|Submitted by Anonymous|
(Mar 27, 2000)
Webers previous books in this series have always impressed.
Very much in the 'Hornblower in space' mould, they have had an edge
and an excitement about them as well as a well fleshed out back plot
and a consistent, (if slightly difficult to believe), technical and
This book again has all three of those ingredients.
Starting with Honors return to her adopted homeworld where she was some time
ago made one of the planets aristocracy, we learn that she will be returning to active
duty with the fleet which is assembling in that system.
In the fullness of time, while awaiting that fleet to assemble, Honor and her
detachment of cruisers is assigned a fill in mission. A quick 1 month
round trip of convoy duty to sharpen up the crews.
What isn't planned for however is the fact that their destination has been
retaken by the enemy. honor is flying into a trap.
After a brief engagement, Honor is taken captive. Due to the high profile she has
among the Peoples Republic of Haven, she is by sleight of words, accorded the
status of convicted murderer and denied the rights that a captive officer would normally
She is sentenced to be hanged on a prison planet 3000 light years away from the nearest
Will she escape, well of course she will. How and when make up the best part of this book.
The final three chapters.
These last 50 pages or so contain all of the excitement, tech. spec. and political background
which make this series a delight to read, in perfect measure.
Which makes this book all the more difficult to criticise, but criticise
This novel takes an absolute age to get going. At least a third of it is in my estimation,
padding. I am sure Weber does not get paid by the word so it cannot be that. However, While
browsing in my local bookshop I noticed the hardcopy of the next book.
whereas every other book has been totally standalone, (although it is best to read them in order),
what we have here is one story in two books.
This was confirmed when I got to the end of this book to find that the story was barely half over.
Honor and a small party of Naval crew remain on the prison planet, albeit not in captivity.
there is a small matter of finding a hyper capable spaceship, escaping the planet and returning 3000
light years to friendly space.
This will happen in book 2.
Which could explain just why there is so much padding in this book.
Could it be that a 2 book deal had been struck ? with a tight deadline and
only one idea fleshed out? I am sure I could not have resisted the temptation to
fill some space with a *lot* of backplot, possibly pre written, to turn one book
Is that what happened ? You decide.
I leave you with this thought. Not withstanding the criticicm I have just leveled,
I am going to find it a tough job not to break my self imposed rule of only buying
The story has me hooked. I wan't to know what happens next. That is the true measure
of the author.
Visit the author of this review