The narrator is fine. Weber has created a strong character in Harrington and all of us avid readers have developed our own interpretation. Once you've calibrated to the reader, she's great. The story is ok, but the point of this book is developing the character of Harrington. It's a fine start to an epic tale that I've enjoyed reading twice. It's a great listen.
This is the first in a series of Honor harrington books and it is a fantastic beginning. I would highly recommend listening to this series (now 12 books soon to be 13). If you like space opera this is absolutely good material. David Weber is great.
It's a shame audible does not make it eassier to listen to them in the correct oreder, because the order is really important.
But people can go to the honorverse wiki to find out what the correct order is.
This was an excellent book and contrary to other reviews unhappy about the reader i think she does an excellent job and makes the read very enjoyable!
I am surprised at the negative reviews for the narrator. She does a good job with characterization, and her voice fits the role well. She has the ability to render the voices of the female protagonist and male supporting characters well and believably.
The stories in this series so far (at this writing, I've read 1-3) are fun, light SF yarns. They are not deep, but they are well written, Harrington as a character is very easy to like, and I have trouble shutting them off when the drive home is over.
While I agree that it is VERY annoying when a pronunciation changes halfway though a series, this narrator has been consistent with her pronunciations throughout, and I don't think that such a criticism is well founded here. That's not always the case (Jim Dale's correct pronunciation of "Voldemort" with a silent "t" changing to an audible "t" after the 4th book in the Harry Potter series comes to mind), and I sure hope that authors will be more diligent about giving the narrators pronunciation guides at the series outset to prevent the problem. Again, though, this narrator has been consistent with her pronunciations throughout to this point.
I was worried about the narration from the reviews, but found it more than adequate.
The start of the story was a little slow, and I was wondering if it was going to be the average redemption story. But the naval/marine simultaneous engagement and great character development was totally worth it. I also liked the nod to Prince Roger.
Because I am a total nerd, I am going to write a Star Frontiers adventure based around this book.
Whether you read the book yourself, or listen to it with audible (which i've done both), you cannot help but to feel what the characters are feeling. David Weber used a great compilation of theories and great story telling, so you feel what the character feels, and you know why they are doing what they are doing. The Narrator gives the book a life that it didn't have before as you get to "hear" the characters as they speak. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read, and if you can't read that well, this book is a good reason to learn. The rest of the books in the series only get better, but that's for another review.
I have never read any of the Honor Harrington series, so I did not have any fan axes to grind about pronunciation, etc. I was a little put off by other reviews complaining about the pronunciation of 'Manticorian' even when the author himself had posted a note explaining that any mistakes were ENTIRELY his fault and not the narrator's.
However, I must say that the narration IS something of an issue in the beginning of the book and during any non-dialog, exposition type scenes. The descriptions 'robotic' or 'newscaster-ish' are both completely true, IMO, for at least the first few chapters.
BUT- I do feel that the narrator really nailed the main character's voice and I found her voices for other characters to be easy to differentiate from one another and I had no issues with her accents. So for voices, I say she is fine, just rather bland in non-dialog scenes.
Somewhere around the fifth or sixth chapter, the narrator seems to get much more comfortable with the material and sounds less wooden. When the story improves and gives her more of interest to narrate, her voice warms up considerably.My instinct feels that her narration for the series will only improve as she continues on with these characters in later books.
I would have regretted putting this audiobook down early because of my frustration with it in the beginning chapters.
And not all of the things I didn't like can be laid at the narrator's feet either. I know this is a beloved series, and being a huge Vorkosigan fan, having been told this was similar space opera, I thought I would try it.
Although the character of Honor is likable enough, she is sort of a huge sci-fi chick cliche in some ways. She is about 40 standard- but looks 20 something. She is not classically beautiful, but the 'planes of her face' and 'deep chocolately brown eyes' and 'light soprano' all make her much more attractive than she seems to realize. She doesn't wear makeup or bother with doing her hair, but always looks crisp and attractive- you know the type of female we're talking about.
In fact, one of the things I found most irritating to listen to in the first several chapters is the ENDLESS way that her light soprano, ivory planes of her features and especially her deep chocolate brown eyes get inserted needlessly into paragraphs over and over again.
I get it that the author likes Honor and wants us to like her- but I also got what color her eyes were, how her voice sounded and the basic description the first five times you told us. It gets almost romance novel-ish the way it goes on- and not in a good romance-novel way.
Also, she has a magical (read sci-fi telepathic) six legged kitty cat! Which, ok, cool, I would love one, but it does seem a bit twee for a science fiction series. But I'm willing to suspend judgement here, because it seems like the tree cat might be more important to the series later on and it sort of reminded me of Pip and Flinx, which I loved as a kid.
But again- I kept listening and ignored these annoying little tendencies, and hurrah! I have been rewarded with a very entertaining sci-fi yarn with an engaging heroine, a relatively complex plot and well-written space battle and political scenarios.
The basic plot of new commander having to win over the ship's crew to her and fighting against the odds is nothing new, but Weber gives it an interesting enough spin and things liven up considerably once the Fearless is assigned to Basilisk Station.
Since this is the first in the series, I am willing to forgive it a few snags in the startup, and will be getting the next book. I can't say for sure that Honor and her kittycat and crew will become my new favorite space series, but this book turned out well enough that I am willing to ship out with them for another voyage.
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
Some have complained about the narration. Bunk! As a soprano voice (as the character is) she does a fine job. I loved the story and the narration was good. I base that on if I can follow the story while working at the computer - it was very good.
I enjoyed the book greatly. Those complaining of the narration I believe just are not used high voices. I will, when the time comes, purchase the rest of the series.
I was excited to see that the Honor Harrington series had finally been recorded - it's fantastic pulp fiction - and I was looking for something just like this to keep me occupied on the morning commute.
Imagine my disappointment when a newscaster started reading the book to me. I suppose I've gotten spoiled by narrators who actually tell a story, create characters, and place dramatic emphasis in the appropriate places. I've even been impressed with authors who read their own material and stress the importance of certain concepts. Unfortunately, this reader has the same vocal pattern for each of her sentences, be it exposition, action, or dialogue. And it sounds as if she's reading the news.
I'm very disappointed that she's apparently been contracted to record the entire series. I'll be greatly torn between wanting to listen to the rest of the books, and the amount of annoyance I'm willing to sit through to occasionally accidentally get lost in the story.
I give the book a 5 for being a great story.
I give the narrator a 1 for complete lack of understanding of the art of narration.