Janelle Dazzlepants's Reviews > Civil War

Civil War by William Manchee
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's review
Nov 04, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult, first-reads, sci-fi, aliens
Read from November 04 to 25, 2010

** spoiler alert ** If you're not into reading about missions, war strategies and invasions, Civil War probably won't be your cup of tea. While The Liberator is character-oriented and sets the scene for the trilogy, Civil War is where the action really begins, and as the title suggests, has a heavy war focus. In no way should it be mistaken for some military strategist text, but almost every scene is littered with some kind of battle, air attack or invasion.

Not gonna lie, I found Civil War to be very monotonous. Given the premise of this trilogy I was more than prepared for battle scenes and a heavy military focus, but now I feel as if I've had enough to last a lifetime. If you're looking for epic Star Wars-esque battle scenes you won't find them here. Civil War is filled with boringly human infantries, air raids, and stealth operations. Even with the addition of seafolken, mutants, nanomites and deadly robot vipers the author still managed to make it dull. It's not as dull as a WWII documentary on the History Channel, but it really wasn't my cup of tea.

I feel kind of let down by how easy everything was for the Loyalists. Bar a trap here and there and encounters with the hovertanks in the beginning, the Loyalists rarely face any problems from the TGA. Considering how structured and ordered Tarizon seems to be, I thought their army would be a stronger opponent. Instead, they're like little children playing dress-up in soldier's uniforms, and only worth a damn if they're in their hovertanks. I almost always want the good guys to come out on top, but I feel like the good guy needs to earn it first - the Loyalists need to struggle through some more adversity!

I also didn't like how the killing of Videl was thrown in there rapidly at the end. I feel like the pacing could have been better, and didn't expect an encounter with Videl to come until the final instalment in the trilogy. Although all the Loyalist raids and such served a purpose in building their army, I feel the author could have spent less time on boring military ops and more on building the suspense around catching Videl.

I mentioned my dislike for Lucinda in my review of The Liberator, and I have to say I still feel the same. I was relieved to hear she'd died in the rescue attempt, only for it to be revealed near the end that she'd just been given some drug to make her appear dead! I find her to be such a useless character and can't understand why the author kept her around. Yes, Leek is supposedly in love with her, but she's about as uninteresting as Bella Swan from Twilight - and she's the epitome in bland. I was enjoying seeing Lorin and Leek get closer, and having that curveball thrown at me was disheartening to say the least. *sigh* I guess I'll hold out hope that they get together in the final book.

One of the few things I did like about Civil War was the bigger role played by the nanomites, seafolken, mutants and rhutz. Although the nanomites haven't really done much yet, we got to see more of what the rest are capable of. I thought the collective rhutz consciousness was cool, and loved how the seafolken have practically bulletproof skin. I also thought the aptly named mutant Digger was great, though his run was disappointingly short. I was hoping we'd hear more from him, since he seemed to have a troubled life in being bullied for his mutation.

I also have to say I'm impressed by the turn the trilogy is taking - I didn't think the battle would ever turn towards Earth! I'm interested to see if the Purists blatantly try to invade Earth and take prisoners, or if they opt for a more stealthy approach. I'm hoping there'll be some big battle scene there, so I'm also interested to see how the cover is blown on the existence of extraterrestrial life. I wouldn't put it past them to find some way to erase every witness' memory once it's all over ;]

Overall, I have to admit that I really didn't like Civil War. I enjoyed The Liberator much more in comparison, and am hoping that it's the only dud in the trilogy. I respect the author as all the army operations contributed toward the strength of the Loyalists, but I feel that the story needed something different to break it up every now and then. A breath of fresh air, y'know? There's only so much war this reader can take.

Disclaimer: I received this book through the First Reads program, and if you've been reading this review you can probably tell that it doesn't affect my honesty :P
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