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Ghost War

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For generations, the Republic of the Sphere has known a Golden Age of peace. Mighty BattleMechs, once kings of the battlefields, now aid the reconstruction of war-torn worlds. But when terrorists destroy the interstellar communications net, each planet is thrust into isolation. Suddenly old hatreds resurface and a people who have never known war face the prospect of learni For generations, the Republic of the Sphere has known a Golden Age of peace. Mighty BattleMechs, once kings of the battlefields, now aid the reconstruction of war-torn worlds. But when terrorists destroy the interstellar communications net, each planet is thrust into isolation. Suddenly old hatreds resurface and a people who have never known war face the prospect of learning its meaning firsthand. Sam Donelly is one of the best ForestryMech jockeys on the planet, wielding his 'Mech's fifteen-foot chainsaw with the grace and precision of a surgeon. Caught in a skirmish with revolutionaries, he soon finds himself a rebel recruit. But Sam is no mere lumberjack, and if his true identity is discovered, the repercussions could be disastrous not only for Sam, but for the entire Republic...


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For generations, the Republic of the Sphere has known a Golden Age of peace. Mighty BattleMechs, once kings of the battlefields, now aid the reconstruction of war-torn worlds. But when terrorists destroy the interstellar communications net, each planet is thrust into isolation. Suddenly old hatreds resurface and a people who have never known war face the prospect of learni For generations, the Republic of the Sphere has known a Golden Age of peace. Mighty BattleMechs, once kings of the battlefields, now aid the reconstruction of war-torn worlds. But when terrorists destroy the interstellar communications net, each planet is thrust into isolation. Suddenly old hatreds resurface and a people who have never known war face the prospect of learning its meaning firsthand. Sam Donelly is one of the best ForestryMech jockeys on the planet, wielding his 'Mech's fifteen-foot chainsaw with the grace and precision of a surgeon. Caught in a skirmish with revolutionaries, he soon finds himself a rebel recruit. But Sam is no mere lumberjack, and if his true identity is discovered, the repercussions could be disastrous not only for Sam, but for the entire Republic...

30 review for Ghost War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Grantcorp

    Intended as the starting point for a new era in the long running Battletech/Mechwarrior storyline, "Ghost War" is the first novel in the Mechwarrior Dark Age series. These books function as companions for a brand new tactical miniatures game which was also rolled out at the time. The story jumpstarts in the aftermath of a vicious attack on the Comstar interstellar communications network, which leaves scores of planets without a means to communicate with each other. This soon causes friction as th Intended as the starting point for a new era in the long running Battletech/Mechwarrior storyline, "Ghost War" is the first novel in the Mechwarrior Dark Age series. These books function as companions for a brand new tactical miniatures game which was also rolled out at the time. The story jumpstarts in the aftermath of a vicious attack on the Comstar interstellar communications network, which leaves scores of planets without a means to communicate with each other. This soon causes friction as the Republic of the Sphere is cast into unmanageable shambles where several factions sense an opportunity and begin vying for control. Anyway, as far as this book goes, the scope is set on one backwater planet in particular. A group of terrorists attempts to bring the local population into disorder so as to prepare for a hostile takeover of the planet. Standing in the way of these plans is the book's token anti-hero. As some reviewers have already pointed out, "Ghost War" is plagued by a plot-heavy script full of spy genre clichées. Imagine Steven Seagal's interpretation of his favourite James Bond novel and you have a fairly good idea of what is going on here. As for the Mechwarrior connection; well there are a few token appearances here and there, but only for show. This was a very weak starting point for the Dark Age series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    This so very much wanted to be a James Bond novel, with it's labyrnthine mess of plots and counter-plots and a hero who had all the women swooning over him, and won millions at the casino. The problem is it's a Battletech book, and those of us drawn to read a Battletech book have more than a passing interest in Giant Fighting Robots (tm). And the only Giant Fighting Robot action in this book comes in the very last 15 pages. The rest of it is, as I say, a somewhat confusing spy novel. Which isn't e This so very much wanted to be a James Bond novel, with it's labyrnthine mess of plots and counter-plots and a hero who had all the women swooning over him, and won millions at the casino. The problem is it's a Battletech book, and those of us drawn to read a Battletech book have more than a passing interest in Giant Fighting Robots (tm). And the only Giant Fighting Robot action in this book comes in the very last 15 pages. The rest of it is, as I say, a somewhat confusing spy novel. Which isn't exactly what I signed up for at the beginning.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is the first book in the Mech Warrior Dark Age series. This series is a continuation of the Battletech series. This one is by Michael A. Stackpole. Despite it being in the Battletech world there is only a small amount of Battle Mech action near the end of this book. That being said this book is still a great read and describes the beginning of troubles for the Republic of the Sphere which has known a long period of peace and prosperity. The interstellar communications network has been destr This is the first book in the Mech Warrior Dark Age series. This series is a continuation of the Battletech series. This one is by Michael A. Stackpole. Despite it being in the Battletech world there is only a small amount of Battle Mech action near the end of this book. That being said this book is still a great read and describes the beginning of troubles for the Republic of the Sphere which has known a long period of peace and prosperity. The interstellar communications network has been destroyed by terrorists and many planets in the Republic find themselves cut off from the rest of the galaxy with communications taking weeks or even months. Unrest leads to several factions on several planets trying to overthrow the local governments and seize power for themselves. In comes Sam Donelly a.k.a. Mason Dunne. Sam/Mason is a Ghost Knight whose job is to infiltrate these terrorist groups and stop them from taking over these planets and destroying the Republic. This book has plenty of action and intrigue and is a good read. Just don't expect a lot of Mech combat in this one.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matx

    A good read. My first book about battletech/mechwarrior; the choice to read it was inspired by the computer game released this year. I found it to be above pulp level, with an acceptable level of explanation into the "science", and not as heavy as some of the titans in the field (e.g. the Honor Harrington books), which has its positives and negatives of course. Michael Stackpole has written multiple books in the Star Wars and Battletech universes, and others. This was my first introduction to him A good read. My first book about battletech/mechwarrior; the choice to read it was inspired by the computer game released this year. I found it to be above pulp level, with an acceptable level of explanation into the "science", and not as heavy as some of the titans in the field (e.g. the Honor Harrington books), which has its positives and negatives of course. Michael Stackpole has written multiple books in the Star Wars and Battletech universes, and others. This was my first introduction to him as well as to Battletech fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tigerhawk71

    Nobody reads battletech books for "bames-jond" budget secret agent rubbish, horrible "plot" developments and so many named but irrelevant characters you can't work out what's going on half the time as the gambits and hidden agendas pile up until one plot-armor covered mech or pilot solves the problem. The reputation the Dark Age books have is - so far - well deserved. Nobody reads battletech books for "bames-jond" budget secret agent rubbish, horrible "plot" developments and so many named but irrelevant characters you can't work out what's going on half the time as the gambits and hidden agendas pile up until one plot-armor covered mech or pilot solves the problem. The reputation the Dark Age books have is - so far - well deserved.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Simon

    Pretty decent battletech/mechwarrior novel. I mean, it's not high literature but it had few flaws (some editor issues) and was a fun romp around in the universe in the more recent timeline. Pretty decent battletech/mechwarrior novel. I mean, it's not high literature but it had few flaws (some editor issues) and was a fun romp around in the universe in the more recent timeline.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    This is my first experience on reading a novel in the Battletech universe. I will probably go back and delve into the original series at some point, but to start at the beginning of that series seemed almost too daunting to me. Of course it was only after the fact that I remember there was a short series simply entitled Mechwarrior that came out before the "Dark Age" sequence. I'll probably go back and read those before I continue down the path of the "Dark Age". Regardless, the reason I'm revie This is my first experience on reading a novel in the Battletech universe. I will probably go back and delve into the original series at some point, but to start at the beginning of that series seemed almost too daunting to me. Of course it was only after the fact that I remember there was a short series simply entitled Mechwarrior that came out before the "Dark Age" sequence. I'll probably go back and read those before I continue down the path of the "Dark Age". Regardless, the reason I'm reviewing this now is because this was just such a good book to me. A friend of mine who is into Battletech far more than I am mentioned that Stackpole is by far the best author of Battletech novels. I guess I lucked out with this being my first novel in this series! I was a little worried I wouldn't really understand what was going on because Battletech is such a VAST universe with a very deep political structure and long history. I think Stackpole did a great job bringing me up to speed on the general gist of what's happening in this realm with the clans and so forth. I knew a little bit about the history behind it thanks to conversations with my friend, but I don't think you need to know everything about what has happened. You'll have to take Stackpole's history at face value and if you really want to know the why behind your questions you'll just have to visit the original series. Anyway, "Ghost War" was awesome! It was simply a lot of fun for me to read. When you first start tackling this novel you wonder what it even has to do with Mechwarrior. It starts of with Sam, a Forestry Mech operator, and you spend most of your time wondering where the novel is going to go. Even though this question looms I immediately liked Sam. He's so cynical it's just enjoyable for me to read, being a fairly cynical person myself, I couldn't help but identify. Needless to say, I didn't really have long to wait before the intrigue started up with underground terrorist groups and high grade spies called "ghosts" from the internal government that's policing the territories. I simply tore through this book once it really picked up. I seriously don't want to say anything else because it would ruin the surprise and atmosphere. I tend to love things I have a hard time predicting for their direction and this is one of the best things I've come across. Overall I would definitely recommend this novel. It's intense and a lot of fun to read! He captured the main character so perfectly to me, and maybe I'm just biased because I identified with this character so much, but I just can't help it. If you're worried that there's no way you can catch up, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Think of it this way, it's kind of like reading a novel from the 1800's and you know there's a lot of history before then, but the novel works in it's own right. "Ghost War" is very similar to that. So if you enjoy high stakes espionage and major Mech battles, this is definitely a novel for you!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Victor

    The absolute best science fiction novel I have read. Ever. Michael A. Stackpole is well known for his work in already franchised universes (Star Wars, MechWarrior, DragonCrown), and he has most definately set the bar with Ghost War. I must admit, I was somewhat skeptical at first, since the entire novel is told in the first person from the point of view of the protagonist Sam Donelly. In my experience these types of work fall apart at the seams rather quickly, but Stackpole manages to keep the rea The absolute best science fiction novel I have read. Ever. Michael A. Stackpole is well known for his work in already franchised universes (Star Wars, MechWarrior, DragonCrown), and he has most definately set the bar with Ghost War. I must admit, I was somewhat skeptical at first, since the entire novel is told in the first person from the point of view of the protagonist Sam Donelly. In my experience these types of work fall apart at the seams rather quickly, but Stackpole manages to keep the reader intruiged as the plot unfolds. He also makes it easy for anyone to comprehend who isnt well versed in the storyline of the mechwarrior universe. Unlike other Mechwarrior novels out there which tend to focus on 31st century mechanized laser beam warfare, Ghost War maintains a captivating storyline in a grim desolate, post-apocalyptic type setting, with somewhat of a "whodunit" crafted into it. My only complaint is that there is one point in the story where the protagonist's abilites go so incredibly over the top, its downright unbelievable, even for a sci-fi novel. Other than that, damn good read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Richard Tran

    The first book in the next saga of Battletech. The term Dark Ages is appropriate as the Inner Sphere is now dealing with a reduction in Mechs and a communication breakdown between planets. This story deals with the Republic which is the central organization on Terra and how they deal with divisive elements in the Republic that are trying to take advantage of the communication breakdown to consolidate their own little power bases. Stackpole does a good job of giving us the big picture above and d The first book in the next saga of Battletech. The term Dark Ages is appropriate as the Inner Sphere is now dealing with a reduction in Mechs and a communication breakdown between planets. This story deals with the Republic which is the central organization on Terra and how they deal with divisive elements in the Republic that are trying to take advantage of the communication breakdown to consolidate their own little power bases. Stackpole does a good job of giving us the big picture above and digs into the affairs of one of the conflicted planets. That story deals with a Ghost Knight of the Republic who goes undercover to figure out who some of the power manipulators are on that world. As far as Battletech stories goes, this is a good one but for brand new readers it might not come off as a must read. I would recommend this to fans of Battletech and anyone that likes giant robots in general.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Arlomisty

    I've read a lot of Mechwarrior / Battletech books over the years and many by Mr. Stackpole, but I would say this one wasn't as well done as some that I've read in the past. I wanted a little more Mech battles and sci fi action... this (the first of the new series) was mostly espionage with very little combat. It was good, but could've been a lot better.... I've read a lot of Mechwarrior / Battletech books over the years and many by Mr. Stackpole, but I would say this one wasn't as well done as some that I've read in the past. I wanted a little more Mech battles and sci fi action... this (the first of the new series) was mostly espionage with very little combat. It was good, but could've been a lot better....

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I enjoyed this more the second time around, probably because I have a bigger investment in the universe after reading through all the BattleTech Classic novels and now I recognize alot of the places and names dropped in the novel. A nice change of pace from the huge fights and conflicts going on in the previous novels.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dabbling Madman

    it was okay but I'll be honest I bought this to rear about mech fights. there were a total of three battles and one practice session. They were good battles but too few for 295 pages. The climax mech fight was a chapter long almost. it was okay but I'll be honest I bought this to rear about mech fights. there were a total of three battles and one practice session. They were good battles but too few for 295 pages. The climax mech fight was a chapter long almost.

  13. 4 out of 5

    James Boltin

    I remembered this series from highschool. The story was well written and pretty fast paced. I am enjoying the new world that has been created in the battletech system. I look forward to the next book in the series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Bradley

    An excellent book by Stackpole once you get into it. Starts slow but moves up a gear about a third of the way in. Would recommend to any Battletech or Mechwarrior fan but newbies may find it slow. Stick with it and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leo Matoush

    I've liked Stackpole since I read his Star Wars X-Wing books. He does a great job at keeping the narrative flowing while explaining how the Mechwarrior universe work. I found the main character interesting. I've liked Stackpole since I read his Star Wars X-Wing books. He does a great job at keeping the narrative flowing while explaining how the Mechwarrior universe work. I found the main character interesting.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Definitely guilty pleasure reading, but refreshingly more about political intrigue than big metal machines fighting each other.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Not bad, decent universe. Bit confusing keeping track of who belonged to what group.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Calvin

    ereader ebook

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert M. Miller

    Was a pretty good read. I have read Mech books before. This one held my attention quite well. Action was pretty fast paced. Would read other books by author.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ian Tripp

    My favorite type of book; wicked smart main character in a sci-fi setting w/ GIANT ROBOTS!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I was hoping for more mechs, but it had some cool political intrigue/heroes plotting characters against each other.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Robert Marion

    Entertaining, though for a reader new to the series, a little difficult to keep up with all the lore thrown at you.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ray Martinie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mark Herman

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dan Urson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  27. 4 out of 5

    Don

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jake Kline

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kris

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martin McGoff

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