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A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom (Hardcover)) Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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About the Author
With over seven million copies of his books in print and seventeen titles on the New York Times bestseller list, David Weber is the science fiction publishing phenomenon of the new millennium. In the hugely-popular Honor Harrington series, the spirit of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander lives on—into the galactic future. Books in the Honor Harrington and Honoverse series have appeared on fourteen best seller lists, including those of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. While Weber is best known for his spirited, modern-minded space operas, he is also the creator of the Oath of Swords fantasy series and the Dahak saga, a science fiction and fantasy hybrid. Weber is has also engaged in a steady stream of bestselling collaborations including his Starfire Series with Steve White, which produced the New York Times bestseller The Shiva Option among others. Weber’s collaboration with alternate history master Eric Flint led to the bestselling 1634: The Baltic War, and his planetary adventure novels with military science fiction ace and multiple national best-seller John Ringo includes the blockbusters March to the Stars and We Few. Finally, Weber’s teaming with Linda Evans produced the bestselling Multiverse series. David Weber makes his home in South Carolina with his wife and children.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now an explanation of why I deducted a star. As somebody who acts as 'gatekeeper' for my teen/tweens and reads a decent chunk of Young Adult fantasy, this is a commendable attempt by David Weber (who has long been one of my favorite authors for both epic fantasy as well as his Honor Harrington series) to reach out and invigorate young women's interest in something besides sparkly vampires. I love-love-love Stephanie Harrington and her Treecat Lionheart, and am so excited to now hand this book to my 13-year-old and 11-year-old daughters. However, most Young Adults these days prefer the intimacy of first-person or 'close third-person' POV. This book head-hopped a lot and pulled in a lot of backstory that would have been better communicated by SHOWING exclusively from Stephanie's head. It annoyed me because I really LIKED being inside Stephanie's head and every time I was knocked out I kinda resented it. Interestingly, this was much less of a problem when we were inside Climbs Quickly/Lionheart's head (where I also liked being ... and staying). I hope the second book spends more time inside Stephanie's head please!
The verdict: Intelligent, brave teenage girl who loves her parents but doesn't always do what she's told, an alien planet, hexapumas, hang-gliding with a gravity belt, and a sentient, psychic, six-legged treecat. BUY this book and quietly stick it on the bookshelf next to the sparkly vampires, and then, oops ... claim a fungus took over the Twilight books and you had to burn them. Sneaky indoctrination into science is a perfectly acceptable parental policy :-)
Stephanie Harrington sets out to find the culprit behind the families missing celery plants, and stumbles upon Climbs Quickly, a young treecat scout caught red handed sneaking out of the greenhouse. Stephanie and Climbs Quickly develop a special bond, and spend the rest of the book growing to understand each other, all while trying to protect the treecats from further encroachment.
Adult fans will want to read for all of the interesting information on the treecats, and it will help them better understand Honor Harrington's relationship with Nimitz. I read A Beautiful Friendship right before starting Ashes of Victory (#9 of the Honor Harrington main series), and found the information ties perfectly into the advancements they were making with the inter-species relationships in that book.
I would rate this a solid 5 stars. High recommendations for any Harrington fans that are looking for a book to share with their teenage readers, and for anyone else that is looking for an upbeat sci-fi/fantasy YA read instead of all the dystopian future books out there. You can even find teacher's guides for the book here on the publisher's website , Baen.com
The Stephanie Harrington books aren't dumbed down, but they are suitable for younger readers. There is no gratuitous or graphic violence, not really harsh language, and no sex. These should be a good way to get teens (especially those not enamored of the typical melodramatic "romances" generally masquerading as young adult literature) introduced to reading in general and science and science fiction in particular. (Although younger science-oriented readers will note Weber's error in assigning a velocity to objects falling in gravity rather than an acceleration.) But it's equally suited for adults. Weber has written an early teen protagonist, but one that is not at all off putting for adults. Highly recommended.