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A Call to Arms - eARC
by David Weber & Timothy Zahn with Thomas Pope
Publisher: Baen Books

From multiple New York Times best selling author David Weber and #1 New York Times best selling author Timothy Zahn. NEW ENTRY IN BEST-SELLING SERIES. Book #2 in the Manticore Ascendant series, set in David Weber's Honorverse.

Lieutenant Travis Long of the Royal Manticoran Navy is the sort of person who likes an orderly universe. One where people follow the rules.

Unfortunately, he lives in the real universe.

The good news is that Travis is one of those rare people who may like rules but has a talent for thinking outside them when everything starts coming apart. That talent has stood him—and the Star Kingdom—in good stead in the past, and it’s one reason he’s now a “mustang,” an ex-enlisted man who’s been given a commission as a King’s officer.

The bad news is that two of the best ways of making enemies ever invented are insisting on enforcing the rules . . . and thinking outside them when other people don’t. Travis learned that lesson the hard way as a young volunteer in basic training, and he knows that if he could just keep his head down, turn a blind eye to violations of the rules, and avoid stepping on senior officers’ toes, he’d do just fine. But the one rule Travis Long absolutely can’t break is the one that says an officer in the Royal Navy does his duty, whatever the consequences.

At the moment, there are powerful forces in the young Star Kingdom of Manticore’s Parliament which don’t think they need him. For that matter, they’re pretty sure they don’t need the Royal Manticoran Navy, either. After all, what does a sleepy little single-system star nation on the outer edge of the explored galaxy need with a navy?

Unhappily for them, the edge of the explored galaxy can be a far more dangerous place than they think it is. They’re about to find out why they need the Navy . . . and how very, very fortunate they are that Travis Long is in it.

Published: 6/29/2015
SKU: A9781476780856
Ebook Price: $15.00
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1. Karen on 9/10/2015, said:

It's a great story line. Having read the brief intro version as a short story in "Beginnings: Worlds of Honor 6" I have to say it did not spoil the enjoyment of the first or second novel. Timothy Zahn and David Weber are a good combination. You will enjoy, and like me await the next installment. Manticore Ascendent series as pre-history for the Honor Harrington series. The enjoyment continues.......
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2. Carlton on 7/24/2015, said:

As others have mentioned, if you've read the story in "Beginnings," then you've read a lot of this novel. The novel takes the solid core of Travis Long's second story and fleshes it out. You see more of the picture. If you haven't read the story in Beginnings, you'll get your money's worth; it's a good read.

It's a different perspective; it's the "old days" before the Manticoran Navy was a first class organization and when autocannon were a good missile defense.
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3. Bradley on 7/24/2015, said:

I've read every published bit of fiction that David Weber has ever written, and his prose has a certain majestic feel to it. Unfortunately, this collaboration with Timothy Zahn (which is merely an expansion of Zahn's short story in "Beginnings: Worlds of Honor 6") and who is a very good writer himself, is tedious until the missiles start to fly. This novel seems to be aimed at young adults, yet it's too violent for them. I really enjoyed the first novel in the series, but in this case, what worked as a short story simply doesn't translate well to a novel somehow. It seems to take an eternity where nothing meaningful happens to get to the Battle of Manticore - which happily is expanded a bit, although most of it is lifted word or word from the short story. Once the hyper-footprints appear in Manticore space, this is a five star novel. Up to that point, it crawls. Since the original story was attributed entirely to Timothy Zahn, yet the battle in the novel is both longer and deadlier, I get the feeling that Zahn wrote the plot to get to the battle, which Weber probably probably outlined in both the short story and the novel, then edited. The battle is fun reading!

I was VERY disappointed that at least two members of the House of Lords weren't charged with treason and tossed out of parliament or executed at the end. Well, there's always the NEXT novel for sanity to break out...

SPOILER! The final conclusion is frustrating for poor Travis Long. After all, if saving your ship and making the opposing "admiral" so paranoid by your inspired tricks that he loses the battle isn't enough to get you hugged by a pretty girl, I'm not sure what you need to do to get kissed! ;)

The foreshadowing of the looming 2nd Battle of Manticore is clear, but since it took over six years to put the first battle together, I'm guessing that Manticore will have enough time to prepare - barely.
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4. Alexander on 7/21/2015, said:

An excellent book, fits nicely in the series, has a good plot and is well written.


The only real downside is if you're already read the short story by the same name in Beginnings, like I have. The majority of the book is indeed new content, expanding quite a few characters and making me look forward to more books set in the era, but the last third is mostly just an expansion of the short story.


I'm still giving it 5/5. I'm a sucker for the setting and the book is well written. If you're a fan of the setting or haven't read the short story I can heartily recommend the book.

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5. Glenn on 7/18/2015, said:

I enjoyed this book but found it a bit tedious. I feel like Mr. Weber is just writing to fill some contractual obligation. While prequels are usually good foundation for the "current timeline" stories, this one seemed to flounder around in frustrating ways. I do hope that Mr. Weber will get back to "current timeline" stories soon.

This is the first book of the Manticore series that I was not wholly satisfied with. It is also the first book of the series I have not given a solid five stars. But I do not regret getting it.
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6. John on 7/17/2015, said:

Another good book
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7. Andreas on 7/12/2015, said:

The book is quite readable, and the description of the battle is also entertaining. However, in my opinion, this is the worst book in the Honorverse yet.

The biggest blunder is the plot around the Townsend character. The whole episode on Casca seems totally irrelevant to the story, since Axelrod's plans are not impeded or anticipated in the least. Townsend's covert assignment is given a substantive amount of space, but leads essentially nowhere. His assignment to MPARS is equally pointless.

Travis' romance is also quite disappointing. After that much trouble, and the devastating but triumphant battle of Manticore, they only manage to sit on a couch together? While this is realistic, it's still disappointing.

It's sad to see the Honor Harrington series fizzling down. The characters of the "present" have finally gotten rid of virtually all their problems (the death knell to a dramatic plot), so it is understandable why Weber and Zahn prefer to write a prequel. But this prequel doesn't live up to its potential either.
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8. Greg on 7/1/2015, said:

Not worth the money. This is just an expansion on a previously published short story. There Is no new plot and very little new info from the short story.
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9. John on 6/30/2015, said:

I am really sorry to say this book is really boring after the Honor books. The main character is really not one you can care about. I understand that the Author(s) need(s) to fill in the history of Manticore, but the whole story could be put in a short story, and was as a matter of fact. Weber should have just gotten on to the next Honor/Mike Henke story with the League.
This one was phoned in.
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10. Derek on 6/30/2015, said:

Thoroughly enjoy a good story, its a good story, Its about a different sort of hero. Personally found it fascinating. Back history from a different viewpoint. Worked for me.
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