A superbly written story, continuing the main line story theme of the Honor Harrington series. Has all the in-depth characterization, situational complexity of the authors "grand stage." A superb read.
I agree, although I am only half way through it is really good, new ideas (Tree cats as body guards) and complexity abound. I love the politics and am looking forward to the military alliance between Haven and Manticore.
Just finished reading the ARC (advanced readers copy) and found it enjoyable. Some characters seem to fixed before hand, the corrupt and condescending Solly, the noble Beowulfen etc. Story was compelling and moved along swiftly. My major critisism was the story ended too suddenly. I thought is the ARC not complete it can't end here :O but it does. Get to writing DW
Just finished reading the ARC and while it was indeed a page turners I have to say I am left with mixed feelings. Basically if you have read the previous two books in the Honorverse ( Mission of Honor and Torch of Freedom), you already know or can guess 80% of what is happening in the book. Too few unexpected turns in the plot and the book is noticeably smaller than the previous books in the series ( about 500 pages or so). I don't really like how 1/3rd of the book is just setting up things that will happen in the next book ( which makes me worries that once again, the plot will be very predictable).
After reading the ARC version of A RISING THUNDER, I went back and read all the reviews for MISSION OF HONOR and realized most fans felt that Mission was the set-up for this novel, If it was then we now have another 450 page set-up, because a very large percentage of of Thunder deals with the Politicians(A VERY LARGE PERCENTAGE). I know from reading reviews that a lot fans enjoy political intrgue, Well I don't. I enjoy MILITARY SPACE OPERA which the HONORVERSE use to be associated with. So please DAVID WEBER go back to writing about HONOR and all the splendid characters you have created to support her
I sort of agree with you. I like some of the political aspects of it, but this book had very little action. Its more of another bridge book to the next book. Im afraid that David Weber is kind of going like Tom Clancy, both authors started out with action packed books then as they're writing careers advanced they transitioned to very long mainly political series with less and less action. B. I think the Harrington and the Safehaven series are going the same way as Tom Clancy's series of books did. I went back and read Basilisk Station and Honor of the Queen again, the difference in style was really apparent. My opinion is the books still OK, Weber will still remain one of my favorite authors but he's gone down a few pegs. Ill still buy the books but that I won't pay more than paperback prices for them.
I read the ARC of this book, and I hate to say it but it was not worth it.
The major fight between the sollies and the manties was a lot of set up then just before the action starts, the chapter ends and in the next chapter they are talking about the aftermath of the battle.
SPOILER ENDS. (I know sort of a lame spoiler)
I'm sure I will continue to read Weber's books, but I hate to say it but maybe he should have killed Honor off as he originally planned or go back to someone or someplace else where he can write about single ship or small unit action.
I stopped reading Honor a few books ago when the villains became two dimensional & the plot got mired in BS politics. I keep hoping I will read a review where it's awesome, but I guess it won't be with this book.
I just finished reading the ARC. I would say that my enjoyment and rating of the book started out high (5 star), as I enjoyed the political behind-the-scenes due to knowing all the characters so well. But by mid-book, the lack of action and continued political meetings dropped me to giving it a 4-star...but I still was very anticipating the big battle.
The main battle came...and went. In one chapter. Then they started talking about it. Every political faction discussed it at length, from every angle, in meetings, on the phone, on and on. My rating drops to a 3-star. But there is still more than 25% of the book left, so I am hopeful.
The last 25% of this book is pretty bad. Once I realize that LITTERALLY nothing is going to happen in the rest of the book except all factions talking about what already happened and what they might do next, I became pretty dissappointed. Weber threw in an extended royal wedding, just to make matters worse. By the end of the book, I was skimming or skipping pages that were just unreadable for me, and having flashbacks to some of Weber's other recent "unreadable" books like Hell's Gate. My rating drops to a 2-start, and I'm feeling mad about spending $15.
In one of Weber's interviews, he says something lik: "I hope my publisher never learnes that I would write regardless of if I got payed or not". Well, I guess I coulda said that "I hope Weber never learnes that I will buy Honor Harrington books whether they are good or not!"
Well. Compelled to post/ Full version available from Baen digital store. Consumed in a weekend.
What to say - it's exposition. Entirely. In a way, I liked it - some of his writing is cleaner, and I didn't find myself having to re-read the last pages to figure out what he was trying to say, as I did in a few earlier books. If anything, it's not deep enough. I guess my problem is that nothing but the priming of the next book. Don't get me wrong - it's a decent issue to fuel new flames now that Haven is where it is, but, as is, it feels a little weak. Weber readers are USED to long books - various sites harp on how this is the first half of the original "split for editing" book - why? I feel it's simply a preface, on its own.
I guess that's my larger issue. If HH was to be killed earlier, it would have been closure, and this would have been a fine reboot - well, thats not the word, it's not a start-over, but rather a launching point of the next saga, and could have had new protagonists - Shannon, Andrea, some grasonites, Rafe perhaps, (and its about time for Harkness to grow up!) come to mind - taking the war to the next step. We never get that far.
**SPOILER - STOP NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW**
The political intrigue, being the basis of the exposition, doesn't hold up to prior efforts. It's there, but it's straightforward. If all this book is is exposition, then that very exposition is weak compared to earlier efforts. My biggest problem is following David from the branch-off novels - they were interesting, deep, you get some ideas of what's happening. Then, you can see the reboot at the end of the last "main" honor book. My biggest issue here, though is that the key motivator in the last 4 books or so gets perhaps 2 pages and 2 other mentions. David's ability to weave deep intrigue seems missing; I'm guessing - hoping - that all of this content was in the second half of this book prior to the editing/split. Readers who read the spin-offs will feel cheated. I really think it can't be judged until Shadow of Freedom is released - but because this is what the publishers deigned to do, release this now, it's disappointing.
My bigger problem, I suppose, is just fear. With a new book being released approx every two years, I worry my favorite series won't have an ending. Not even a happy ending - just an ending. This feels like it could lead to 1-2 very intense books that lead HH to amazing but improbable places very quickly and perhaps close the "main" series, or be the beginning of another 10 book saga - which I'd like, but the lack of closure would irritate me unless there were succession plans in place for both HH (storywise) AND weber (keeing the story he's setting up here going)!
A post above me stated "lack of action and continued political meetings dropped me to giving it a 4-star...but I still was very anticipating the big battle"... I understand that point (and concur - the "battle"? - well)... BUT... the political meetings were unfulfilling, too! There were a couple of honor books, my first read through, that I didn't get - it wasn't until I stopped looking for the battles and re-read that I got some of the deeper maneuvering. But here, the politics don't get their due diligence either.
We know the puppet masters are in play. We spend the entire time with puppets without a mention of the masters. (Edit: as mentioned, we see them for two pages. They say "Oops... hmm.")
*EDIT: I spent half this post trying to discuss without giving anything big away. HH fans, you're going to read it anyway, you know this, I know this, so get cracking.
The quality of David Weber's Honor Harington Series have been declining as of late. I hope, truly hope that this is not like the last one! A bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else and then switch to another bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else for 700+ pages. Only have a half a chapter's worth of space battles and action.
I think that he did great with the series until he tried to tie the 2 spin-offs as well as the main storyline together. When he did that, that is when the character development, drama, and most of all... action just died... Get back to the charactors! Get back to the action! Or just end it!
In fact, I didn't even buy the last book. I just read it off the CD that a friend had.
This is the worst of David Weber that I have ever tried to read. I couldn't finish it. No action. No great battles, do deep feelings, hardly anything to do with Honor, hey don't bother reading or buying this one. Just sad.
"A bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else and then switch to another bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else for 700+ pages. Only to have a half a chapter's worth of space battles and action."
Probably NOT the worst, but not great; when the print version goes on sale, I'll write a full review. It's compulsively readable. BUT. The story is being painfully stretched. Since At All Costs, only the Weber/Flint collaboration Torch of Freedom has had sustained vitality. This book has battle set pieces that fizzle, lots and lots of repetitive political machinations, myriad brief check-ins with various good guys and bad guys (but not necessarily the ones you care about), improbable complete trust between two sets of good guys formerly sworn enemies, incremental improvements in military tech that by this time have become little more than chrome, an extraneous royal wedding that MAY be set up for a later book. And so on. At this rate, we're not going to get the final confrontation with the ultimate bad guys for 2-3 more books.
I agree with Mr. Dupont. Having literally just finished it...this novel is pretty much entirely maneuvering, mostly political, with some military. Even the Big Battle, Second Manticore, was all maneuvering, though I actually agree with why he didn't show the actual fighting, because it wasn't so much a battle as a tragedy. I'm beginning to think that he's tiring of writing the missile exchanges, which I can understand.
But dang it...the entire reason the series has a following is that it's space opera, and ships blow up on the page, sometimes quite often. We *want* to see ships and fleets locked in combat, especially if it's close to even.
(sigh) I still enjoyed it, but it just kind of...ended. And that's my other irritation...there wasn't really a conclusion, he just...stopped. (sigh)
And, I'm back... I return to this discussion first to repay Brad's agreement - The big battle without the fighting was to show the tragedy and to move a milestone. I can tolerate that, but hey, remember why we're here!
An analogy occurred to me here. One or two of you may have heard of a little series called Star Wars. There were some movies - 6 of them, in fact.
Now, imagine you've seen them in the release order. 4,5,6,1,2. You know the backstory that has been building. The intrigue, the machination, the orchestration. The "why" of it all is gradually revealed in 1,2. You walk into the theater to see ep 3 for the first time...
And now imagine ep 3's story mostly as you know it - including the backtstory of the previous 5 films - but in ep 3, every scene with the senator(emperor) has been cut. In a hopefully vague way, that's how I felt.
Again - liked, and triggered my yearly reread (just finished Honor of the Queen!) but I don't think it stands alone.
I have read all of the series and could hardly wait until this one was out. Yuck. Couldn't even finish it. Slow, all talk, no action. No real feeling for the characters either. I kept hoping to turn the page and it would get better. Honor played a minor role and it jumped around a lot between characters that I just gave up.
He needs to get back to the 'core' of what this series is about. I thought that he was going to do that with, "The Shadow of Saganami" which was kind of like a second generation of new midshipmen rising though the ranks... and then the next book in that so-called spin-off was, "Storm from the Shadows" which was nothing but the begining of this current boondongle trend of, "A bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else and then switch to another bunch of people sitting around talking about something that happens somewhere else." He needs to at the least, get back to what "Shadow of Saganami" or "Crown of Slaves" was. I felt cheated.
After reading all of the discussions here... I've decided to NOT buy this book.
Go to the publisher and buy the ebook as it is only $6 as I did; or borrow it from the library. With Weber's continuing trend toward talk, talk and more talk (plus his good guys being OH SO GOOD...and most of the bad guys being oh so stupid and evil on a genocidal level); I find that its more cost effective to borrow his books from the library and/or buy the ebook directly from Baen.