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cover My Favourite of His Books So Far
Path of the Fury

David M. Weber
Generic Disclaimer when i review a David Weber book:

I am David Weber's elder brother.

Generally, however, i think i am fairly well able to avoid any bias in my reviews thereunto appertaining.

"Path of the Fury" is one of David's few stand-alone books (in fact, the only other so far is "Apocalypse Troll").

It looks like standard space opera -- albeit of the very highest quality -- as we introduce a planet-raping pirate fleet on the order of "Doc" Smith's Boskonians; a fleet that apparently is intentionally maximising casualties in its raids on colony worlds. It appears as if they are carrying "dead men tell no tales" to its logical extreme -- but even early on there are indications it may be even more than that.

One shuttle-load of such heavily armed and murderous raiders is just unlucky enough that, on a backwater planet their fleet is raiding, they happen to hit the farm that is the home of Alicia de Vries, retired Imperial Marine Drop Commando. And said lady, who had been out hunting a Very Large native predator on the far range, returns in time to find her entire family wiped out and the Bad Guys still on the ground.

With nothing to live for, the heavily-augmented Alicia proceeds to become the sort of berserk that is the worst nightmare of any fighting man -- beyond pain, able to shrug off even normally-fatal wounds, totally unconcerned about herself, and determined to have revenge before she dies herself.

And, it is as she lies dying herself, having taken revenge on all of the killers of her family, that David introduces the twist that makes this book unlike virtually any other military SF novel you have read or will ever read, in the person of a character who, in consort with Alicia and one other, will raise them all to higher and higher levels of prowess, to the point where Alicia is not only possibly the greatest individual warrior who has ever lived, but even more -- an implacable, unswerving personification of vengeance who terrifies even herself.

In the person(s) of Alicia and her two partners, who collectively may be said to be the Fury of the title, David has introduced a rather daring twist on military SF that, at the least, challenges the underlying assumptions of a mechanistic Universe that are basic to so much of the genre; has bent if not broken the rules and succeeded brilliantly in producing an original and Very Satisfying adventure.

Powerful as they are, Alicia & Co still face so many difficult if not deadly challenges -- both from the Bad Guys and from well-meaning but non-comprehending Good Guys, not to mention from their own natures, severally and in combination acting -- that the book is hardly a boring walkover, even for them, and the action is hot and heavy enough for even the most jaded military SF fan's taste.

His best so far.