The Shiva Option

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Baen Books, Feb 1, 2002 - Fiction - 674 pages
3 Reviews
The war wasn't going well.
The mind-numbingly alien Arachnids were an enemy whose like no civilized race had ever confronted. Like some carnivorous cancer, the "Bugs" had overrun planet after planet . . . and they regarded any competing sentient species as only one more protein source. They couldn't be reasoned with, or even talked to, because no one had the least idea of how to communicate with a telepathic species with no recognizable language...and whose response to any communication attempt was a missile salvo. No one knew how large their civilization - if it could be called a "civilization"- actually was, or how it was organized, but the huge fleets they threw against their opponents suggested that it was enormous.
The Grand Alliance of Humans, Orions, Ophiuchi, and Gorm, united in desperate self-defense, have been driven to the wall. Billions of their civilians have been slaughtered. Their most powerful offensive operation has ended in shattering defeat and the deaths of their most experienced and revered military commanders. The edge in technology with which they began the war is eroding out from under them and whatever they do, the Bugs just keep coming.
But the warriors of the Grand Alliance know what stands behind them and they will surrender no more civilians to the oncoming juggernaut. They will die first...and they will also reactivate General Directive 18, however horrible it may be. Because when the only possible outcomes are victory or racial extermination, only one option is acceptable.
The Shiva Option.

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The Shiva option

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In the 24th century, the Grand Alliance, made up of four sentient, allied races, finds itself on the losing end of the ongoing war against the Bugs, a hostile race of spacefaring, alien carnivores ... Read full review

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This was a very good book. I especially enjoyed the moral dilemma raised by the plot: is there ever an occasion when genocide is acceptable? In all situations that I can think of in Real Life, the answer is a resounding NO! But add in other non-Terran species, One which we can't communicate with, who consider us nothing more than food, and who simply won't stop no matter what, and that answer may change. Although I greatly enjoyed this book, I found many of the passages that dealt with the inner workings of the Starfire 'Verse technologies to be rather tedious. Fortunately, that's what skipping ahead is for. All in All, a good book and an interesting read. 

Selected pages


Gathering Stars
Forging the Sword
I am become Death
Surely that cant be right
We know its coming
April Fool
To Hold Back Hell
Ride Boldly
Return to Pesthouse
Who are those people?
I suppose we must approve
The Last Roadblock
Some cripple
I feel them still
Take them at a run
And then there were two

We Do Our Job
The Vengeance of Clan Prescott
Chaff in the Furnace
This is Terran space
You Take the High Road
Familiar Space
and Ill take the low road
Keeping Up the Pressure
Well do whatever we must Admiral
Closing the Net
Operation Orpheus
Were going back
Ghosts of Kliean
Unfinished Business
Were going home
Cushion Shot
Full Circle
The Vengeance of Kthaarazarthan

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About the author (2002)

David Weber was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 24, 1952. He received an undergraduate degree from Warren Wilson College and attended graduate school at Appalachian State University. He ran Weber Associates, a small advertising and public relations agency, for several years. He currently writes science fiction and fantasy full-time. His first novel, Insurrection, in collaboration with Steve White, was published in 1990. He has authored or co-authored over 40 books including The Honor of the Queen, In Enemy Hands, The Service of the Sword, Storm from the Shadows, the Honor Harrington series, the Safehold series, and the Star Kingdom series. Weber's first book in the Manticore Ascendant Series, co-authored with Timothy Zahn, made the New York Times bestseller list in October 2014. At the Sign of Triumph, book 9 in the Safehold series, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2016.

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