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Fleet Elements

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The Praxis, the empire of now extinct Shaa, has again fallen into civil war, with desperate and outnumbered humans battling several alien species for survival. Leading the human forces are star-crossed lovers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, who must find a way to overcome their own thorny personal history to defeat the aliens and assure humanity’s survival. But even if t The Praxis, the empire of now extinct Shaa, has again fallen into civil war, with desperate and outnumbered humans battling several alien species for survival. Leading the human forces are star-crossed lovers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, who must find a way to overcome their own thorny personal history to defeat the aliens and assure humanity’s survival. But even if the human fleet is victorious, the divisions fracturing the empire may be too wide to repair, as battles between politicians, the military, and fanatics who want to kill every alien threaten to further tear the empire apart. While Martinez and Sula believe they have the talent and tactics to defeat an overwhelming enemy, what will prevent their fellow humans from destroying themselves?


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The Praxis, the empire of now extinct Shaa, has again fallen into civil war, with desperate and outnumbered humans battling several alien species for survival. Leading the human forces are star-crossed lovers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, who must find a way to overcome their own thorny personal history to defeat the aliens and assure humanity’s survival. But even if t The Praxis, the empire of now extinct Shaa, has again fallen into civil war, with desperate and outnumbered humans battling several alien species for survival. Leading the human forces are star-crossed lovers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, who must find a way to overcome their own thorny personal history to defeat the aliens and assure humanity’s survival. But even if the human fleet is victorious, the divisions fracturing the empire may be too wide to repair, as battles between politicians, the military, and fanatics who want to kill every alien threaten to further tear the empire apart. While Martinez and Sula believe they have the talent and tactics to defeat an overwhelming enemy, what will prevent their fellow humans from destroying themselves?

30 review for Fleet Elements

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    It's a middle book with some of the middle book's faults (setting up a finale, advancing the story just enough), while there is an element of artificiality in the main characters interactions as opposed to the first books of the series, but Fleet Elements delivers a lot too - a faster pace than Accidental War, decisive military encounters, a great ending in many ways (not to the main storyline of course but still - won't spoil more) and more, so overall it was another book not to put down until It's a middle book with some of the middle book's faults (setting up a finale, advancing the story just enough), while there is an element of artificiality in the main characters interactions as opposed to the first books of the series, but Fleet Elements delivers a lot too - a faster pace than Accidental War, decisive military encounters, a great ending in many ways (not to the main storyline of course but still - won't spoil more) and more, so overall it was another book not to put down until the ending and as noted in my current review of Accidental war, the novel rekindled my interest in the series, so the final book (presumably of course as the storyline started in Accidental war doesn't look like having more than one book to go) is an asap again Overall - definitely recommended though of course, one should start from book 1, The Praxis, of this series

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clyde

    Fleet Elements is another good read in WJW's excellent Dread Empire's Fall series. This one is marketed as #5, but there are also two novellas that take place between books 3 and 4. You don't have to read the earlier books first -- WJW gives enough background -- but it is probably better to do so. (And anyway, they are damned good reads!) The previous book in the series (The Accidental War) was long on political machinations, intrigue, economic shenanigans, and treachery -- all leading to inter-s Fleet Elements is another good read in WJW's excellent Dread Empire's Fall series. This one is marketed as #5, but there are also two novellas that take place between books 3 and 4. You don't have to read the earlier books first -- WJW gives enough background -- but it is probably better to do so. (And anyway, they are damned good reads!) The previous book in the series (The Accidental War) was long on political machinations, intrigue, economic shenanigans, and treachery -- all leading to inter-species war. This book, however, is almost all military action. The humans are fighting for their very existence with Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula leading the battle fleets against long odds. The romantic tension between Gareth and Caroline also heats up as they are thrown together by the necessities of battle preparation. The pace is fast and the ending is quite good with a nice little twist (though of course it does not resolve the overall storyline). Good book. 4+ stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    deep

    PW Starred: " Williams impresses with the second book of his sophisticated Praxis trilogy (after 2018’s The Accidental War), more red meat for fans of high-quality space operas. After a financial crisis rocks the multispecies, interplanetary Praxis Empire, blame is placed on humans by one of the alien races that serve alongside humans on the Convocation, the empire’s ruling body. The false claim is used to justify a power grab: humans are booted off the Convocation and every Terran spaceship is PW Starred: " Williams impresses with the second book of his sophisticated Praxis trilogy (after 2018’s The Accidental War), more red meat for fans of high-quality space operas. After a financial crisis rocks the multispecies, interplanetary Praxis Empire, blame is placed on humans by one of the alien races that serve alongside humans on the Convocation, the empire’s ruling body. The false claim is used to justify a power grab: humans are booted off the Convocation and every Terran spaceship is disarmed. But a few humans, led by war hero Gareth Martinez, preempt the attack by seizing control of a handful of ships in the Praxis Fleet. Now Martinez and his allies, including his former love, Lady Sula, are desperate to avoid the tragic fate of other species the empire has deemed rebels and strategize the best way to restore humanity’s place in the empire. Williams never lets the tense action sequences overwhelm the complex inner struggles of his characters; he’s especially good at portraying Sula’s fears that she will be exposed as an imposter, having assumed the real Lady Sula’s identity years earlier. Newcomers will have no problem getting oriented in this rip-roaring sci-fi world, and returning readers will be thrilled to dive back in. Agent: Joshua Blimes, JABerwocky Literary. (Dec.) "

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Blackburn

    Fleet Elements by Walter Jon Williams- Military Space Opera set in William's Praxis series. This would be number five in the series, but really set in a second trilogy, being the second book there, following "The Accidental War". It's filled with exciting space battles, knuckle-biting encounters, and dazzling escapes. On the other hand, as with the first four books, there is a wispy tangle of romance and political intrigue that just goes on and on, making it a bit of a slog. I found the main cha Fleet Elements by Walter Jon Williams- Military Space Opera set in William's Praxis series. This would be number five in the series, but really set in a second trilogy, being the second book there, following "The Accidental War". It's filled with exciting space battles, knuckle-biting encounters, and dazzling escapes. On the other hand, as with the first four books, there is a wispy tangle of romance and political intrigue that just goes on and on, making it a bit of a slog. I found the main characters Martinez and Sula, who appear in all the books, interesting and engaging, but many of the others seemed stock figures with unnecessarily long dull back stories. And, yes, I have read other books in this series, so I know from what I speak. Still the space opera part is first rate.

  5. 5 out of 5

    B.

    I won a copy of this one on a Goodreads giveaway. I'm giving it a tentative three stars for now, with further explanation as to why to follow - This is the latest book in a long-running space opera (first book published in 2002). It has some of the problems that you see with older white male authors - hypersexualization of women, stuff like that. It's not as bad as some, more of a "tee-hee, that's weird why are people still doing this, don't they know better by now?", move on type thing. That be I won a copy of this one on a Goodreads giveaway. I'm giving it a tentative three stars for now, with further explanation as to why to follow - This is the latest book in a long-running space opera (first book published in 2002). It has some of the problems that you see with older white male authors - hypersexualization of women, stuff like that. It's not as bad as some, more of a "tee-hee, that's weird why are people still doing this, don't they know better by now?", move on type thing. That being said, it's hard sci-fi, and it's good hard sci-fi (previous notes aside), so much so that I stopped at the discussion of the relationship between space colonies and societal structures to add the first book to my cart. I'm going to start from the beginning and then come back around to this one. See, it is a middle book, and it does have that middle book feel, and while the author does a decent job of providing a recap at the beginning, and while you don't technically need to read the others, you can dive in based off of the information given, you can also tell that a lot is being left out (to be expected considering how long running the series is). So, in essence, this ARC did do what it was intended, bringing someone else into the universe, but that means it's going to take awhile before I get around to reading this one properly and being better able to review it then.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Absolutely superb. I was somewhat worried this might be a typical middle trilogy book used largely as a vessel to set up the finale. I was extremely pleasantly suprised to find this is the not the case at all. Despite being 5 books in, Williams has maintained a tight cast of core characters who feel fully realised and complex. Their interactions are equally so and the highs and lows for them in this book and indeed the entire series have kept me constantly engaged. Can't wait for the next instal Absolutely superb. I was somewhat worried this might be a typical middle trilogy book used largely as a vessel to set up the finale. I was extremely pleasantly suprised to find this is the not the case at all. Despite being 5 books in, Williams has maintained a tight cast of core characters who feel fully realised and complex. Their interactions are equally so and the highs and lows for them in this book and indeed the entire series have kept me constantly engaged. Can't wait for the next installment.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tom Dixon

    I received an advanced copy of this book. The Dread Empire's Fall series was on my to-read list, but I had not started before receiving this book. I went to the beginning of the series and enjoyed reading all of the books giving each of them 4 stars. I was concerned I'd get bored along the journey but just the opposite. The story evolved and if the 6th book was available today I would keep going. The universe building is quite detailed and I was drawn into the political dynamics. There are a coup I received an advanced copy of this book. The Dread Empire's Fall series was on my to-read list, but I had not started before receiving this book. I went to the beginning of the series and enjoyed reading all of the books giving each of them 4 stars. I was concerned I'd get bored along the journey but just the opposite. The story evolved and if the 6th book was available today I would keep going. The universe building is quite detailed and I was drawn into the political dynamics. There are a couple main characters, a couple hands full of supporting characters, and a lot (and I mean A LOT) of transitory characters which I guess is to be expected in a universe of this size. There were many times when my mind didn't take time to catalog all of the characters and ships that came and went and I don't think my appreciation of the story suffered from that. There were however times when a character would pop back up and I'd have to go search for their origin. There are a number of themes that recur over and over (and over and over) but with enough variation that I remained interest. I can certainly see where some readers would tire of peer caste influence peddling, family tree analysis, dinners and dinner parties (oh the dinner parties). Space battles? Yes, there are space battles. Is it hard sci-fi? I don't know but for me there's enough science in service of the fiction to keep me going. If you like big universes, politics, space battles, and social sciences in your space operas, the Praxis and The Dread Empire's Fall has all of that and more. Solid 4 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kea4

    I have to say I really enjoyed this story. Sure its part of a long running series and I just happen to jump right in the middle of everything. At times there are places and events I’m not sure about. But overall I enjoyed it. At the end you have a space battle happening which is always entertaining. There is a long list of characters listed at the front of the book. It helped me for some not all. Most people talked about in the book I really did not care about. Some call this a Military Space Ope I have to say I really enjoyed this story. Sure its part of a long running series and I just happen to jump right in the middle of everything. At times there are places and events I’m not sure about. But overall I enjoyed it. At the end you have a space battle happening which is always entertaining. There is a long list of characters listed at the front of the book. It helped me for some not all. Most people talked about in the book I really did not care about. Some call this a Military Space Opera book which is fine. The character that stood out the most for me was Caroline Sula. I really like her past, what she was pushing for and wonder if Gareth Martinez will ever find out the truth (or even ask her to explain what happened). Good ending which clearly will lead to another book. https://theworldisabookandiamitsreade...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Henry Lazarus

    Seven years after the war told in Walter Jon Williams’s Dread Empire's Fall series, there is an attempt to kick humans out of the fleet of the multi-species Praxis empire. It touched off The Accidental War (paper) in which humans captured the fourth fleet. Now these Fleet Elements (hard from Harper Voyager) have to face the rest of the fleet in the largest battle in Praxis history. Former lovers and now adversaries Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula have to learn to work together to command such Seven years after the war told in Walter Jon Williams’s Dread Empire's Fall series, there is an attempt to kick humans out of the fleet of the multi-species Praxis empire. It touched off The Accidental War (paper) in which humans captured the fourth fleet. Now these Fleet Elements (hard from Harper Voyager) have to face the rest of the fleet in the largest battle in Praxis history. Former lovers and now adversaries Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula have to learn to work together to command such a large fleet. There’s more coming in this exciting tale of space battles without artificial gravity and where Newtonian physics creates the tactics.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shea J.

    I see disclaimers every once in a while so let me start by saying I got this for free in a Goodreads giveaway. I would have purchased a copy anyway because I'm a big fan of the Praxis series. This was more of the same with great space battles interspersed with a few formal receptions, as per usual with Praxis military functions. Not so much on the political side as the previous book. A little bit /r/HFY/ but then I really kind of like that type of story anyway. There was a great call out to Sula' I see disclaimers every once in a while so let me start by saying I got this for free in a Goodreads giveaway. I would have purchased a copy anyway because I'm a big fan of the Praxis series. This was more of the same with great space battles interspersed with a few formal receptions, as per usual with Praxis military functions. Not so much on the political side as the previous book. A little bit /r/HFY/ but then I really kind of like that type of story anyway. There was a great call out to Sula's rescue of the racing yacht in book 1 and a more realistic outcome given the 3d nature of space maneuvers. Overall I liked it quite a bit and am looking forward to the next one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    This is a Praxis book. There is a overlap of characters from the Accidental War. There are a wealth of characters. This book never grabbed me. I don’t know if it is too long since I read the Accidental War or what. It was a chore to plow through and I normally enjoy Williams work. I suspect it just may be the stress of current events but this was a difficult read. It did not captivate me and carry me away to a world of civility and respect. My apologies to Williams as trite as it sounds it proba This is a Praxis book. There is a overlap of characters from the Accidental War. There are a wealth of characters. This book never grabbed me. I don’t know if it is too long since I read the Accidental War or what. It was a chore to plow through and I normally enjoy Williams work. I suspect it just may be the stress of current events but this was a difficult read. It did not captivate me and carry me away to a world of civility and respect. My apologies to Williams as trite as it sounds it probably wasn't his book, it was me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Mcallister

    Really way to many characters introduced at once. Not interested in reading the pages of synopsis on characters until I decide if I like the book and if it's worth reading. It took a lot away from the story trying to remember who they were and how they fit in. Otherwise a very good read, good story line, good action scenes. Didn't love the characters but they emerged lifelike from the pages. Will read more of this series. Military space fight scenes, arranged marriages in wealthy families, power Really way to many characters introduced at once. Not interested in reading the pages of synopsis on characters until I decide if I like the book and if it's worth reading. It took a lot away from the story trying to remember who they were and how they fit in. Otherwise a very good read, good story line, good action scenes. Didn't love the characters but they emerged lifelike from the pages. Will read more of this series. Military space fight scenes, arranged marriages in wealthy families, power of the aristocracy all covered in this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Konstantinos Georgokitsos

    Well, well, well. It took five books after the fall of the brutal Praxis for the series even to mention the word democracy. I will grant Williams that the 10+ years actually is realistic or even rushed given the eons of the previous reign. My nitpicking aside, the book stands out again with wild military action in space, but also with the all too human sides of the main two characters. Nice read, if you have come this far, this tome is a must.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jo (Mixed Book Bag)

    Martinez and Sula are thrown together 10 years after the last book in the series. Once again they work and defeat the enemy but at great cost. While the battle is a large part of this story line the relationship between Martinez and Sula is again center stage. Things look great for the two but there is another player who can really change the relationships and destroy both. How does it end. Badly.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindelu

    I won this book on Goodreads. My husband read it first and gave it four stars. He wants to know what Praxis means though. He couldn't figure it out completely and he didn't like as I don't the list of characters in the beginning. We like to get to know the characters and won't remember all those names anyway. It did have a lot of characters. Well written and interesting book with a lot of action and battles. I won this book on Goodreads. My husband read it first and gave it four stars. He wants to know what Praxis means though. He couldn't figure it out completely and he didn't like as I don't the list of characters in the beginning. We like to get to know the characters and won't remember all those names anyway. It did have a lot of characters. Well written and interesting book with a lot of action and battles.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Excellent new addition in the Dread Empire's Fall series and better than the preceding book. If you haven't read any of the series before, this is probably not the best place to join but I do recommend readers pick up the first book. It's a fun and enjoyable series, nothing too deep, but nothing that insults the intelligence either. Recommended for all fans of stories about space empires and/or stellar militaries. Excellent new addition in the Dread Empire's Fall series and better than the preceding book. If you haven't read any of the series before, this is probably not the best place to join but I do recommend readers pick up the first book. It's a fun and enjoyable series, nothing too deep, but nothing that insults the intelligence either. Recommended for all fans of stories about space empires and/or stellar militaries.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Myo Denis

    Elegant Space Opera Another gem from Walter John Williams, who remains on my list of absolutely favorite sci-fi authors, where he's been at least since "Hardwired". The "Praxis" series of novels, of which this is the latest, is likewise a favorite, and this addition didn't disappoint. Elegant Space Opera Another gem from Walter John Williams, who remains on my list of absolutely favorite sci-fi authors, where he's been at least since "Hardwired". The "Praxis" series of novels, of which this is the latest, is likewise a favorite, and this addition didn't disappoint.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathei

    Space wars, interplanetary interspecies political war. This is the second book in a trilogy that follows Walter Jon Williams Praxis series. Wish I'd read the first book in the series but Fleet Elements works well on its own anyway. Space wars, interplanetary interspecies political war. This is the second book in a trilogy that follows Walter Jon Williams Praxis series. Wish I'd read the first book in the series but Fleet Elements works well on its own anyway.

  19. 4 out of 5

    S.

    This is the second book in a space opera, so if you start with this book, there's going to be people, places and events mentioned that you won't get, but you can still read this on it's own. It's a good sci-fi book to read and I am waiting to read the next book. This is the second book in a space opera, so if you start with this book, there's going to be people, places and events mentioned that you won't get, but you can still read this on it's own. It's a good sci-fi book to read and I am waiting to read the next book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Will England

    Fantastic twist at the end No,not going to spoil it, but the series continues with excellent space battles, political intrigue, loss, like and love. Fantastic writing, captivating story. Looking forward for the next book in the series!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matt Rizzo

    I was not expecting to enjoy the book as thoroughly as I did. Though long it’s many twists and plot events kept me turning the page. Though I was more of a Gareth fan I think I’m becoming a solid Sula stan. Either way I love the book and can’t wait for the next one!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hirsch

    Too bad. I really like other books written by Walter Jon Williams, but this was very weak. No likeable characters and thoroughly stupid space warfare tacticstake up the entire book, so there is nothing left to like.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ron Frampton

    second book of a new series set in praxis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Luiken

    Space opera with two flawed but competent heroes. Enjoying this return visit to the world of the Praxis.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This is such a great series! The 2nd civil war continues in the wonderfully detailed, multi-alien, well built Praxis universe.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janice Gross

    Great middle chapter of Accidental War Loved the interplay of characters. Sad to see some old friends lost but it’s war after all. Cant wait for next book!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sherry Brown

    Lots of action!!! Enjoyed the characters! If you enjoy Science Friction books. You will definitely like this one!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Rtc

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matti Rintala

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dragos Chioran

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