This is my third review in the Honor Harington series – a military sci-fi series based heavily around “naval” battles in the skies. I believe the character is roughly based on the equally alliterated Horatio Hornblower books of yore. Minor spoilers are inevitable but nothing serious.
In Weber’s third Honor Harington book, our hero is placed in charge of a monster of a ship. She’s a highly decorated captain, recognized for her superior tactics as well as her political acumen. However, even in the future in space, some people think women don’t deserve to be in charge. That has been dealt with in this series briefly through Honor’s interactions with other cultures. This book focuses more on the internal naval struggles. Honor also matures a bit as a person in this one, although since Weber’s speciality is naval battles and not the depths of the human soul, those parts can be a bit cheesy. Anyway, people don’t read these books for character depth – onto the good stuff!
This book had several fantastic battle scenes – easily my favourite fight scenes since I read the Mistborn series several years ago. Weber swiftly and expertly lays out the geography and tactics of both the Royal Navy (the good guys) and the People’s Republic of Haven (booooo). There’s actually an addendum in this book explaining the different ship classes, weights, weapons capabilities, and more. I mean, this is next level stuff. This is Halo bestiary stuff. Understanding the capabilities, the crews, and the battlefields adds a lot of nuance and a chess-like quality to the book.
Is it literature? No. Was it super fun camping read with space lasers? Oh yes.
Two stars for characterization and overuse of the phrase “quirked his mouth”, 4.5 stars for fights. Simultaneous 1 and 5 stars for the cover art.