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(Starfire #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  2,569 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The Prodigal's Return

Neither side having proved capable of pressing their conflict to a successful conclusion, the Human-Orion war to end all interstellar wars has collapsed into an uneasy peace. But it is a peace filled with fear, hatred and mistrust on both sides. Then from out of a warp point notorious for devouring space ships, appears a ship from the dim mists of h
Paperback, 426 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Baen (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,569 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Oct 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The setup for this sounds like an episode of classic Star Trek (or maybe ST:DS9 because of the wormhole/warp point transit). Almost a century ago, an Earth colony ship escaped a pursuing Orion fleet during the first interstellar war by going through a warp point from which no one has returned. Now, after two more interstellar wars and a settled peace between Earth and Orion, alien-manned vessels emerge from the warp point of no return to bring liberate Holy Terra from the Orion oppressors. The n ...more
Robert Gilson
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book and the narrator did an excellent job. The Starfire universe is a very rich an interesting place. I shall read more of these books.
Bonnie Moe
Feb 19, 2017 added it
Shelves: sci-fi
ok, more my husbands choice
Troy G
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This book is excellent military sci fi based on a conflict between humans and aliens. The aliens in this book are actually the most alien of the beings that inhabit the starfire universe. They are actually a lost human colony who call themselve Thebans, but their morality and belief system is so different from the humans that are the central focus of the book.

That isn't to say that no focus is given to the Theban point of view. A good amount of attention is paid to the Thebans, and y
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a military sci-fi action adventure in the David Weber style. In this second book in the Starfire series, the Terran Federation is confronted by a new enemy--one that appears to have ties to a lost Terran fleet from the distant past. Although this book is not set in the Honorverse--it pre-dates "On Basilisk Station"--there are lots of similarities and it was a bit of a tease to come across names like Saint-Just, Manticore and even Foraker. The protagonists are not as likeable as Honor Har ...more
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
This is another military sci-fi written by Weber. And reading it I had to remember that it was written in 1992 and not after 2003 because of all the parallels. A civilian leadership who told the military to ignore its better judgement, and got its military into trouble in battle. An insurgency where the occupiers were busy with semantics denying that they had a insurgency and using the word terrorist in its place. Leaders who wished to stoke fear and rage and hate within the population so that t ...more
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, baen
This book has been on my Kindle for years, one of the Baen free books I had downloaded while I was still enjoying Weber's Honor Harrington series. I found it when looking through unread books and decided to give it a try.

The action scenes were well written, but as with the Honor books, Weber really does overdo the politics.

The strange words of the different species, as well as the large number of characters, made keeping track of the plot lines difficult at times. However, I enjoyed the read.
Sammer Abdin
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read, but a little predictable and the ending seemed too tidy, which may be a plus for some. 3.5 for the casual military scifi fan, but 4 stars if you're a fan of the Starfire board game.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in David Weber and Steve White's Starfire/Stars at War series, but it takes place before the first book. The writing here is definitely an improvement over the first book. The different plot lines are handled in a much cleaner fashion, and they manage to maintain a much better sense of tension. By about halfway through the book or so it did start to feel like the good guys were not particularly in trouble, but they still managed to pull off a strong ending. David Weber is ...more
Jay Strickler
Jan 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Sean Hillman
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great little book that in many ways hits the mark better than the others.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-fiction
Pretty good space opera stuff
Deb Frost
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another home run

The details and depth I've come to expect from a Weber novel.
Political B.S. didn't get in the way of good yarn.
Erica Anderson
Good pacing kept me reading and engaged, but not a keeper.
Scott Holstad
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Crusade, written in 1992, years before the Honor and Safehold series’, is David Weber doing what Weber does best. There are tons of excellent space battles which, after all, is his very best skill and talent. There are religious zealots, in this case, human-related aliens, led by bishop and archbishop generals who, as in the Safehold series, are sadistic, genocidal nutjobs. Why Weber decided at some point in his life that bishops and religious leaders would make good and believable generals is b ...more
Oct 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Another "meh."
Plot synopsis: The peace of the galaxy is shattered when a ship pops out of a dead-end wormhole, claims to be human, and destroys a battleship belonging to one of Terra's allies. Long story short, the aliens turn out to be descendants of a cargo cult writ large, embarking on a holy jihad to free earth from its apostasy. Hundreds of ships and millions of lives later... anyway, you get the picture.

I didn't realize 'til just now that this book is set in a game universe ("Starfire,")
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, at least David Weber is an easy read. I put this on my to-read list after it became a candidate for the Powell's Science Fiction Book Club. Although I'd decided I didn't particularly enjoy Weber's writing after the first Honor Harrington book (On Basilisk Station), I thought I'd give him another chance if he's writing with an ...more
Per Gunnar
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a very good book. The book was written in 1992 but you would be forgiven for thinking that it was written later and was politically inspired. Idiot politicians meddling in the affairs of the military…check. Religious fanatics…check. Civilians killed by said religious fanatics…check.

Luckily, despite the fact that the politicians do their best to foster nothing but their short term political goals and long term careers (just like most of our politicians today), in the book these complete
Nov 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I first read this book back in the mid-nineties and just re-read it. It's an excellently paced example of military sci-fi. It's listed as Starfire #2, but it's actually a pre-quel to Insurrection, which is Starfire #1 and is better read before that book. In fact, Insurrection is actually the fourth book in the series when listed chronologically. I can recall being quite confused on my first reading, and it taking me a good portion of the book before I was sure that it was a pre-quel and not a se ...more
Jun 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Not sure if this is book one of the Starfire series or book two. Audible has it as book one and Amazon as book two. I enjoyed the Honor Harrington series; so thought I would give this one a try.

Weber is noted for his military science fiction adventures. In this book the Terran Federation is confronted by a new enemy that might have some relationship with a lost Terran fleet in the distant past. Weber tossed out some familiar names such as Manticore and Saint-Just, which were also use
Nov 28, 2010 rated it liked it
It's neither original, thought provoking or consistently believable. On the other hand it manages to be entertaining, and improves steadily from start to finish.

I haven't read the first book in the series, but as soon as I started reading this one I was thinking 'oh look - a Man-Kzin wars clone' That's not all bad, if you like light military sci-fi, and don't demand originality. It gets off the 'what if big cats were intelligent aliens' theme when the mysterious attackers show up, bu
Jan 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Another book by David Weber. This is sort of the sequel to Insurrection, but actually takes place way before that one does.
It seems that he is using this universe to work out some ideas about politics and military might. This one deals with an attack by jihad minded aliens who have a different set of values about why they are fighting. So the human side has to think about why and how much and how much sacrifice risky missions are worth to save the other race. Because the easy answer is to
Jan 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
While the general science that Weber puts into his books often makes my head hurt, I have to give him credit for the 'Space Opera' style story. He does a good job of pulling you into the story and connecting with at least one of the characters if not more. He is also good at developing characters into something more than they were when the story started.

Crusade is a story focusing on the strange dichotomy that is the Human Race and how it can affect those around us. It also goes a lo
Jonathan Stevens
May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This military space opera reads like a cross between "Red Storm Rising" and a Doc Smith novel, with some Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle thrown in.
The book is very readable and intend to read its sequel(s). The
"hardness" of the SF is appropriate to, and generally commensurate
with, other classic space operas. The only major weakness are some
science "bloopers" which I believe may arise from some misuse of
terminology. Not a major issue with the overall book, but sentences like "Carbo
Aug 17, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, own
This book was ok, but rather tedious in places. I read it because it was written in the same 'Verse as the author's The Shiva Option, which I enjoyed. However, Crusade is not nearly as interesting as I had hoped that it would be. The characters and situations were mostly dull and difficult to keep track of, and the excruciatingly detailed explanations of the inner workings of various pieces of technology were mind-numbingly boring. All in all, not a book that I would recommend to someone who was not a ...more
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've been a fan of David Weber for a long time and have no idea how I missed this book. I was uncertain at first about it because of the religious aspects of the blurb but was quickly drawn in and couldn't put it down. I am now looking for the Starfire book 1 (which is for some bizarre reason chronologically after this one) because if it's as good as this one then I am in for another great read from an excellent author.
Scott Stillman
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Military Space Opera

This is a classic David Weber Space Opera. There are may hints on The Honor Verse series that came after but this is a different universe.

This war starts out the way most wars do: The politicians convincing the public that the last war was to be the last war ever and we can dismantle the defense forces.

Religious zealots need to force everyone to believe correctly...
Gerold Whittaker
Oct 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
The plot entails religious fanatics fighting to save "Mother Terra" (Earth) from humans. Along the way some incredible military battles are fought.
I enjoyed the story, but got frustrated at the author's use of unreadable names. For example, how do you pronounce "Zheerlikou'valkhannaieee"? Or "Liharnow'-hirtalkin"?

I read the free ebook downloaded from Webscription at
John Somers
Nice sci-fi novel as humanity seeks to defend itself against a race of alien religious fanatics who wish to liberate "holy mother Terra" from our heresy. Entertaining idea, well thought out technological development through the book and nicely described space battles. Didn't enjoy the chapters about the resistance on an occupied quite as much and the scottish character was a little annoying but overall very good.
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David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington

Other books in the series

Starfire (8 books)
  • Insurrection (Starfire, #1)
  • In Death Ground (Starfire, #3)
  • The Shiva Option (Starfire, #4)
  • Exodus (Starfire, #5)
  • Extremis (Starfire, #6)
  • Imperative (Starfire, #7)
  • Oblivion (Starfire, #8)