankfully, I liked this just as much this time around as I did last time. Which means I had awesome taste back in ’05 and still have it today 😀
The biggest surprise to me, this time around, was how much time was spent dealing with the Amplitur and the Weave before ever coming to Earth. I had remembered the Weave/Human interaction as the starting point, and it wasn’t.
The other main thing I noticed was Foster’s idea that killing non-humans, for humans, was something that they could deal with without guilt or side effects. It forms the whole philosophical basis of this book, ie, Humans are killing machines but hadn’t found the proper outlet yet. I think that he is wrong this time around. I concur that humans can fight [not just killing, but the conflict] and in many cases enjoy it. However, seeing how war [Gulf II, Irag, Afghanistan, etc] has affected our soldiers [even the ones who keep it together], I am not so blithely sure that humanity can engage in conflict without consequences. Most of the difference, I know, stems from the fact that I am a Christian and I’m pretty sure Foster is an atheist.
In ’05 I noted that I stayed up until midnight to finish this. This time around I stayed up until 3am. And did I pay for that the next day! 3hrs of sleep is nowhere near enough for me these days. I find it interesting to note my physical changes in my book reading habits. Ha.
Finally, the cover of this Gateway edition is butt ugly. I liked the hardcover edition covers that were all colorful and showed aliens and weapons. I would WANT to read those. This one, not so much based on the cover alone.