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A Call to Arms (The Damned, #1)
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A Call to Arms (The Damned #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  918 ratings  ·  47 reviews
For eons, the Amplitur had searched space for intelligent species, each of which was joyously welcomed to take part in the fulfillment of the Amplitur Purpose. Whether it wanted to or not. When the Amplitur and their allies stumbled upon the races called the Weave, the Purpose seemed poised for a great leap forward. But the Weave's surprising unity also gave it the ability ...more
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Published July 2nd 1992 by Legend (first published 1991)
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Stephen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Derek Wade
Will Dulac needs to be punched in the mouth, repeatedly. His petulant insistence that "Humans are peaceful. We don't want war any more, and we certainly don't want any part of an interstellar conflict!" can be boiled down rather simply to: "I am a music professor from New Orleans who is suffering from writer's block. Somehow I was lucky enough for advanced alien species to contact ME, and therefore I am going to interject my personal prejudices and bias into their perception of humanity, and pot ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This book combines an interesting take on "alien invasion", human nature, and the nature of war itself while telling a perfectly readable and accessible story. The book isn't a deep literary read, but it does what it does very well. I liked it and couldn't wait till the next one was available.

The "invaders" you see aren't invaders, noooooo. They just want to "offer" everyone the "opportunity" to be part of their "plan". Of course all races have freedom of choice. You can choose to join up...or b
...more
Peter Last
This book committed the unpardonable sin of novels: it was simply boring. When I rated this, I waffled for a considerable amount of time between two and three stars because it does have some unique and intriguing ideas. But not even that can make up for a novel being boring.

My greatest complaint is that much of the book was not action oriented (action in any sense of the word) rather a great amount of space was spent describing history, what people were thinking, environments, etc. When things d
...more
Alan Islas Cital
I friend from work recommended this book and even got it for me. When I saw it I was very worried with this cover, quite tacky, very 80s, and a bit gay in a funny way.

But once I went beyond that I was hooked by the idea of the Amplitur, this species, so consumed by their "Purpose" that they have to make sure every being embraces it, even when their "gentle suggestions" don't work and they have to resort to force.

The ancient war between the Amplitur and their slaves (pardon, they are equal with
...more
Erinn
This is one of those books I'd like to read again, and then read the other books in the series. I wasn't crazy about it the first time, but I find myself thinking about it and some of the characters that were in it. Any book that makes me think about it years and years after I read it, should definitely get a second read.
Felix
I read this book when I was in college and since those days
I've re-read this book several times. Each time I read it,
the book does not fail to entertain and I always finish the
book feeling that it was time well spent.

I own a copy and since it's Christmas break, I found time to
re-read this again :-) Just finished it yesterday after reading
on and off for 3 days.

Not to give anything away, but lots of sci-Fi fans will like
this book. I've always enjoyed reading Alan Dean Foster books,
because he wr
...more
Rod
I've been a big big fan of Alan Dean Foster's work in SF from the very first book of his that I read. I hit a snag though, when I came across this book. I mean, the characters are as engaging as they ever are in one of Mr. Foster's stories, but much of the rest of it was just... wrong. For one thing, the basic premise really rubbed me the wrong way. Mr. Foster has stated in interviews that the basic idea presented in this book is that "What humans do really well is FIGHT". In the context of the ...more
Hwango
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack
Great idea, fantastic world, terrible protagonist.

I'd give this book a solid four stars if it wasn't for the character of Will Dulac. He doesn't act like any human I've ever known and continually denies human history. He's technically a hippie, but I live in a neighborhood full of hippies and not one of them would continually try to convince an alien race that humans were anything but violent. Sure, we're trying to overcome it, but our history is undeniable -- as the aliens keep insisting to hi
...more
Charles
An interesting way to view our current state of national relationships. Maybe the aliens really have visited and we scared them away....
Bruce
Interesting book. In a galaxy of various life forms what do humans excel at. According to A Call To Arms we are good at everything, might not be the best but that combination and nature for conflict prove useful in an intergalactic war. This book has a little bit of Starship Troopers from the perspective of other races and goes into detail about our peculiarities as a race. Numerous languages, no central government and selfishness being ones that are not known in the galaxy's version of Civiliza ...more
Tomas
A certain number of "first contact" books make the claim that humanity is somehow special. This is one of those. Humans are violent and primitive - but amazingly violent for their level of development. Civilized species abhor violence.

Since there's a massive interstellar war afoot, this means that humanity makes a valuable if uncomfortable ally, recruited into the armed forces of the "good guys." Even if a little uncomfortably and prematurely. It's an interesting read whether or not you find the
...more
Larry
Always enjoy reading Foster's work! Entertaining and fun.
Al
Aliens land on Earth looking for help in an interstellar war. The first guy they contact is a Peace activist who tries to convince them that humans don’t like to fight and are all peace-loving.

I generally like Foster’s work, especially his Flinx / Pip novels, but this one is much too long. Not that it’s all that big, it’s just that it should have been told using half the space. A lot of the story is repetition of what’s gone before, but in slightly altered form. Unfortunately, I got bored with t
...more
Damon Bratcher
I tend to like books that explore a novel / unique concept. In this case, the way the author portrays humanity in relation to all the other alien races is something I haven't encountered before in my previous science fiction reading. I won't say too much, as it will spoil the novel, but definitely worth the read for anyone who is a fan of the genre. Things go a little slow until events finally center around Earth, and Will Dulac can be a frustrating protagonist, but overall the unique take on hu ...more
Chris Gardner
This is a good rainy day read. The Weave, an alliance of peace loving races, is being attacked by another group of fanatical races. They badly need help. Humanity is all they dreamed for as a savior, but could humanity also be the devil in disguise?[return][return]A good average read. A bit slow in the middle of the book when Foster muses about humanities innate desire for confrontation and our civilized desire to be at peace.[return][return]If you like Alan Dean Foster, this book will not let y ...more
Drew Nelson
Overall a very good, thought provoking book about specialization and the human penchant for war. Warning, I might spoil a few things here for those of you who like to remain pure: essentially, humanity is the most warlike race to ever evolve. We're the only ones in the entire universe that likes violence in our entertainment, although our technology level was low for things like power sources and such, the galaxy found us building pretty sophisticated weaponry. We thrive on war, and no one else ...more
Robert
I read this book sometime ago and was enamored with it's unique take on human/alien interaction. It was written from the alien's civilized point of view and was an interesting and entertaining view of human nature.
While I still enjoyed the book, it didn't hold up that well since the last time I read it. I found that human nature was a little too generalized and the main character was an irritating peace-monger who's motivation for his behavior became harder and harder to buy as the book went on
...more
Jonathan
Will Dulac is still an arse.
Derek
I think most people would enjoy this book more than I did, but I wasn't really in the mood for Sci Fi, and I think I didn't particularly care for the pacifism of Will.

It felt like there was far more "world development" (albeit on a universe-scale) than character development, which just exacerbated my irritation with Will...but it might also have been that I was less in the mood for Sci Fi than I thought I was when I started.

Eh bien, c'est la vie. Your mileage will vary.
Erica
My neighbor lent me The Damned series as her son is named after a character in the books. Unfortunately, I have read the first two and still haven't come across his name. Maybe in the third book? I guess I'm stuck reading that one too.

I had a hard time getting myself interested in A Call to Arms as having alien narrators detracts from the story unless done extremely well (ala Timothy Zahn's Conquerors Trilogy).

Still, I made it through the first book.
Angie
Feb 25, 2014 Angie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SciFi fans
Recommended to Angie by: it was a Christmas gift
This was given to me as a gift and it wasn't to bad. The writing was good and the ideas in the book were interesting enough. There is war and different races of beings are fighting and working together against a threat to all of them.

This book is about one group of them at the beginning. The characters were OK but the book just wasn't for me. If you want a small SciFi book though instead of a huge space opera then give this a go. Its a trilogy as well.
Jeff
I was not too taken with the book. it started ok, but the main character irritated me with his overly simple pasifistic viewpoint. I guess he was done as some form of straw man, but I just never really warmed to it. I thik it tried too hard to be a philosophical work and lost the entertainment factor along the way. I think books like Forever War or some of the Ender's Game books do a better job of mixing an entertaining story with a dose of philosophy.
Justin Gramm
This was a very enjoyable book. The simplest summary is best made by the character John Crichton from the TV show Farscape, "Humans rule."
Andreas
Book one of “The Damned”. A man is kidnapped by aliens, who are shocked to find that humans are so good at war and violence. All alien species are pretty useless at the stuff. Humans, though obviously and abomination and blablabla, will be a useful asset. Written with a great does of humor, but maybe I just didn’t get the joke. Yawn…

http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=754
Brooke
Pretty much the best sci-fi ever (well, ok, The Ship Who Sang was incredible too) This is everything sci-fi was meant to be. Aliens. Super-technology. Inter-galactic war. Humans being the most badass of all.

I actually own this book, which means it was worth buying instead of just ordering at the library. Yep.
Robert DuPuy
First part of book was fun, but then the Will character just became annoying and I wanted to punch him. The way the author kept saying Humans were biologically and naturally violent made me want to hit him. The book never quite took off and towards the end I kept waiting for some action that never happened.
Barry
Oct 05, 2007 Barry rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Probably not
I had forgotten that I read this one before (sometime in the '90's?). While I was reading, I thought "I remember that, but what happened next?" Since I haven't read the other books in the series and may actually do so, reading it again wasn't a bad thing. Still, it's an average book.
Jay
One of my absolute favorites! This is a first contact story, but with a difference. In this story, humans are not a disadvantaged species. They even have a couple of unique abilities, and therein lies the heart of the story... Full review to follow at a later date.
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Bestselling science fiction writer Alan Dean Foster was born in New York City in 1946, but raised mainly in California. He received a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA in 1968, and a M.F.A. in 1969. Foster lives in Arizona with his wife, but he enjoys traveling because it gives him opportunities to meet new people and explore new places and cultures. This interest is carried over to his writing, ...more
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