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Into the Light (Out of the Dark, 2) Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2021
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In New York Times-bestselling science fiction epic Out of the Dark, Earth beat back an alien invasion. Now we've got to make sure they don't come back, in Into the Light.
The Shongairi conquered Earth. In mere minutes, half the human race died, and our cities lay in shattered ruins.
But the Shongairi didn’t expect the survivors’ tenacity. And, crucially, they didn’t know that Earth harbored two species of intelligent, tool-using bipeds. One of them was us. The other, long-lived and lethal, was hiding in the mountains of eastern Europe, the subject of fantasy and legend. When they emerged and made alliance with humankind, the invading aliens didn’t stand a chance.
Now Earth is once again ours. Aided by the advanced tech the aliens left behind, we’re rebuilding as fast as we can.
Meanwhile, a select few of our blood-drinking immortals are on their way to the Shongairi homeworld, having commandeered one of the alien starships...the planet-busting kind.
About the Author
CHRIS KENNEDY is a former school principal and naval aviator. His self-published novels include the Occupied Seattle military fiction duology, the Theogony and Codex Regius science fiction trilogies, and the War for Dominance fantasy trilogy.
- Publisher : Tor Science Fiction (December 28, 2021)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 736 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765366924
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765366924
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.29 x 1.48 x 8.33 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #158,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from the United States
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Truly despise cliffhanger endings and I will NOT be buying any more books in this series.
The book takes off shortly after the events in the first book. Vlad is on his way to take the fight to the Puppies. Governor Howell is now President Howell and has enlisted David Dvorak to help pull the world together with the idea of creating a new World Government to help face off against future Hegemony attacks. They discover that the Hegemony had limited advancements greatly because of their risk adverse nature.
The second act is the pulling together of a new planetary union and the advancements that are being made at a quick pace improving upon the captured technology. We also learn a surprise about the Vampires that will certainly have a future impact.
The third act sees Earth reach out to one of the nearby planets that was also being eyed by the Hegemony as possible troublemakers. While humans try to be diplomatic in their approach, they quickly find that dealing with aliens even on their own terms can be a dangerous process.
The epilogue leaves us with a quick reunion and teases of things to come in the next book.
Great book. I just hope we get the sequel quicker than it took this one to come out, however it was worth the wait.
But when I hit the first contact sections I knew I have to give this a 5 stars. A detailed first contact experience from perspective of both species is rare enough in action sci-fi novels, doubly so when humanity is on the more advanced side.
Looking forward to read the next book. I just hope the wait-period for next book would be much faster than the last
On the other hand, I want to give the book two stars.
Book one in the series set up Earth as unique:
a) by having two intelligent species. One is/was very populous while the Apex Predator (AP) was quite rare and
b) because humanities development speed seemed extremely rapid.
Book one ended with no explanation of the source of Earth's uniqueness. I could live with that since somethings would be clarified in book two
AND THEN BOOK TWO DIDN"T CLAIFY ANYTHING (or at least not much). Maybe the authors are depending upon the readers having far more patience than I exhibit. My view is that the reader is owed more of the back story than we are getting.
Sadly I will buy the next in the series because I like Weber as an author and am willing to trust a bit further.
Mediocre Weber is still better than most published SF, and far superior to the low-priced dreck available on Amazon, but Out Of The Dark is disappointing for those drawn in by Weber’s name.
Top reviews from other countries
MARMITE BOOK ALERT - Of course it's a marmite book, everything David Weber writes or contributes to is loved by some people and loathed by others but I suspect that may be even more true of this one than most.
HANGING ENDING ALERT - this is obviously intended as the second book of what will become a series.
Most of "Out of the Dark" was military hard SF describing an alien invasion in the near future. However, in the last four chapters the story appeared to shift genre and something very strange happens. With humanity facing extinction, an ancient and sinister foe which most modern people would have dismissed as a myth came out of the dark to confront the invaders.
The prologue of the book takes place on the date humans would call 25th October 1415 as an alien survey team from a very pacifist race, which was part of a huge Galactic Hegemony arrived in earth orbit to study what they regard as earth's primitive cultures.
Shocked by the butchery they saw while observing from orbit the battle of Agincourt, they sent in a report designed to impress on the council of all the star-faring races in the galaxy how savage these "humans" are. (It was a pretty horrible battle, and I can recommend 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory for a good account of Agincourt in its historical context.)
Little did the pacifist survey team know that, in one of the many ironies in the book, their report would directly cause the violent deaths of billions of sentient beings.
The story continued "about 600" earth years later: e.g. in the near future. The galactic "Hegemony Council" does not often give permission for member races to conquer and settle colonies on worlds which have an indigenous intelligent species. However, concerned at the long-term risk which humans might pose, and on the basis that "a race as bloodthirsty as the humans deserves what happens to them" the council gives the galaxy's only other intelligent aggressive species, the Shongairi, permission to invade Earth and set up a colony here.
What happened next bears such a strong resemblance to the opening of Harry Turtledove's WORLDWAR books (link: Worldwar: in the Balance ) that some readers will be tempted to accuse Dave Weber of plagiarism. Like Fleetlord Avtar in Turtledove's books, the Shongairi commander arrives in Sol system expecting to find no opposition more dangerous than armoured knights with lances or longbowmen, only to discover that the planet had moved on much faster since the survey hundreds of years before than the aliens had expected.
OK, it's not a new idea, but an invasion by aliens against whom we could put up no effective resistance at all would not make for a particularly interesting book. And there are comparatively few reasons why any alien race advanced enough to be able to deploy the enormous resources required to send a planetary invasion fleet between the stars, would also be such blithering idiots as to send such a fleet to attack someone with the ability to even put up much of a fight, let alone actually win.
Since you have to ship every soldier and weapon, every ounce of fuel and every round of ammunition over several light-years, interstellar invasion could only be worth the effort if the people you are invading are totally outclassed.
A massive underestimate of how far the race being invaded might have advanced in the decades or centuries since their distant world was last surveyed, is one of the very few plausible reasons why a race clever enough to travel between the stars might be foolish enough to launch an interstellar invasion against someone they are not able to quickly and easily conquer.
What I am about to write is not a spoiler for "Into the Light" as I am assuming that anyone reading it will read "Out of the Dark" first. But it impossible to write anything meaningful about "Into the light" without including at least some serious spoilers for "Out of the Dark" , so if you are reading this, have not yet read "Out of the dark" and might ever possibly at some stage wish to do so, please STOP READING NOW.
At the start of "Into the Light" Earth is just beginning to recover after massive devastation from the kinetic bombardment (e.g. dropping rocks from orbit, which can be as devastating as nuclear strikes without the radioactivity) with which the aliens began their attack and from the fighting and disruption caused by the invasion attempt which followed.
The peoples of earth have captured all the capital ships of the Shongairi invasion fleet, the factory ships which the invaders had planned to use to set up a galactic standard economy on their new colony, and a lot of information. If the Shongairi were all the Terrans had to worry about, they would be well placed to strike back, or fortify the Sol system, or both, and ensure that the Shongairi had little chance of pulling off any further attempts to conquer Earth.
Unfortunately they also have to worry about the rest of the Hegemony.
We were told in the first book that it is likely to be at least a hundred years, more likely four hundred, before the Galactic Hegemony bother to send anyone to see what happened to Earth - they have FTL travel but only an order of magnitude or so faster than lightspeed, so getting out to our part of the spiral arm takes a LONG time. However, the Terrans suspect that when the Hegemony Council finally do discover what happened to the Shongairi invasion fleet, they're likely to go bananas and classify humanity as an existential threat to everything they stand for.
The Hegemony Council had handed us to the Shongairi who they (correctly) regard as vicious killers, because they thought the same of us and decided to use one threat to get rid of another. When they find out that this group of bloodthirsty barbarians had managed to advance faster than the galactics had thought possible, and that the Shongairi invasion actually failed, their reaction is almost inevitable. It will be summed up by the old saying, "This animal is very wicked: when it's attacked it defends itself."
The Hegemony will realise that they're now faced with a race warlike enough to give the Shongairi a serious fight, which has the capacity to move ahead fast by their standards, has good reason both to loathe the Hegemony and to regard the Hegemony as already at war with them, and worst of all, doesn't think like them.
The Terrans who look through the captured databases conclude that it's unlikely that the Hegemony Council will do the right thing, apologise and offer compensation for what they did to Earth. It is far more likely that they're going to panic, forget all their noble principles and use the fact that they outnumber us by many thousands to one to come after the Terrans and try to crush us by sheer weight of numbers before we can seek revenge for the harm they have already done to us.
So the leaders of those who had defeated the Shongairi set out to unite the planet, to use the century or four before the aliens come back in far greater numbers to build MUCH more powerful defences and, if possible, find allies against them. This book tells the story of the first forty years of that task.
OK. Let's address the aspect of these two books which will cause many people who like hard SF and military SF - e.g. most of the people who will pick up a David Weber book - the most difficulty. How on earth can Weber and Kennedy expect that kind of reader to take seriously the idea that vampires not only exist, but could defeat an alien invasion by means which on the face of it appear supernatural.
There have been other "Vampires in Space" science fiction novels which attempted to provide at least a hint of a scientific explanation of how vampires might be real, of which far and away the best are Robert Frezza's comedy SF novel Mclendon's Syndrome and its' sequel, "The VMR Theory." But the capabilities of people with Mclendon's syndrome in those novels were far less extreme and apparently supernatural than those of the vampires in "Out of the Dark" and "Into the light." Plus Frezza's books were comedies so his vampires in space did not seek to be taken seriously.
"Into the Light" provides the first hint of how the Vampires' extraordinary abilities could exist in a universe where scientific knowledge also exists and technology (usually) works.
To say much more than this would be a spoiler but let me finish this review with words with which every science fiction reader should be familiar, Arthur C Clarke's law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
This book is clearly meant to set the stage for bigger events to come, and it does this quite well. Story arcs for major characters are fleshed out nicely and Weber creates an interesting take on how humanity might move beyond nation states for governance.
It was the last portion of the story that I felt was a touch unrealistic. Weber wets our appetite for cool new tech in earlier chapters but rarely uses it until almost the very end of the story. Instead of building up its use to give more impact on the story, the action scenes when we get them are, well, a bit underwhelming. It all feels a bit rushed and not up to the standard of Webers usual combat scenes.
Overall I enjoyed it and I will certainly pick up the next book in the series to see where Weber takes us next!
DELIGHTED!!!!! TO SEE ON THE DAVID WEBER WEBSITE THE NEXT SAFEHOLD BOOK IS SCHEDULED TO BE WRITTEN – HOPEFULLY PUBLISHED IN 2021
Agree very much with a previous reviewer’s comment “MARMITE BOOK ALERT - Of course, it's a marmite book, everything David Weber writes or contributes to is loved by some people and loathed by others but I suspect that may be even more true of this one than most.”
I have read all the Honor Harrington series and am a huge fan of the Safehold series. I don.t think David Weber is capable of writing a bad book.
MORE PLEASE DAVID