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Warstrider Books In Order

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Publication Order of Warstrider Books

Warstrider is a series of BattleTechesque series written by American author Wiliam H. Keith under his pseudonym, Ian Douglas. The first novel in the series was Warstrider published in 1993. Over the following three years, Douglas went on to publish three more novels in the series with Battlemind, published in 1996 the last in the series. In recent times, there has been a revival in interest in the books, which resulted in the entire series being republished in ebook format in 2014. Set in a futuristic world in which Japan is the dominant power, it tells the narrative of Japan’s imperialistic and tyrannical government that leads to internal strife and divisions on Planet Earth. In addition to having to deal with an oppressive regime, humans also have to contend with Xenophobes, an alien race from the outer Galaxy intent on wiping out humanity. The chief protagonist in the series is Devis Cameron a military commander who is best placed to protect humanity from internal and external threats. What makes the Warstrider series so fascinating is that unlike other fantasy fiction novels, the antagonists, the Xenos are an illogical and inscrutable race, which makes fighting them almost impossible. However, when it comes to setting and technology, the novels follows the format of most science fiction novels. It is a perfect blend of nearly modern and highly futuristic yet still plausible.

Set in the 26th century, the focus of the early novels in the series is the war with external enemies, the Xenos. Over the course of the series, the battle lines shift and start to detail the conflict between humanity and their oppressive Japanese leaders, coupled with having to choose between the Earthly oppressors, and the enigmatic beings from the outer planets. A new race of highly intelligent enemies known as the Web also rises to prominence in the latter books, causing humans many problems. With humanity not having any information on these creatures, fighting them is hard given that the only intelligence about them is gleaned from their devastating attacks on their ships, settlements and on Earth. Douglas also incorporates a series of subplots and introduces the concept of collective intelligence, which the alien attackers seem to have mastered. At the beginning of the series, a small group of settlers have broken away from the overbearing Japanese Empire on Earth and have gone on to set up an autonomous settlements in space and in North America. The confederation of settlements is led by Devis Cameron who goes from hero of the empire against the Xenos, to rebel commander, to saving the world from a collective artificial intelligence known as the Web.

Ian Douglas does a good job in the series, offering very vivid descriptions of the weapons and technology and weaving fast paced and explosive narratives. In a more introspective manner, the latter novels in the series highlight the struggle between the puppet hegemonic governments of the Japanese Empire versus the settlements in other planets and in North America. The settlements in space are in peace for five hundred years, but they lack planetary freedom to travel as they want, as Japan took control of most of space, after the US abandoned it in the early 2000s. Using some political philosophy, Douglas sets out the libertarian ideas of Dev Cameron the leader of the rebellion. As for the fighting, the Imperial Japanese Empire and the rebels makes use of futuristic super high tech weapons which make for some great reading if you have the imagination for it. In the later novels, an artificial intelligence from the Galactic Core that spans the entire solar system threatens the very survival of the frontier rebels and the evil Imperium Japanese on Earth. The first camp to make peace or form an alliance with the AI stands to gain the upper hand in the centuries old war.

The first novel in the Warstrider series is the titular Warstrider published in 1993. The novel is set in the 26th century, where humanity is in the middle of a life or death war with an alien race known as Xenophobes. Devis Cameron is a young army officer determined to help in the war effort given that his home planet, Loki, is likely to be the next target of the aliens. Cameron’s major motivation for joining the military had been to fly a starship against the alien invaders. However, the recruiting officers have deemed him unsuitable for such service, consigning him to a ground based regiment. The Groundpounders are a ground force that does some of the dirtiest work towards facilitating the success of the interplanetary war effort. His duties included piloting the warstrider, a massive walking tank. His wishes to go off into space are all but dashed when the armored unit he was supposed to be part of, jets off into space to fight the Xenos without him. But all is not lost as Devis will still get a chance to give to his country, when by chance he discovers something about the inscrutable Xenos that changes the course of the war giving Earth an upper hand, and ultimately victory.

The second novel in the Warstrider series, Rebellion is where all the fun begins. Devis Cameron is the new though reluctant hero of the Empire after his discovery that led to the defeat of the Xenophobes in the first novel. The plot thickens in Rebellion as Cameron is called in to fight a newly discovered underground colony of the Xenophobes in addition to putting down a rebellion. The repressive reign of the Japanese has come back to bite them, and now the planet is on the verge of revolution with the people crying out to be free. Reluctant champion that he is, he has been appointed the commander of the fourth Terran Rangers, a unit based in the heart of the uprising – in New America. With the situation fast descending into total chaos, he is fully aware and so are his superiors that a nuclear option may be the only weapon left to tame the civil unrest. But Devis is not very comfortable with his instruction to violently put down the rebellion, given his libertarian philosophies. He now has the choice of betraying his principles or his masters. He has a choice of an alliance with an enigmatic race of aliens to protect the weak from the Empire or to put down a righteous revolution. To make matters even more complicated he knows that, deep down he supports the people’s revolution.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Warstrider

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