I read this book about 20101222. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2005. This note was last modified Friday, 31-Dec-2010 13:36:08 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
David Weber is continuing with Keith Laumer's "Bolo" series. This book is a sequel to the battle of Chartres in Bolo!.
I remember (dimly, from long ago) Laumer's Bolo stories being darker, and less sanguine about the power that's been turned over to autonomous mechanisms. In this book, the Bolo characters are pretty much fully human in moral sensibility and sensitivity, and super-human in stability and intelligence.
Still, this is a great heroic yarn, about the military people who sacrifice to save the colony expedition sneaking off to plant a human colony the Melchonians, with whom we are engaged in a mutually genocidal war, can't know about. Of course, a small detachment of Melchonians manages to follow them, and attacks, and nearly succeeds—but doesn't, and is wiped out in the attempt. So the colony is safe.
At the end, they're about to send off their own first colonizing expedition. They remember the Melchonians well, and not fondly; and are rather hoping, when they've built themselves up a bit, to kick some Puppy ass. In fact, the old Bolo commander most of the book is about is a bit worried at their aggressiveness.
And once again we're annoyed, luckily only a time or two, by that damned BASIC program that spits out numbers of enemy missiles destroyed by each level of the anti-missile defenses.
Back in Starship Troopers (#2) we don't understand the Bugs, and can't communicate with them despite trying. In much of the later work on genocidal alien wars, especially David Weber's, we eventually manage to communicate, and to bring things to a close (most notably, the conflict with the Achultani in the Fifth Imperium series starting with Mutineer's Moon (#2)). Except for the one worry near the end, this book is notably lacking that distaste genocide (despite showing us the enemy as comprehensible characters behaving with the same courage the humans display).