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On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From School Library Journal
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The series' kickoff puts a giddy Commander Harrington at the helm of her first serious starship, the HMS Fearless. But her excitement quickly fades--political maneuvering by top brass in the Manticoran navy has left her light cruiser outfitted with a half-baked experimental weapons system. Against all odds (just the way Honor likes it), she still manages a clever coup in tactical war games, a feat that earns her accolades--and enemies. The politicians she's offended banish her to a galactic backwater, Basilisk Station. But that outpost soon proves to be a powder keg, and it's up to Harrington and the Fearless crew to thwart the aggressive plans of the Haven Republic. A perfect mix of military SF and high adventure--if you enjoy your tour, re-up with HH2, The Honor of the Queen. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00ARPJBS0
- Publisher : Baen Books; 1st edition (December 21, 2012)
- Publication date : December 21, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 626 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 399 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,835 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Try reading B. V. Larson’s Undying Mercenaries series for great stories and wonderful characters. For complicated and interesting world-building with unpredictable characters and twisty stories, try C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series.
The problem is that for me, at least, reading many of the newest David Weber Honor Harrington books is proving to offer steadily diminishing returns. They’re just not up to the standards of On Basilisk Station, and yet I keep buying them because Honor’s story isn’t finished yet, and I want to know who she becomes. Plowing through Weber’s recent writing in order to find out what happens with her is getting more and more difficult, though . . .
On Basilisk Station is a tight adrenaline rush of a book, with a great heroine surrounded by a lot of good characters. Alistair McKeon is especially interesting as he’s trapped in jealous resentment of Honor for most of the book, and yet Weber manages to credibly disentangle him from his prejudices before the story ends. It’s a Weber book, so there’s much too much salivating over the various types of weaponry and ships and ship drives, but still a lot less excess verbiage than Weber managed to cram into his later titles in the series.
I read this book when it first came out and have followed the series since, but with less and less interest or satisfaction. The most recent books just don’t have the excitement, tight plotting or character development that are found in these early entries. The most recent books tend to be stolid tomes with far too many characters (to the point where it’s hard to remember who all those people are), a plot-line so broken into pieces that the stories lack flow and often even purpose—as Weber resorts to padding his books by retelling events from the viewpoints of alternate characters.
He’s also prone to bogging down his books with chunks of text that describe the weapons, the ammo, the drives and the ships in obsessive detail. If you’re going to write military sf, you need to have thought through all of those things so they’re believable and consistent, but Weber’s gone boring on about them for much too long. As his descriptions of these things often are lifted almost word for word from his earlier books, the reader gets stuck reading them again and again, so they go stale and just weigh down the story.
Most of the early books are worth reading—I just wish that were also the case with the latest ones.
Do not read Basilisk Station unless you are ready to be completely hooked. While Honor Harrington's cold exterior keeps even the reader from fully getting to know her, we grow to respect her the same way her crew does. Meanwhile, missiles fire, lasers flash, and no fewer than three FTL technologies create some of the most thoughtful space navy battles I have read in years. Strategy and tactics win over sheer firepower, but we are on the edges of our seats until thee very end of the book.
The ending is satisfying, with no annoying and artificial cliffhangers to cajole you into buying the next book, but trust me: you will want to anyway!
The first book deals with Honor being sent to Basilisk Station, an out-of-the-way Manticoran outpost where the Navy sends its rejects. However, Captain Harrington is nothing if not determined and efficient, and promptly sets about carrying out her duty while a conspiracy is brewing to rid the sector of Manticoran presence. The book thus sets up a thrilling web of suspense, intrigue, and speculation, as Honor realizes the gravity of their situation and we see her mind spinning into action, devising plans and counterplans. However, not only is she short on resources, severely limiting her options, but she also has to deal with a crew that blames their Captain for their troubles and, consequently, has little regard for her, at least at first.
It was most enjoyable to witness the transformation of the crew of the Fearless as they slowly embrace their Captain and her no-nonsense attitude, becoming themselves every bit as proficient as her in the discharge of their duties (with a few exceptions, but that is life). I was sad to see her Exec-turned-Captain, Mr. McKeon, go at the end of the book, as he experienced the most development as a character, and I always thoroughly enjoyed and looked forward to his exchanges with Honor. I can only hope this is not the last we've seen of him.
Considering you can get this book for free on Amazon's Kindle Store right now, there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't pick it up and give it a read. I'm certainly looking forward to Book #2. See you there!
Top reviews from other countries
My biggest issue was the way the author described the principle character; She is a strong, independent, intelligent wonmann who has made it to the top by her own hard work (you go girl): before you for a negative opinion of me I have no problem with a strong lead female character and none of the traits above are negative (read the Dunmore books by Eric Thomson for a good example).
Despite the attempt to write a strong lead character the author can’t help but make her crushingly insecure and constantly reference the way she looks. And she has a cat, of course it’s an alien cat and it’s special.
My one criticism would be that at some critical points in the story the author diverges into a deeply technical overview of some area of this future society. The flow of a major battle was interrupted by a long explanation of how hyperspace works, for example. It threw me out of the moment for a while, and the flow just seemed to be compromised. The irritating thing is that this technical information was needed in order for some actions later to be understood. Maybe having this explanation earlier in the book might have worked, I don't know.
However, a brilliant story and I look forward to the next adventure!