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The Parafaith War (Parafaith, #1)
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The Parafaith War (Parafaith #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  980 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Some bad ideas go back a long way and this one goes all the way back to the original home planet: Someone's god told them they had a right to more territory--so they figure they can take what they want by divine right. In the far future among the colonized worlds of the galaxy there's a war going on between the majority of civilized worlds and a colonial theocracy.

Mass Market Paperback, 471 pages
Published February 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
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Science Fiction for Nerds
63rd out of 94 books — 6 voters
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Community Reviews

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There are two civilizations space faring civilizations of man; a theocracy with a population problem & a technocratic society with a resource problem. They have limited contact, generally through attacks of the theocracy to take over planets which the technocrats have mostly terraformed. Told from the point of view of a soldier of the technocrats, a cyborg, we see a small portion of the war & the moral decisions he faces. There is an alien race to highlight the moral dilemma.

Well done &
Good. yes, it's comparable to Heinlein and Haldeman, but didn't generate that visceral response. Well-developed, if sometime plodding, story. Modesitt managed to skewer everyone from ecologist to religious fanatics to racists. Introspective, if unbelievable hero.

The preaching gets a bit old, too.
Not sure how I missed the Mormon-bashing the first time around (hidden in Western culture bashing), but that aside, it's an amazing book. Interesting Green politics sprinkled throughout.
Interesting look at religious fanaticism and war.
Ryan Mishap
A long time ago, humans destroyed the earth's environment with their greedy wants and wars. Moving onto other worlds humanity broke into two factions: the Greens, mostly comprised of the brown people's of the world and crazy religious zealots, mostly white people.
Trystin, a soldier for the Greens, is an anomaly, though: tall, white, and blonde, he is a dedicated soldier but an outsider because of his looks. Modesitt plays with identity a little with this, but it is mostly a plot device.
The re
If you liked Dune but thought it was too heavy, or too literary, try this. Not destined for the same genre-defining classic status, this was much the more enjoyable read, while still examining the interaction of religion and politics, this time in the face of war rather than competing agendas and business interests. The fact that Modesitt maintains the first-person point of view of a single protagonist probably helps as well, sheerly by simplifying matters.

On the other hand, if you prefer hard
Flyss Williams
Intriguing if a little slow in the first half. Tells the story of a young pilot, embroiled in a battle with the ultra religious revenants of the profit. Clearly influenced by the authors anti religious sentiment, as an interesting footnote he currently lives in Mormon stronghold, Utah.
Sherri Moorer
I actually didn't like this novel, but couldn't find a way to delete it from my shelf. At 153 pages in, I still fail to see where this is going and a central plotline developing.
This is the latest of several re-reads. This is one of my favorite sf novels. In short, it's every Heinlein juvenile, compressed into one book. 'Nuff said.

Don't read the sequel. It's not nearly as good and will leave you with a bad taste for quite a while. Instead, extract all of the epigraphs from the chapter headings of "The Parafaith War", organize them by the 3 sources and read them. I'd buy these if they weren't fictional.
Michael V. Cross
Modesitt occasionally writes the type of hero which we want to be.
One multiplanet empire is civilized, and the other fanatically obeys its prophet's instructions to multiply and take possession of the universe. Rising young officer Trystin Desoll, exhausted after years of battling on the side of the rational empire, has an idea of how to make the two coexist.

It starts out looking like a teenaged boys' adventure, but deepens in crescendo.
If you like somewhat thoughtful speculative fiction you could do worse than Modesitt's Ecolitan, and Parafaith war series. Unlike the more sugary and rote items in his Recluse books, he takes a more hard science look at resource scarcity, politics, and the inevitable clash of civilizations. A very decent read.

First part of this book was pretty typical Sci-fi with techno babble, but I really got into this book at the latter part where Trystin was sent to the enemy territory as one of the returned from a mission... I better read more of his books.
Rod Hyatt
I was wondering where this book was going till I got half way through. It was interesting setting the stage but the last half pick up speed and was compelling. It's really a historical bibliography of one person (tryston). A good, fun medium read.
Andrew Nye
Having read the Ethos Effect a few years back, I was expectant of it being good. It was so. The way the day to day universe is crafted coupled with the weighty matters of ethics, beliefs and ideas is so terrific.
Really good story, very engaging, my first by this author, I'll definitely read more of his books, I wish this book was part of a series, sad to see it end.
love how L.E. Modesitt Jr. makes you think about the stupid things mankind does while keeping the book fantastically entertaining.
An interesting look at the balance between religion and science and what can happen when religion goes astray.
Jun 21, 2013 John added it
As always, a fantastic read. I enjoyed seeing how Desoll came about.
Well-written and ends like a typical Modesitt: with hope.
prequel to The Ethos Effect. Good stuff.
Yeah, I'm in to this shit. Sci-fi and religion.
Darren marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
TalosPV marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
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Jan 24, 2015
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L. E. (Leland Exton) Modesitt, Jr. is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels. He is best known for the fantasy series The Saga of Recluce. He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts, lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, then moved to New Hampshire in 1989 where he met his wife. They relocated to Cedar City, Utah in 1993.

He has worked as a Navy pilot, lifeguard, delivery boy, u
More about L.E. Modesitt Jr....

Other Books in the Series

Parafaith (2 books)
  • The Ethos Effect
The Magic of Recluce (The Saga of Recluce #1) The Magic Engineer (The Saga of Recluce #3) The Towers of the Sunset (The Saga of Recluce #2) The Death of Chaos (The Saga of Recluce #5) The Order War (The Saga of Recluce #4)

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“Without power, knowledge is useless. without knowledge, faith is tyranny. Without understanding, humanity is blind, and without all four, it is doomed.” 20 likes
“...there being a god, that god must be worshiped. Worship means raising the god above the individual, and liturgies often make the point that the individual is less than nothing compared to the deity. If this be done, then, when the god is invoked, the individual has so little worth that he or she may be sacrificed for the needs of the god....
And who speaks for the god? If all people do, then no one does, and there is no god. If the people accept a priesthood, or the equivalent, then those priests exercise whatever power that god's believers grant that god over them, and that elite may cause an individual to be worth less, to be exiled, or even to die or to be killed. Yet such powers do not come from a deity.
In modern history and science, never has there been a verified occasion of a god appearing or demonstrating the powers ascribed throughout history to deities. Always, there is a prophet who speaks for the god. Why cannot the god speak? If a god is omnipotent, then the god can speak. If he cannot, then that god is not omnipotent. Often the prophets say that a god will only speak to the chosen, the worthy.
Should a people accept a god who is either too powerless to speak, or too devious and skeptical to appear? Or a god who will only accept those who swallow a faith laid out by a prophet who merely claims that deity exists—without proof? Yet people have done so, and have granted enormous powers to those who speak for god.”
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