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Nova War (The Shoal Sequence, #2)
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Nova War (The Shoal Sequence #2)

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,394 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Found adrift near a Bandati colony far away from Consortium space, Dakota and Corso find themselves prisoners of the Bandati. It becomes clear to them that the humanity's limited knowledge of the rest of the galaxy - filtered through the Shoal - is direly inaccurate.
Hardcover, 407 pages
Published October 3rd 2009 by Tor Books (first published April 9th 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
Before I even launch into this review I have one word: Emissary.

Imagine an alien race that is half Cthulhu, half Mammoth and all bad attitude. If that doesn’t inspire you to read Nova War I’m afraid nothing will.

What a fun book! Filled with violence and sense-of-wonder, the second novel in the Shoal trilogy takes the story waaay beyond the events of Stealing Light. As far as hard Space Opera is concerned, this is turning into a biggie, even though it retains an intimate flavour (despite the vast
Neal Asher
Feb 24, 2012 Neal Asher rated it really liked it
Righto, Macmillan kindly provided me with a copy of Gary Gibson’s Nova War. It should be enough to say that on the first day of picking it up I was busy and only read it for an hour or so, but on the second day I polished off the rest of the book. There’s a prison sequence in this that did seem to drag a bit, but not enough to make me abandon the book, nowhere near, otherwise it kicked along very nicely. For those of you that read and enjoyed the book before this, Stealing Light, here’s more of ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This sequel to Stealing Light fixes many of its predecessor's problems; distractingly overt reference to other books is absent, as is clumsy foreshadowing and very predictable plotting. This makes it much better, but there are still some problems, mainly at the detailed sentence level of occasional poor grammar and bad phrasing.

The over-arching theme of both books (with at least one more to come) seems to be about nuclear proliferation and who should be allowed to control such devastating weapon
James Cox
Sep 17, 2015 James Cox rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read! The characters, the plot, the world building, all are awesome.
Dec 23, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
Nova War
Gary Gibson
Tor, 2009

Nova War is the sequel to 2008’s Stealing Light a book that, surprise surprise, has yet to get a release here in the states. Nova War dispenses with some of the mystery of the first novel and trading it instead for some serious action. Indeed things are ratcheted right up to eleven and amongst all the action and excitement I felt that Gibson still managed to do an excellent job in creating unique and memorable characters and wound up with a book that surpassed its pre
SciFi Kindle
May 04, 2014 SciFi Kindle rated it really liked it
Gibson’s second book in the Shoal Sequence continues following its two protagonists from “Stealing Light”, Dakota Merrick and Lucas Corso, largely in two separate narratives. Having concluded their previous story in possession of the ultimate prize, a superluminal and ultra powerful starship full of technologies denied to humanity, Gibson promptly removes that advantage from them in order to ratchet up the stakes. While a good part of the first half of the book is a snail-pace chronicle of their ...more
Nov 06, 2016 Kyle rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Tillman
Nov 20, 2016 Peter Tillman rated it it was ok
Shelves: own-copy, stalled
Didn't start well. Stalled near start. Too much violence and weird stuff, Not much fun yet.
Nov 09, 2016 Snorrewb rated it really liked it
Better than the first book in the series!
Aug 07, 2016 Tagra rated it did not like it
Shelves: quit-reading
I wrote about my distaste for the first book in the series, which had SO MUCH potential but was completely overpowered by sloppy writing and self-indulgent gratuitous eroticism. Dakota Merrick has all the parts in play to be a strong, intriguing character with a lot of depth... but she wastes it by spending the first book fucking everyone (including her ship). Other reviews suggest the series gets stronger as it goes, so I popped open the second one to see how the writing evolves.

It opens with t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2016 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opens with Dakota and Corso in the clutches of the Bandati, being tortured for information. Communication barriers and misunderstandings relating to differing physiologies mean that the whole experience ends up being far worse for the humans than, one feels, the Bandati originally intended. At least, that's what one's given to believe at at least one point of the narrative. One soon learns that two major Bandati Hives are at war - or at least, at daggers drawn - over something they dis ...more
Martijn Lindeboom
Aug 04, 2013 Martijn Lindeboom rated it liked it
Ik was gewaarschuwd dat Stealing light (deel 1 van de Shoal sequence) beter is dan het vervolg. Helaas moet ik de waarschuwers gelijk geven... De lijn van het verhaal is prima (al is het eerste kwart wel wat traag en soms wat onbegrijpelijk), de aliens zijn weer super (de Bandati vond ik wat vlak, maar de Shoal en de Emissaries zijn briljant), de actie is bij vlagen geweldig (al vond ik ook hier het eerste kwart niet heel sterk) en meerdere scenes zijn memorabel. Waarom dan toch niet zo goed als ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
4.5 Stars

Nova War by Gary Gibson picks up right where Stealing Light leaves off. This book has a much different feel than the first book. It is much more a space opera than anything else. A great deal of the cyberpunk has been removed from this second book, almost literally speaking.

Dakota Merrick is the star, the center, and the pivot point for the world as we know it. She goes through some dramatic changes that alter her forever. I love her character, her strength, and her unique ability to ov
Mark Zieg
Aug 29, 2010 Mark Zieg rated it liked it
Nova War raised the bar on Stealing Light in almost every respect, kicking off with an epic action sequence: consider the gigantic "space worm" from The Empire Strikes Back; set The Restaurant at the End of The Universe deep within its gullet; then send in NYPD detective John McClane to bring out a suspected crimelord "with minimal casualties" :-) Cap that off with an aerial chase right out of Point Break, and you have a killer opening to a book that just doesn't stop. Well-done from start to fi ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Coan rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2012 John rated it liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Captured by the winged Bandati, Dakota and Corso are in on the beginning of the Long War's escalation when Trader sets off a flurry of novas in Emissary systems. When things finally got going, this was as good as the previous book, but nearly the first third was taken up with Dakota and Corso being repeatedly tortured and brutalized to no purpose. Also, Corso is presented throughout as not very bright when it comes to intrigue--and yet Dakota leaves him in charge of a major new peacekeeping orga ...more
May 24, 2011 Arthur rated it really liked it
I found the first third of this novel slow. I'll admit that 'protagonists in prison' is one of my big dislikes. Or, more accurately, I dislike it when authors show characters doing nothing, or being victimized. By way of comparison, in the Count of Monte Cristo, though it's been decades, the time the protagonist spent in prison he was still acting on his environment, not being nothing but a victim of it. Equally, Zelazny's Corwin of Amber (at the end of Nine Princes, I think), regardless that hi ...more
Andreea Pausan
Oct 10, 2014 Andreea Pausan rated it really liked it
Dakota and Freelander Corso have run away from the Arctic Nova's sun turning nova in the sentient derelict. The ship is damaged and they are taken prisoners and tortured by the Bandati, a species of similar to Earth bats. Old secrets are unraveled, with the faith of the Galaxy hanging in balance. Both Dakota and Corso grow beneath our eyes and set firmly on their path. we feel close to them, to their doubts and mistakes and struggle to overcome their weakness, to retain their humanity and to mak ...more
2,5 stars
Gary Gibson has watched "Star Wars" [Exogorth] and "Flight of the Navigator" / "The Last Starfighter".
There is still too much torture and blackmail in this sequel.
I didn't like the return of a supposedly dead antagonist from the previous book.
For a space opera the world of the book is still rather small.
The books is a sequence of scenes in which one character forces another character to do something she / he doesn't want to do.
The end of the book reminded of the Peter F Hamilton's Night
Dakota Merrick and Julian Corso among the Bandati with Trader of the Shoal scheming as usual, Magi ships waking out of slumber and the super villains Emissaries appearing on the scene too to boot, while the Makers long shadow hovers in the background.

Just awesome with all that you want and more in new space opera.

There are homages to all and sundry masters of space opera inside this series among the many superb touches while the writing is very good with narrative punch that keeps you turning th
Jenny Delandro
Dec 10, 2015 Jenny Delandro rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
Dakota has to make some hard choices in this book.. we find that there are other races who use the Shoal's ships ... but there is another problem... the Shoal did not create these ships... they were found!
She has developed the ability to remotely interface with ships and she discovers that she has been manipulated by the Shoal .... so she runs ... and she works on a solution that would benefit humans as well as other races.
Arsen Zahray
Nov 19, 2013 Arsen Zahray rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2013 Lena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The only issue I have with this series is that I sometimes get really confused by descriptions of various planetary systems, drones, airships, and things like that. I love the eeriness of the aliens, the dialogues are great and the whole concept of machine-heads makes the difference. The installment ended at its best. I am excited to see who the Maker is and how they are going to welcome Dakota...
Leigh Wright
Nov 06, 2015 Leigh Wright rated it really liked it
The second book of the 'Shoal Sequence', Nova War picks up the pace and delivers an exciting story. Remarkable for its bizarre and interesting alien races, and a history wherein humanity is only a recent addition - and far out of their depth at that - this is unfolding into a most excellent space opera!
Tony Maddox
Nov 18, 2013 Tony Maddox rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
Exactly what you'd expect from a middle book of a trilogy--character development, some surprises, and a bridge from the beginning to the end. It bogged down a touch, but I thought this one had a little more originality. I don't want to say much more because I don't really like to pick apart individual books in a series until I've read the entire thing.

Looking forward to the conclusion.
Boulder Boulderson
Pretty much meh. It's ok, but when you've read some Peter F Hamilton or Iain M Banks then it begins to look distinctly worse. Characters do not act in sensible ways, the narrative loops in strange ways, the descriptions of battles and vessels evoke nothing in my mind...found it fairly difficult to wade through to be honest.
Jul 10, 2012 Wood rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this, the second book of the series. Gary Gibson has a great vocabulary and doesn't dumb things down. I mostly enjoyed the magnitude of the civilizations, time frames and weight the main character carried.
Bruno Di Giandomenico
Jan 26, 2014 Bruno Di Giandomenico rated it it was amazing
In progress.
The Bandati are a winger species, one of the few whose portion of the galaxy borders with the human space.
The beginning of the book is a fantastic Fight scene between Security agencies, all winged.
Aug 02, 2016 Xeddicus rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Gary Gibson's first novel, Angel Stations, was published in 2004. Interzone called it "dense and involving, puzzling and perplexing. It's unabashed science fiction, with an almost "Golden Age" feel to it ..."

His second novel was Against Gravity in 2005; the Guardian described it as "building on current trends to produce a convincing picture of the world in 2096."

Stealing Light was first published
More about Gary Gibson...

Other Books in the Series

The Shoal Sequence (4 books)
  • Stealing Light (The Shoal Sequence, #1)
  • Empire of Light (The Shoal Sequence, #3)
  • Marauder (The Shoal Sequence, #4)

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