Saturday, January 28, 2023

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

A Call to Insurrection

David Weber, Timothy Zahn, & Thomas Pope
Narrator: Eric Michael Summerer
Series: Manticore Ascendant (Book 4)
Publication: Baen Books; 1st edition (February 1, 2022); Audible Studios (December 6, 2022)
Length: 480 p.; 14 hours and 11 minutes

Description: Book four in the nationally best-selling Manticore Ascendant series, set in the world of David Weber’s multiple New York Times best-selling Honorverse series.

Yesterday, the Star Kingdom of Manticore was a small, unimportant interstellar backwater. A quiet little star nation, only recently recovered from the devastating blow of the Plague Years. More affluent than some, perhaps, but with little to attract trade or interstellar commerce, it had little need for a navy...and even less interest in paying for one.

But Manticore has now become a target. The Star Kingdom isn't certain who is attacking it, or why, or what its mysterious foe can possibly want, but Queen Elizabeth I knows she has to find out. And she knows that whatever some of her subjects think, Manticore does need a navy. And it needs allies, friends like the dynamic Republic of Haven and the Andermani Empire. It needs their trade...and to learn from their more experienced and powerful navies.

It is the job of officers like Travis Long and his wife, Lisa, to acquire that experience. Of utterly inexperienced diplomats like Travis's brother Gavin, Earl Winterfall, to build those alliances.

They have been sent to the powerful Andermani Empire to do just that, for the Imperial Navy is one of the most potent and experienced fleets in the galaxy. But the Andermani have problems of their own. Their Emperor's death is the trigger for insurrection, and now that powerful and experienced navy is locked in civil war

The Manticoran visitors find themselves squarely in the path of the storm, and before Travis, Lisa, and Gavin can accomplish anything else, they first have to survive.

My Thoughts: This is the fourth book in the Manticore Ascendant series. It takes place in the early years on Manticore when they have just come through the plague years and are trying to build relationships with their interstellar neighbors. They have also attracted an enemy who has made numerous attempts to destabilize and conquer Manticore.

Travis Long and his new wife Lisa have been sent to the Andermani Empire at the request of Emperor Gustav. Travis is hoping to absorb some of the Andermni's military knowledge to bring home to Manticore's fledgling Navy. 

Also on the trip is Travis's brother Gavin who is Earl Winterfall and a new member of Manticore's government. Though inexperienced, he has been sent to try to forge trade agreements with the Andermani.

Left at home is Chomps who has run afoul of Navy Intelligence and has been sent to the countryside until things cool down. However, he quickly gets involved in solving the murder of the local duke and all of his family. He thinks the determination that it was an accident caused by a drunken duke is very suspicious. 

Travis and Gavin also soon find out that their trips are much more complicated than they had thought. Emperor Gustav has died and things in the Andermani Empire are a little unsettled as the new 23-year-old emperor is trying to consolidate his position. Gavin stumbles upon conspirators who have a different candidate in mind for emperor.

And Travis and Lisa find themselves about a fleet sent to put down an insurrection as the would-be emperor has joined forces with a world that wants out of Andermani control. There are lots of space battles in this section of the story.

And weaving through all the different plot threads are the machinations of a shadow corporation whose aim is to conquer Manticore without sending in a fleet this time since it didn't work at all well when they last tried it. 

I enjoyed this story very much. I like the characters and find the world building very entertaining. Eric Michael Summerer did an excellent job with the different voices and accents.

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

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