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The Shadow of Saganami (Saganami Island) Hardcover – October 26, 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Saganami Island Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his long-running saga of the Manticoran Space Navy and its battles (War of Honor, etc.), Weber has chronicled the career of Honor Harrington, a distaff Horatio Hornblower transplanted into a futuristic conflict based loosely on the Napoleonic wars. These hugely entertaining and clever adventures are the very epitome of space opera, but their emphasis on one officer's contribution tends to give a lopsided view of how a military organization fights. In his rousing second Honorverse novel (after 2003's Crown of Slaves, coauthored with Eric Flint), Weber focuses on how each member of a unit contributes to the mission's success through teamwork, discipline and individual initiative. A scratch task force is dispatched to a series of fringe systems that have petitioned to join the Manticoran Space Nation. What is supposed to be a relatively easy assignment to a sector far from the front lines of the renewed Havenite War is soon complicated both by terrorists who oppose the annexation and by corrupt elements of the Solarian League—the major power in Weber's universe—who don't want the stiff-necked Manties sniffing around their highly illegal (and lucrative) genetic slave trade. Weber emphasizes the role that tradition plays in inspiring our lads and lasses in uniform, reminding the reader that a hero can be anyone who does his or her job with honor, commitment and skill.
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About the Author

David Weber is a science fiction phenomenon. His popular Honor Harrington space-opera adventures (most recently, "At All Costs") are "New York Times" bestsellers and can't come out fast enough for his devoted readers.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743488520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743488525
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,013,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952. Weber and his wife Sharon live in Greenville, South Carolina with their three children and "a passel of dogs".

Previously the owner of a small advertising and public relations agency, Weber now writes science fiction full time.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Weber has a lot of fans particularly for his Honor Harrington series. There have been ten novels and three collections of stories in that series and books from it have landed on best-seller lists. He has expanded his Honorverse to include two new series. The first in the "Crown of Slaves" branch focuses on politics and war over the issue of genetic slavery. Shadow of Saganami focuses on another area of this universe and brings in a new cast.

The Hexapuma, a brand-new cruiser commanded by a hero of the last war is assigned to bring a new cluster of planets into the growing Manticoran Empire after a referendum in which the vast majority call for annexation. Weber is able to introduce an (almost) entirely new cast of characters. Much of the action is centered around a group of midshipmen on their first cruise but the action involves many of the ship's leaders as well as politicians and terrorists from several worlds.

There is very little doubt that Weber writes from a post 9/11 perspective. The terrorists are being helped by a wide assortment of groups ranging from out of control bureaucrats to businesses directly involved with slavery. Plots abound as different groups and individuals plot their own destinies.

The book is long and exciting. Imagine trying to read more than 700 pages at one sitting! Terekhov, the captain, is a marvelous character, haunted by his past and focused on preventing both terrorism and war. The supporting cast is also strong. Even the villains are, in most cases, three dimensional.

For long-time readers of Weber there is the pleasure of running into old friends like Ginger Lewis, Aubrey Wanderman, Helen Zilwicki and Abigail Hearns. There are new characters who are certain to become favorites as well.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As Honor Harrington has progressed in her career, she has had to abandon the command of a starship, in order to take on squadron and then fleet command. While this is good for her, it's not as good for readers, because David Weber is at his best, I think, when he is telling the story of a single starship captain and what such a person and a dedicated crew can do when faced with a critical choice or puzzling-and-threatening situation.

In this book, Weber returns to the world of a single starship, in the service of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Honor Harrington appears briefly in the book, but it is not a book about her at all. Instead, it is about a new generation of officers, serving on a heavy cruiser. It's a great piece of standard Weber space opera: fun to read, and a bit overloaded with heavy exposition (I'd ding it half a star for the somewhat awkward expository passages if that were possible, but it's not).

At first, I thought the book would not hold my attention, but I was wrong. Once I sorted out who all the players were, this was a rollicking good read. It's not deep or particularly meaningful, but it is an excellent example of the kind of book it set out to be; the five stars are for the good story, the interesting characters, and the excellent fit between the plot and the writing (but as I mentioned above, I wish I could ding it half a star). Highly recommended to anyone who enjoyed the early Honor Harrington books.
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Format: Hardcover
After going to college with Dave and then later fixing his Osborne computer for him, I read a draft version of one of his Starfire books. It was excellent and I encouraged him to get it published. Later I got hooked on his Honor Harrington books. Where David excells is when he has a narrower focus and this is why I like his new Saganami Island Series, of which this is the first book. We meet students from Honor's teaching days on their middie cruise in the Talbot Cluster. Why this book re-earns a 5 star rating is because he shrinks down the multiple story lines that dragged War of Honor down to a 4. He also minimizes the repetition of details that dragged that book down as well. This is a nice tightly written book that brings more life to the Honorverse, and looks at other forms of corrupt government. The action is well told and the political points of view make great warnings to us in today's world.
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Format: Hardcover
The Shadow of Saganami is the second novel set in the Honor Harrington Universe but not centered on Honor Harrington herself. Instead, it focuses on a cast of new characters, operating in the Talbott Cluster, a "new frontier" for the Star Kingdom of Manticore which threatens to bring it into direct conflict with the Solarian League . . . the most powerful human political uinit ever to exist. The crew of the new heavy cruiser Hexapuma, under the command of a highly decorated captain still haunted by the horrendous losses ships under his command suffered in the previous war, must find a way to defeat the plots of genetic slavers, corrupt Solarian bureaucrats and industrialists, local terrorists, political intriguers, and old-fashioned incompetence. And in the process, they find themselves facing the "tradition of Sganami" . . . the tradition that Manticoran officers may die, but they do NOT give up the fight.

Despite the political dimensions of the book, Weber achieves a better balance between the action he writes so well and the political machinations of his villians than he was able to maintain in the previous mainstream Honor novel, War of Honor. It looks as if he is deliberately spreading into two new series-- this one, the Saganami Island series, and the Crown of Slaves series of collaborative novels with Eric Flint -- in an effort to broaden his canvas and permit more of the swashbuckling adventure of the earlier Honor novels while moving the political dimension of the Honorverse ahead in more managable sized bites. If that is his intention, he has succeeded admirably in this volume. I believe this may be the best Honorverse novel since Honor Among Enemies, which is high praise indeed.
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