Thursday, September 17, 2020

Audiobook: A Call to Arms by David Weber, Timothy Zahn & Thomas Pope

A Call to Arms
Author: David Weber, Timothy Zahn, Thomas Pope
Narrator: Eric Michael Summerer
Publication: Audible Studios (Oct. 6, 2015)
Length: 12 hours and 21 minutes

Description: 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 that 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.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Manticore Ascendant series and follows the further adventures of Travis Uriah Long. Travis has been sent to further schooling and is now a Lieutenant JG in the Navy. He goes through various problems on a couple of ships when he insists that people under his command follow the rules no matter who their relatives are. Travis hasn't learned to balance rigid rule following with people skills.

Meanwhile, a large Solarian corporation is eyeing Manticore because of the potential wormhole that might exist in the system. They have sent out their spy Jeremiah Llyn to manipulate events to learn about the possible wormhole and plan for a conquest of the Manticore system which must definitely leave their name out of it while still letting them ultimately take control.

From the murder of one of the captured pirates held in Havenite prison to the murder of a dictator is exile and his supporters to hiring a mercenary space fleet, the spy is busy trying to acquire Manticore for his masters. Most of his activities are well below the radar of anyone on Manticore except for a few people in the Navy who just gets a quick look at his activities but can't find him.

But on Manticore politics is proceeding as usual with a faction wanting to stop what they see as the financial drain of the Royal Navy from eating the budget. Of course, Earl Breakwater wants to divert assets from the Navy to MPARS (Manticore Patrol and Rescue Service) which is under his control and which he and his supporters feel are certainly enough to protect Manticore. Among his strongest supporters is Baron Winterfall who happens to be Travis Long's half-brother.

The book is filled with complicated political maneuvering and space battles which brings a lot of action to the story. It was an entertaining story to listen to even though some of the transitions were a bit jarring as locations and characters changed from one sentence to the next.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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