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Book Review: The Damned Trilogy

Introduction:

The Damned Trilogy is written by Alan Dean Foster. It was published from 1991 to 1993. It tells the story of aliens using humans as mercenary for a war, and after the war is over, they have to find something to do with these mercenaries.

Plot:

In the future, scouts from an alliance of alien races called The Weave visits the Earth, and discovers humanity. The Weave are fighting a war against Amplitur, who have powers to control the mind, and make any race their slaves.

However, humans are not only resistant to their mind control, they are faster, stronger, and fiercest among the all the sapient species. Thus, they get recruited for the war.

But humans make other allied alien races uncomfortable, and the question has to be answered: what do we do with the humans if we win the war?

My reading experiences:

After getting introduced to Amplitur and various races of the Weave alliance, we finally get to Earth.

Where a small action from a frightened composer is enough to injure one of the soldiers. Right then, I realize how fragile the rest of the species must be.

Will, the human whom the aliens found on Earth at first, is quite like “We don’t want your war! Leave us alone!” which is kind of conceded way of speaking.

First, he can’t speak for most of the humanity. Second, he has no power to decide whether the humanity will work with The Weave or not. The politicians will decide that.

When they take him to their ship, (Willingly of course,) they test the reduced ability of Ampliturs on him, produced through artificial means. And it goes badly for the technicians. He lashed out in his sleep, and injured the fragile aliens.

Interestingly enough, they don’t retaliate. Though one of the injured scientists does say that they should kill Will, and leave this planet, since this species is quite mad.

And how mad it is! First, talks about peace and progress. Then the wars and the violence in every facet of the society. this ends up baffling the aliens to no end.

Let’s take a look of one of Will’s answers to the questions of alien scientists:

“We’ve been working toward it for thousands of years and we’re almost there. People have started to realize it’s simply not practical, in an age of weapons of mass destruction, to go on fighting one another. There can’t be any victors.”

-Will

I don’t know what people in the 1990’s used to think. But just because there have been weapons of mass destruction, doesn’t mean that the war has stopped. As for people who think that society has been peaceful for a while now, they probably haven’t lived somewhere the war is going on. The war is always going on, it never stops.

You might get insulated from it, since it is happening somewhere else, on a different country. But it does not mean that you can say that world has been peaceful. You can’t speak for those people who are going through a war.

And that is why I’m examining Will so much.

Will continues to be opposed to human involvement, although when they start to recruit other humans, he finds out, much to his annoyance, that other humans are not opposed to helping the aliens in their war. When he finally visits a planet, he gets kissed in a greeting by a woman, who is the captain of the army there (Lucky bastard.) and this is where Will sees the situation which the humans are facing directly for himself.

But despite learning of the situation, and facing the humans who do want to face on the behalf of the aliens, Will refuses to change his stance. when, after years, they go to a news editor to reveal the contact, that editor immediately realizes that outright ignoring the issue is not possible, while Will hopes that he’ll get that they should remain neutral.

For all his protests, after composing the music for war, Will ends up participating as a soldier, while the commander of the scouters who discovered humans ends up trying to ensure that humans don’t participate in the war, while others tell him that it is too late by this point, and it is not possible to confine humans to their planet anymore.

In the second book, the story shifts to Ranji and his companions. These are the human children who were modified genetically to eliminate the defenses of humans against mind manipulation of Amplitur. When Ranji learns of this, it caused such a crisis within him.

As if this wasn’t enough, these modified humans seem to be developing the mind manipulating powers of their own.          

In the third book, a Wais scholar, one of the Alien species, develops an interest in humans, much to her race’s consternation. Since Wais are a “Refined” race, they go catatonic by the very presence of violence. They are very rarely found around the battlefields.

Meanwhile, The Core, the descendants of the Ranji and other modified humans, keep their existence secret. Killing anyone who comes across it ruthlessly to suppress it.

When the Amplitur surrender unexpectedly, the fears of the Wais scholar, (I keep calling her that because I can’t remember her name,) and the human Cor take measures to stop the descent of humans into violence, or the lashing out at other races, as they are not accepted in The Weave. While most species kept their contempt hidden, now they display their contempt in open.

Conclusion:

First, I like the premise of humans as mercenary in the galaxy. Second, the humanity fighting in some space war is not exactly an unknown idea, but it is executed here differently. So, I won’t have any problem in recommending this trilogy, apart from few things.

First, the unused part of the human brain. Please, can we not? I know this was written in the early 90’s. but when you’ve got teachers in modern times lecturing students how they don’t use their full brain, (Not sarcastically I assure you,) this is hard to ignore.

Also, how easily the human species adapted and agreed for the roll The Weave assigned them can come off as strange to others.

Third, the insistence about being “Civilized.” The thing is, if you’re an intelligent species, with the capability to travel across the galaxy, (Singular. Traveling in one galaxy is hard enough I think,) then you probably murdered more than half of your planet’s species, either deliberately, or accidentally. No way you can talk about “Civilized” or become catatonic by the shear possibility of violence. It just wouldn’t happen. I mean just look at us. We’re doing the same thing already.

So yes, apart from these three things, I feel this is quite a wonderful trilogy.

There is a reason why I didn’t include racism in that. I mean we humans discriminate against each other on the bases of color. we have no right to expect any better from Aliens, fictional or not.

So, that is my review for this trilogy done. Please follow my twitter:

My twitter.

And follow this blog for more reviews. I’ll see you in the next article. (Or I guess you’ll be reading me? I don’t know. That whole thing is screwy. I just want to say something nice in the end, okay? is this really that bad?)

Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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