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SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?

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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by Isilith   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:04 am

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n7axw wrote:
ti3x wrote:
That entire battle scene made me almost put the book down and walk away. Heck, throughout the series the Charisians are taking causalities which they could have realistically avoided by using snarks to create "luck" on the battlefield. A matter of god (or Owl) helping those who help themselves.

But even without that, Sarmouth doesn't bother suggesting ways that he might hide barges to the spotter, such as below a mound of dirt, and please keep an eye out for stuff like that. He knew those rocket barges were there, but instead of just saying that he would rather avoid getting too close to the island, he decides to let the attack carry on.

It's a decision that Weber seems to have made to keep the Charisian's from curbstomping Thirsk, and it just feels unnatural. But then, much of this book feels that way, which is a feeling that has been growing throughout the series.

Also, hands up if you skipped entire paragraphs when it came to talking about where which army was marching, or might march, or would march, except for, or did march, but then marched back from...


I for my own part intend to go back and study those battles. I'm already started on the sea battles.... Sorry you are apparentky not enjoying the series.

Don

-


I don't know if he was saying he didn't like the series or not, but I know exactly what he is saying about how it feels "forced". At least in relation to making sure that the "bad guys" can partially hold their own. I think in an effort to not be criticized for writing war porn, he has done a lot of "it just happens because I say so" to keep the church and her allies "IN" the war. And I say that as someone that LOVES the series, and has read it multiple times.

I brought this up ( about how it felt like he was forcing the church to keep pace ) with the briefcase that a high ranking Charisan was just walking around Siddar City with, even though it had just been the scene of an Inquisition led uprising and battle. But, hey, walk around with those important secrets unprotected, gotta make sure the church somehow learns to make Charisan steel, open hearths, and the basic plans of a steam engine. I know David came on and admonished me, saying it was logical for it to happen, but it wasn't. I, as someone who was in Military Intelligence, can not conceive of ANY country EVER letting someone just walk around with state secrets, in a zone with that much unrest, and ESPECIALLY without being heavily guarded.

Still love the series, will be reading it multiple times more, God willing, over the years. But there was a good bit of hand wavium to keep the church pacing Charis.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by MrZero   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:16 am

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Y'know I find I'm not done decompressing after 9 books that are the size of plural other books.
I thought the snippet about capturing Clyntin was going to be part of a play! Even in a war there's going to be entertainment going on, books being written, shows to go to, ballerinas to pass coded messages- err, to dance, intentional efforts to anger the other side. As a matter of fact why weren't any of the armies getting any broadsheets? As for Clynton, I thought it was Merlin swooping in doing daring-do, while the vile Clynton waits at the back ordering his henchquisiters forward and chewing the scenery like he's The Penguin from the 60's Batman show. With Clyntan, be might actually pick up and eat parts of the set.
I was expecting the end to be more.. last stand at the gates. Something like Children of Empire (Dahak novels). Merlin made fool of about the guesses he'd made, the temple doing things that surprises everyone, people trying to jump -to- the upper floors, Inc's fighting with pikes, etc.
It's too bad they didn't get to lasers and lightbulbs. Surely the Platform couldn't object to little bits of light? How many lives could have been saved if the sails of the Charis ships, and the balloons, were all lit up by the "fire of God", all saying, "Surrender, please." And it could be done with lenses, candles, and silhouette slides. We're told several times how big the canvases are, but not the obvious- using them as movie screens, or even just painting "Hey, YOU attacked US!" or "Now accepting your surrender." on them?
Still, at least there were the chamberpots, but it's too bad we didn't get to see (not that part, the later part) the inq's and Clynton's reaction to them.
ti3x is right, a page or two could have been shaved off of the two-front navel chase/battle, or the ship vs shore fights for more important scenes. At the time I shrugged and kept going as the series was founded and continued on naval battles and they were on the last one on the map. I didn't expect it to crowd out better payoffs! In a book that size how could you crowd out anything?!

I know the forum-goers were warned of a "time-skip", but I'm sure many thought it'd be something along the lines of Merlin being turned off for ten or twenty years, only to wake up in time for the next generation and whatever ill-advised war they idiotically get themselves into. Instead the one-line three-month time-skip robbed the capture of much of it's impact. What was the reaction of the man in the street in Zion and Charis? Of the armies? Of anyone who'd punch the air and go "Al-right! Now that that git's out of the way now we can _win_ this war! Who's with me? What are you doing with that ax?" I'm sure that some of us were expecting some ace in the hole supertech on the part of Clynton. He'll press a few buttons and let loose a hovertank with a force-field that'll rip through the Charis Land army like a Dalek at a baby-duck farm. We didn't see a _single_ Temple self-defense phaser! When Clynton broke down he wasn't even reminded of all that stuff he did. If he believed the Writ then a little "We told you. They told you. The priests told you. The broadsheets told you. The people you took prisoner told you. The Writ told you. How much disapproval of your actions were you looking to get?" would have been well used. Instead we get an ending of a main character that's practically "blink and you'll miss it."
At least the ride there was good.
248 fightingt!
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by wkernochan   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:31 am

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Isilith wrote:[quote="n7axw
I for my own part intend to go back and study those battles. I'm already started on the sea battles.... Sorry you are apparentky not enjoying the series.

Don

-


I don't know if he was saying he didn't like the series or not, but I know exactly what he is saying about how it feels "forced". At least in relation to making sure that the "bad guys" can partially hold their own. I think in an effort to not be criticized for writing war porn, he has done a lot of "it just happens because I say so" to keep the church and her allies "IN" the war. And I say that as someone that LOVES the series, and has read it multiple times.

I brought this up ( about how it felt like he was forcing the church to keep pace ) with the briefcase that a high ranking Charisan was just walking around Siddar City with, even though it had just been the scene of an Inquisition led uprising and battle. But, hey, walk around with those important secrets unprotected, gotta make sure the church somehow learns to make Charisan steel, open hearths, and the basic plans of a steam engine. I know David came on and admonished me, saying it was logical for it to happen, but it wasn't. I, as someone who was in Military Intelligence, can not conceive of ANY country EVER letting someone just walk around with state secrets, in a zone with that much unrest, and ESPECIALLY without being heavily guarded.

Still love the series, will be reading it multiple times more, God willing, over the years. But there was a good bit of hand wavium to keep the church pacing Charis.[/quote]

I don't know if he was saying he didn't like the series or not, but I know exactly what he is saying about how it feels "forced". At least in relation to making sure that the "bad guys" can partially hold their own. I think in an effort to not be criticized for writing war porn, he has done a lot of "it just happens because I say so" to keep the church and her allies "IN" the war. And I say that as someone that LOVES the series, and has read it multiple times.

I brought this up ( about how it felt like he was forcing the church to keep pace ) with the briefcase that a high ranking Charisan was just walking around Siddar City with, even though it had just been the scene of an Inquisition led uprising and battle. But, hey, walk around with those important secrets unprotected, gotta make sure the church somehow learns to make Charisan steel, open hearths, and the basic plans of a steam engine. I know David came on and admonished me, saying it was logical for it to happen, but it wasn't. I, as someone who was in Military Intelligence, can not conceive of ANY country EVER letting someone just walk around with state secrets, in a zone with that much unrest, and ESPECIALLY without being heavily guarded.

Still love the series, will be reading it multiple times more, God willing, over the years. But there was a good bit of hand wavium to keep the church pacing Charis.[/quote]

I defer to your expertise in MI as it is now. But much of the technology and thinking is Civil War era. I know from Catton's history among other things that security was in fact lax on both sides in the Civil War, with the loss of orders prior to the battle of Antietam being one example and the success of Confederate spies in Washington, DC being another. As for Merlin not enforcing security at the time, that's a bit like saying today's President can change the security habits of Joe Policeman in Arizona in the middle of a crisis, instantly. Ultimately, you have to trust the man on the spot, because urgency of getting the technology out to Siddermarkians trumps everything else.

No, I don't find that particular example at all unrealistic.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by ti3x   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:03 pm

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Isilith wrote:Still love the series, will be reading it multiple times more, God willing, over the years. But there was a good bit of hand wavium to keep the church pacing Charis.


Keeping this last bit because I want to emphasize that I'm in the same camp. I like the series, I love the premise, but I lost my suspension of disbelief too many times during the readthrough to be entertained. I'm guessing DW couldn't make the church turn to fed tech because that would make them too powerful, while without it they were going to be almost pushovers, which meant that he had to give them a leg up in some way.

One of the dangers of writing such an ambitious series, I guess. If one side goes ROFL-stomping the other, you'll lose readers who are there for the battles.

Of course, I've been reading this series to read about the societal changes, with a few battles sprinkled in. But even a little bit of tech advantage (see Germans attacking Poland WW2 -- doctrinal and relatively similar advantage in arms as can be seen in Charis vs Church) can have a profound effect. Charis should have curb-stomped the church at pretty much every encounter where they had supply.

As for the battle sequences, my main thing is the land army movements. Too much blah-blah-blah in them, lots of tell, too little show, etc. It made the reading slow down to the point where I had to skip things while discerning what was important. When I did read it all, too much data made the whole thing impenetrable.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by NervousEnergy   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:54 pm

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I loved the whole thing. Bought both the kindle and hardcover versions, like every other installment.

I will say, though, that the love of 19th century logistics and force organization did get a bit thick at times, as ti3x points out. I didn't exactly 'bleep' through them, but I also wasn't plotting the movements out on the map in order to see how the strategy was evolving either. Perhaps in a future read-through.

I'd have liked a more extended epilogue if we're going to have a jump to the next arc, but then again I ALWAYS want more from a Weber book, even if it's a door-stopper in size. I was always, from the very beginning, assuming that the Go4 was going to end in an internal fall, either with Duchairn (as it actually happened) or simply the rest of the Vicarate ganging up on them when they ran out of money. Ending the war after the coup was both logical and absolutely the way I'd think it would happen... pushing on to 'final victory' would have been a political disaster for Charis in the face of doctrinal repudiation of Clinton, which was ostensibly what the whole war was fought over.

Bring on the next arc!
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by cnrd22   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:30 pm

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NervousEnergy wrote:Ending the war after the coup was both logical and absolutely the way I'd think it would happen... pushing on to 'final victory' would have been a political disaster for Charis in the face of doctrinal repudiation of Clinton, which was ostensibly what the whole war was fought over.

Bring on the next arc!



The main decision wasn't ending the war when Duchairn took power which was a given, but supporting Duchairn or not and there were voices in the Inner Circle which (logically) suggested that in the long run it would be better to let Duchairn try and most likely fail, Clynthan intensify his reign of terror and then smash the Temple once and for all, but the cost was seen as way too high for now - we will see in the next arc what the cost of not smashing the Temple now will be, though I am more of the opinion that things will turn much subtler than that

This being said, I actually think that this book was by far the best from the world war sequence (books 5-9) as the battles were much less prominent and we returned to more of intrigue, politics etc; still think the balloons were a bit of retcon (see "He was the first native Safeholdian to actually fly in well over eight centuries, and Merlin could almost physically feel the young man's delight as the emperor sat in the flight couch.." in volume 3 and ascending in a balloon even for 20 minutes or so kind of counts as flying imho), but who cares...
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by jgnfld   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:53 pm

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:x
wkernochan wrote:...

...

I brought this up ( about how it felt like he was forcing the church to keep pace ) with the briefcase that a high ranking Charisan was just walking around Siddar City with, even though it had just been the scene of an Inquisition led uprising and battle. But, hey, walk around with those important secrets unprotected, gotta make sure the church somehow learns to make Charisan steel, open hearths, and the basic plans of a steam engine. I know David came on and admonished me, saying it was logical for it to happen, but it wasn't. I, as someone who was in Military Intelligence, can not conceive of ANY country EVER letting someone just walk around with state secrets, in a zone with that much unrest, and ESPECIALLY without being heavily guarded.

Still love the series, will be reading it multiple times more, God willing, over the years. But there was a good bit of hand wavium to keep the church pacing Charis...


Losing impt docs in a silly way is common enough. Some Cdn CSIS agents left top secret docs in a car while they were at a Maple Leafs game a while back and they got stolen, for example.
Last edited by jgnfld on Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by eldrwyrm   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:34 pm

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I enjoyed the book, as I have enjoyed the entire series. I agree that the end of the book felt a bit rushed. I'm wondering if the compressed cycle and having to get it in under a much tighter deadline contributed to that. If there had been more time to get this done, I think we would have seen more of what actually happened in Zion during the uprising, or gotten a more comprehensive recap.
I would have like to have seen the internal chambers discussion of what happened in Dohlar rather than a synopsis. In previous books I think we would have seen that discussion, especially since it involved Thirsk and Alvarez. I would like to have seen some of the trials of the Chisolmian traitors, particularly the meetings that Sharley and Cayleb would have had with the other nobles afterward. I think the discussions of the ruling council in Ravensland would have been very spirited as the jihad came to a close.
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by WeberFan   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:00 pm

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phillies wrote:Not I. I thought it was excellent.

There were several points where you had to remember things from prior books or matters seemed obscure. Nynian's large pectoral scepter comes immediately to mind. The jump to discovering that Nynian snores and implications thereof was a bit rapid; one presumes that there was some prior off-page activity going back over several weeks.

I think Nynian's "large pectoral scepter" was Father Paityr's "truthteller" from OAR - I get the impression from her comment that she would KNOW if a person were lying to her, which could only be 100% guaranteed by the "truthteller."
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Re: SPOILERS: Anyone else... disappointed?
Post by WeberFan   » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:07 pm

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I've now read AtSoT completely through three times, and keep gleaning new information from it each time I go through it. I find myself tracking down "hooks" from previous books in the series.

Frankly, I'm very impressed by the depth of the book, in MWW's ability to keep multiple plot lines open and active at the same time, and (with two exceptions) to give me the arc closure I needed to be satisfied:

What happens to Rainbow Water's army? Does the army surrender? Do they go back to Harchong? North Harchong? South Harchong? What happens to Rainbow Waters and his nephew?

What's under the Temple? And does it impact the "invention" of electricity?

Now those are some questions I have...

But ultimately, I found the book THOROUGHLY enjoyable. I commend you, David. YOU DONE GOOD.

I DO LOOK FORWARD to the beginning of the second arc.
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