At All Costs by David Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
At All Costs by David Weber
I've now reached that place in this series where I am reading this one for the first time. I can honestly say that this is another of those turning points. Where the previous book War of Honor was long with few significant space battles, this book still has a lot of world building exposition pertaining to the arms race and the political intrigue, but I think David Weber wisely put a fair amount of action and space conflicts.
This book also is the first book to make it very clear that the message David means to send is that war is hell and no matter how hard the characters try to avoid it something or someone conspires to throw them directly into it and each character is now doing their duty on either side of the fight while resisting the whole process.
But when all is said and done when the battle arrives it is no holds barred and pulling out all the stops for either side to do their best. Still, because of all the time spent on building the readers knowledge of the armament being used on both sides with the bulk of description heavy toward Manticore it sometimes seems a foregone conclusion who will win and the true score card is the one that keeps track of which of Honor's friends will not come home from battle.
The Solar League plays heavy in things this time, though it appears they have had their hand in things from the beginning. So if it was hard enough to keep up with all the intrigue in Haven and Manticore now we add the Solar League and it's a real mess keeping up.
Once again and always I advise starting at the beginning of this series and work your way up the numbers to acclimate to David's style of writing and the Long Story that he creates. Although I will say this much if you want to start close to the end this one has the most coherent storyline to update the new reader to what's been happening and the best examples of the space conflicts David does so well. It's the best of most worlds and also contains all the juicy details about Honor Harrington and how she becomes Honor Alexander-Harrington.
The story begins where War of Honor left off. Haven has struck back into war from the belief that Manticore has been negotiating in bad faith, though the reader knows better from what we do know of what happened in that book. Now Haven's government and military must deal with the truth as it begins to unfold. The realization that they have dug themselves in deep because events have managed to isolate them from any probable chance of reinstating negotiations.
They still try but there are forces out there conspiring to make sure that negotiations never happen so the war must go on while the balance shifts back and forth with bold moves from both sides causing the enemy all sorts of trouble. Finally things escalate to a point where the ambitions of both sides have grown in proportion to the increasing deadliness of the arms. When everything hits the fan there will be no way to avoid mass casualties.
David Weber weaves a convincing story where no one can be the winner and no one can back down. Though some times gruelingly long this one continues the story begun in War of Honor and it looks as though it will continue into the Mission of Honor. Racking up a total of over 2400 pages of Honor Harrington history.
I recommend this to all fans of Honor Harrington and those who like SFF with political intrigue and suspense and some awesome world building.
Fortunately the next novel is available so when you get to the end and want to know more; you can just swing right into Mission of Honor. Good Reading to you.
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