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To Honor You Call Us (Man of War Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 455 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
Humanity is fighting a war and barely holding on. Max gets promoted to Captain a destroyer with some serious problems. Morale, training, readiness, all in the toilet. And he has to lead the crew to fix it if he wants them to live. In real life, I've walked into a command that was like this (not quite this bad, but close) so this story hits close to home. It took a lot of effort by all hands to turn it around, but like anything in the military, change starts at the top. Max pulls together his new senior officers and they get to work fixing this broken crew.
The author tells a believable tale, made more so by his obvious dedication to research and history. The books is laced with references to modern and historical cultural, space, and military history. The mechanic of bringing midshipmen on as boys, and training them through adulthood, plus other facets of the bygone days of sail, was a nice touch and blended well with the submarine like style of combat. If space combat happens, I'm convinced it will be like this.
If you buy this, and you should, go ahead and grab the second one at the same time. You won't be able to put it down. Can't wait for the third installment.
Our main protagonist, Lieut. (soon to be Lieutenant Commander after the first few pages) M. Robichaux is given his first command, a stealth destroyer and pretty much given free license to engage in enemy commerce raiding in neutral territory. How he does this and the obstacles he overcomes keeps the pages turning rapidly and certainly left me avid for a sequel. The short but sharp descriptions of the workings of a space age warship are particularly entertaining. There is also great scope in expanding the intriguing alien encounters.
The authors include a series of acknowledgements at the end of the book and not surprisingly, they wrote that this story was directly inspired by Patrick O'Brian; anyone familiar with O'Brian's work will see the similarities immediately although personally I found Robichaux to be a little cleverer than Aubrey. I did find one or two other hints there as well, with touches of Forrester and Lambdin. Also I am not sure if the name Robichaux is a nod to James Lee Burke.
All things being equal, Book II is being planned for January 2013. In fact, I hope that the authors enjoy writing this series to such an extent that it will run to show the development of the two likeable main protagonists from their first ship to much greater achievements and commands.
Both authors have no idea what to do with women or with sexuality, and Honsinger "solves" that problem by leaving women out entirely. They've all been killed by an enemy bio-weapon or else recalled to home worlds to (I assume, based on no explanation from Honsiner) have lots of babies and hence ensure humanity's survival in the next generation.
There's an arithmetic problem, however. If half the women died more than twenty years ago, there shouldn't be so many children (or ANYONE under 20) aboard warships. Those children, just as much as their mothers, are the future of the race. They can't be risked in this way. There's also talk of MANY crew members getting mail from wives, girlfriends, and even BOTH wives and girlfriends. That seems terribly unlikely. Nor does it make sense for other human star systems being neutral in the war, after a horrific genocide like that.
Still, it's a big improvement over most of the genre.
These gents did it right; I got a warm, fuzzy feeling as soon as they introduced the COB. The only caricature is the hostile alien force, and I thought that eventually their motivations were explained well enough, at least for the first novel of a series, to make them believable. Many of the elements in play here could have been off-putting had they been handled poorly: Max's "cajun-ness", the extra-extra-ordinary competence and compatibility of the command team, the many throwback references to traditions born in the age of sail and salt-water navy (and Star Trek) when some of them seemed almost prohibitively dated. But I believe they were all handled with an exceptional amount of humanity and humor, which prevented things that could have been cliche from distracting from the main points, and in no way prevented me from thoroughly enjoying the progression of the Captain and crew of the Cumberland.
If any of the previous reviews mentions a story or author you're keen on (Heinlein, O'Brien, Foster, Horatio Hornblower), I believe you'll have a good time here. Can't wait for the sequel, and I'm hunting for the paperback right now so I can pass a copy around to friends. Highly recommended.
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