Danlo returns to the city of Neverness where a cult plans to take over the galaxy, and worships Danlo's long-lost father as a god. He fights to survive: the warrior-poet sworn to kill him, the madman with a star-killing weapon and a grim ultimatum, the charismatic leader friend-turned-foe, and his unbreakable vow never to harm a living thing....
|Title||:||War in Heaven|
|Format Type||:||Mass Market Paperback|
|Number of Pages||:||645 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
War in Heaven Reviews
David Zindell’s space opera books, that started with the stand-alone Neverness and continued with his “Requiem for Homo Sapiens” trilogy (of which this volume is the conclusion), always scratch that itch I have for Dune-like space opera. You’ve got the baroque world-building of a far, far future of humanity in an interstellar diaspora that combines elements of medieval and pre-industrial societies with ‘magical’ technology and gleaming ships that fold space; you’ve got bizarre human enclaves (sometimes almost reminiscent of Jack Vance, though with less obvious caustic humour) so that societies of warrior-poets, pilot-mathematicians, scientist-philosophers, autist-savants, and priest-kings all rub shoulders in a bewildering and colourful throng; you’ve got philosophical ruminations on the purpose of life, the tragedy of love, and the power of hate; all-in-all its heady stuff that hits that sweet spot in my belly that little else seems able to satisfy.I’m at a bit of a loss for how to appropriately review this book though. It’s the third book of a trilogy (the other two of which I have not reviewed) all of which are built upon the initial stand-alone book Neverness. I can’t say much about this volume’s plot without rehashing much of what came before and thus committing spoiler to the Nth degree. Perhaps plot-wise it is enough to say that our hero, Danlo wi Soli Ringess (the son of Neverness's hero Mallory Ringess), has returned from his great quest into the Vild carrying not only tidings of hope, but also of possible doom for the cosmos. Not only is a rogue star-killer ship searching for the ancient homeworld of the Order of Mystic Mathematicians and Other Seekers of the Ineffable Flame in a quest of vengeance, but the very gods themselves (super entities of moon-sized brains and ‘bodies’ that stretch across solar systems) are at war with each other, some vying to destroy, others to save, the galaxy. To top it all off Danlo’s oldest and dearest friend (also his greatest and most dangerous enemy) has taken control of the Way of Ringess, the religion that worships Danlo’s father as a god, and threatens the balance of the universe with his own mad scheme. So far, so epic, right? Well, the book more or less lives up to this potential as we move into the final phase of the story that Zindell built up over two other volumes (three including the initial story of Mallory Ringess himself). This final volume of the story reminded me most strongly of Herbert’s work in Dune. As in the Dune series there are many ruminations on a ‘Golden Path’ for humanity and the dangers of prescience when applied to human action (though Zindell seems to have a much more optimistic take on its uses than did Herbert). Also, like Herbert’s Muad’Dib, Zindell’s Danlo (and Mallory before him) partakes of the traits of both god and man. The travails of this power, along with the ability to turn the multitudes of humanity loose in a religious frenzy upon the galaxy, are examined in Zindell’s work no less than Herbert’s (though in ways that differ enough to make this an interesting examination instead of simply a rehash). This does mean, however, that there are often times when Zindell slips too far into his pseudo-philosophical/mystical ruminations (as Herbert did himself) as Danlo finds himself continuing his own personal quest to near-godhood. I imagine it’s hard to deal with these themes, especially within the grand scale of space opera, without falling into the trap of excessive explication and over-extended internal monologues from time to time, but be aware that they are here in case that kind of thing annoys you. All in all, though, the tension of the many threads of the story is held together by a fairly quick-paced plot and world-building that truly seeps out of the pages. There is more than enough tragedy in this series to sustain several epics, and the sheer scale of the possible (and actual) destruction on display screams “SPACE OPERA!” in flashing neon...but that’s a plus in this genre. There are times too, when Zindell’s creation of a pacifist hero, while interesting in itself, can grate on the nerves (for me at least). While Danlo’s devotion to the principle of ahimsa (“Never to kill or harm another, even in thought”) may be noble, the ends to which he is apparently willing to take this principle sometimes stretched my credulity…but then maybe I’m just a cynic. Still and all if you’re in the market for truly epic space opera that tackles trans-humanism, galaxy spanning star-faring, wars to end all wars, planetoid computers, and hints of man’s progress towards godhood (and yet still manages to ruminate on things at a truly human scale: tragedies of life and death, the intertwining elements of love and hate, and the conundrum of violence vs. pacifism) then crack open the first stand-alone volume, Neverness and see what you think of the universe Zindell has created. If that wets your appetite then I would urge you to continue on with this truly kitten-squishing epic of galaxy spanning philosophical adventure.Also posted at Shelf Inflicted
Loved it. This is one of those stories that changes the way you look upon the world in entirety. The description of this book does not do it justice in any form.It's not some romp through the galaxy... it's an incredibly in-depth psychological dissection of the main character Danlo, mixed with amazing world and character building, alongside human interactions of a godly and emotionally intense nature.
This is the last in the Requiem for Homo Sapiens trilogy, following The Broken God and The Wild. Danlo Ringess has returned to Thiells from his successful explorations of the Wild, bringing the bad news that the Iviomils, the fundamentalist wing of the Edeic Architect religion, have stolen a spaceship and the device that makes a star go supernova, and with it are likely to attack Neverness. He discovers that his enemy Hanuman has become the leader of the Ringist religion in the Civilised Worlds, and has corrupted both it and that part of the Order of Pilots that remained on Neverness. War follows, but Danlo is sent as part of an embassy to Neverness where, amongst other things, he takes part in the struggle to oppose Hanuman's plans.Read more at SFReader: War in Heaven, by David Zindell
This book is really good in parts and... not entirely consistently good. I cried in the middle (any parent will know where) and thought at that point I would rate the book four stars, but ended up skimming the end. Even though the moral philosophy that is developed in the novel is one I basically already agreed with, and even though I enjoyed the lush detailed descriptions elsewhere in the book, I couldn't stay focused on the panegyrics to life and the universe that filled the book towards its end. The detailed visualization of the moral philosophy is not religious but definitely spiritual and I guess I have a low tolerance for that.
A rather disapointing end to a marvelous series.Neverness was amazing for introducing to us a grandly different universe.The Broken God carried on the tradition and married this to sympathetic characters.The Wild was an oddessey of sorts. The conclusion is okay, but by reverting to a conventional plot, the author loses that which made the series special. Still worth a read.
A beautiful conclusion to the trilogy.
like popcorn for the brain