Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: The Spoils of War by Alan Dean Foster (The Damned, Book 3)

Synopsis: The Weave was on the verge of winning a decisive victory after a milennia of war, thanks to their new allies from earth. But then the birdlike Wais scholar Lalelang found evidence that Humans might not adapt well to peace. Researching further, she uncovered a secret group of telepathic Humans called the Core, who were on the verge of starting another war, and then eliminating Lalelang. At the last moment, she was saved by a lone Core commander. He took a chance on her intelligence and compassion, and gambled the fate of Humanity on the possibility that together, they could find an alternative to a galaxy-wide bloodbath.... (from the online description)

Review: As the conclusion to the enjoyable "The Damned" series, I expected a bit more - action. Not that there wasn’t action, but like the previous two, Foster’s characters spend time thinking and speculating about the world and their place in it.
The war that is the central conflict in the series ends with a fizzle. But with the end brings to the surface the unspoken fear of the members of the Weave – what to do with the violent Humans. The book spans almost 2 earth decades, following the main characters as they work, often behind the scenes, to solve the problem. Through dogged determination, intelligence, self-sacrifice, and yes, some violence, they reach a bittersweet end. Not clean ending to the issues raised, simply a messy patchwork solution, tinged with hope. While this left me sad, it made the story better. It felt real.
Foster has an interesting viewpoint on his own race – the idea that humans are inherently prone to violence and left without an outside enemy, we will turn on ourselves. But his stories also tell us he believes that there will always be human who will rise above that, and work to temper that issue in our species. It’s an interesting concept.
Overall, this is an enjoyable series. Worth reading, particularly if you like a little philosophy in your science fiction. 

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-345-37576-9
Year Published: 1993
Date Finished: 6-5-2016
Pages: 296

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