cover image A Call to Arms

A Call to Arms

David Weber, Timothy Zahn, and Thomas Pope. Baen, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8085-6

A plot to overthrow Manticore’s government brings brilliant but insufferable Lt. Travis Long and his former shipmates together against a common foe in the second book of the Manticore Ascendant series (after A Call to Duty), set in the early years of Weber’s Honor Harrington space opera universe. The plotting is as solid as ever, with smaller scenes building to an explosive, action-packed crescendo, and the authors strike a nice balance between technical details of space flight and the human cost of war. They successfully build up Manticore’s importance in galactic space and its internal struggle to achieve its position. Disappointingly, however, there’s not a lot of thematic separation from the first book: scenes of jockeying for power in Parliament, a hidden foe, and Travis thinking outside the box to defeat evil may give fans of the series a bad sense of déjà vu. (Oct.)