You know, when I selected Out of the Dark at my local library, I thought, Hey, this looks kinda cool. It looks like the "World War
," series, which I like, and seems to have the "Humanity: Fuck Yeah!" message that I do so enjoy. Call me old fashioned, but I happen to like seeing self-righteous jerks get knocked off their high horse (I'm also a fan of the tropes Screw You Elves
and Screw Destiny
And you know what? I was right. It was basically World War
in a modern setting, and the big, bad puppy aliens were essentially a fuzzy version of The Race. Humanity was indeed, "Fuck Yeah," and though we weren't the biggest, baddest dudes on the block, we were clearly getting there, and were about to explode onto the galactic scene as soon as we could get over that pesky "Not having a spaceship, FTL, artificial gravity, etc, etc, etc."
I'm not saying that this was a good story, though. The characters of Weber's self-insert family/commune were bland and uninteresting, and most of the story was fairly predictable. But then again, so is a lot of military sci-fi that I've read. We don't read that for the story, or the characters, we read it for the Dakka, for the awesome battles, sweet ships,
to turn our brains off and just go with the explosions.
Until the twist, which I felt subverted the entire point of the book. The purpose of books like World War
and Out Of The Dark
is that, well, it shows that humanity is badass on its own. Sure, we don't have antigrav or Applied Phlebotinum
, but we're still pretty cool.
Vampires. Led by Count Dracula. And they save the day.
I will freely admit that vampires
are a bit of a Berserk Button
for me, and that's part of the reason I don't like this book, but I feel it totally inverted the message of most of the book, which is that we're here, we're a race of badasses, we should be taken seriously. And then they
ride in and save the day.
I'm sorry, but I was not pleased at all.