War of Honor by David Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
War of Honor (Honor Harrington #10) by David Weber
The two times that I have read this I think I came up with the same problem. A person that is used to David Weber and his Honor Harrington series has to slog through about two hundred pages of stuff before things start looking up. One begins to wonder if it is a matter of having so many successes already that it seems important to beat a dead horse. The oddest part of all of that is that much of what is in those pages might be there as a sort of primer for the new reader. After all this is at ten plus book series now and there is a lot of back-story and world building that has taken place. So we do need some of this for background and it is nice to refresh our memories, even those of us who have been with Honor and David from the beginning.
I think I enjoyed this much better the second time through and that might be because I have been going through the series again trying to pay extra attention to the details that normally would put me to sleep. Unfortunately that means that it took about 5 days to get to page 200 and then there were still 680 pages to go.
I remember a long time ago I read Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo, the Three Musketeers and the Man in the Iron Mask. I was fueled to read them by the movies I had seen and of course was expecting a lot of swash and some buckle in there. I think that the frustration of that experience might best explain the frustration of the experience of reading this massive volume. It's difficult to just say that much of this could have been said with fewer word. Much easier to just complain that perhaps it could have been more entertaining. The funny thing is that the parallels that are drawn from reality to David's Honor universe are in a different time which is one reason I have to wonder how it is it feels like they are coming from the era that Dumas was writing about.
I should be thankful that its not as comparable to the experience I had trying to read Don Quixote, but then I think that was a matter of things not coming through in translation.
Once this did kick in it got interesting to me and there were things I remembered from last time that I was paying particular attention to. The affair between Honor and Hamish for one thing, and the ever forgiving nature of Emily within the whole construct. And of course the increasing level of participation of the TreeCats in the whole mix. A little too convenient that Nimitz's spouse some how manages to adopt Hamish, but it does help heat that situation up a bit.
This book concentrates a lot on the politics of things and the dynamics behind the scenes and the reason that things fail on both ends of the negotiation table. Haven now has a brighter future in the choice of leaders and by an act of Haven the Star Kingdom has managed to have it's heads of state turned into addelbrains. Well they were already a bit off, they just were not in charge until this book.
The Andermani Empire is starting to show its muscle and looking to strengthen its position and to move the Star Kingdom out of its territory with action in the Silesian Confedracy which will bring Honor to Sidemore as she tries to remover herself from the public eye. Manticor's new government is dragging its feet at the negotiation table and infuriating her own allies, leaving an opening for Haven to do an end-run around them by enticing their allies way from them. There is an almost unbelievable comedy of errors with the communication back and forth from Manticor to Haven that's a bit hard to swallow but this will lead to resumption of war.
Possibly the biggest letdown is that the battles are mostly so so battles. This especially after all the time spent about the misinformation between both camps capabilities and their planning or lack thereof; the battles themselves just seem to fall flat.
The up-side to this is that the whole thing will finally position things where everyone is still at war and possibly the best people on both sides will have a chance to face off. The problem is that David Weber is weaving a tale that might have you rooting for both sides when everything finally hits the fan.
Still great stuff for SFF-Military Space Battle -Political Intrigue lovers. I suggest anyone new to these novels get their feet wet by starting at the beginning where it's only shallow because there are not as many pages involved.
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