On Basilisk Station is probably one of the very best sci-fi books I've read in a while, and that's saying quite a bit. It's more in the realm of hard sf than I'm used to, but I have to admit that the stronger presence of science didn't interfere at all. The writing is tight, events move quickly and the characters are all interesting. It's a tribute to the author that some of the most tense scenes in the book are when Captain Harrington is having a meeting with an antagonist and the scene with members of the crew are just as exciting. There is no wasted time or effort in this book, just good writing.
The main criticism I have for this book is the narrator. Allyson Johnson may not be the voice of Siri (the assistant on the iPhone), but she sounds pretty danged close. Her performance is stiff, awkward and the phrasing is bad. I look at the series, and find that I get depressed when I see that Johnson narrates pretty much all of them. The book is great. The narration... let's just stick with the book, shall we?
As I said, pretty much everything in this book shines. The events don't necessarily keep you guessing as to what's going on, but there's enough intrigue there to keep it interesting until the end. The only criticism that I've heard of it (from my wife) is that there is some harsh language in it. I didn't count, but when something gets really tense, characters aren't against dropping the f-bomb, which might put some people off. I'm not one of those people. But it's a caution you might want to keep in mind if you are. That being said, this is also a story about military stuff, so there's going to be some literary blood and gore. Again, if you're not put off by it, go nuts. It's a great read, and one that you won't regret diving into.
Yes - the story really pulls the listener in.
The other Honor harrington books
A pacing and a sense of dramatic reality.
It made me cry
I am very glad i found out about this series. It has given me hours of pleasure. I am occasionally frustrated trying to keep track of the characters, but in the end this is a very fully realized universe.
Just a Latino living life in NYC
I will not continue reading the Honor books. I found the plot to be good but I didn't like the "too many attention to details" that Mr. Weber concentrated on. It made the book drag for me. I though Allyson Johnson did a good job - event though I hated Honor's voice. I would try another book that Ms. Johnson is the reader on!
I would not recommend On Basilisk Station to my friends. Even though it was interesting and I wanted to see how it ended, I found the book frustrating with too many details.
I wanted to read the book on the recommendation of Steve Gibson (Security Now Podcast). He introduced me to the wonderful worlds of Peter F Hamilton but I just did not find David Weber to be my cup of tea.
The main character
The marines on the planet fighting the drug crazed natives.
The reconciliation between Mckean and Harrington
I really like the story. The universe is really well thought out. The story is multi faceted. All and all a good take on space travel and space warfare.
This that said the narrater is really bad. We listened to this cross country. My wife (big scifi fan) couldn't listen to it. The most memorable part of the trip was: we where listening to the book on my phone when the GPS came on and told us to turn left, it was the same voice as the narrator.
Well now of coarse I am 65, but still a great fan of Audible
The story kept me listening and being involved, in a way that is unusual for me, I was up until the wee small hours, just so I could see how it ended. Talk about "nail biting", I was on the edge of my seat by the end, and a complete Honor Harrington fan. I have just downloaded number two. David Weber I think you are great.
The story twisted and turned, but you could always keep up with it, but had no idea how it would finish up, right up to the last five minutes.
As I have recently gone blind, finding a narrator as good as Allyson Johnson is a very big plus. She handles all the voices and accents like a champ. I just know I would not have read this book if the sample had not hooked me in the first place, then the story reeled me in. So yes Allyson Johnson brought the book alive for me.
I did not laugh or cry, but I was enthralled and trying to help Honor on, right up until the end.
I just know I shall be reading the whole series, no matter what else goes on in my life. Honor Harrington is my kind of hero!
This was interesting, I found the storey good in depth and characters engaging. But the narration really does a number on this one.
Having read the print version some years ago,the audio was also most enjoyable.I thought Allyson Johnson did a wonderful job.
A more focused story experience, and hearing the story gives the listener a much different perception and reality than just reading.
It's not bad, but this is the setup for a long series and he spend a good deal of time discussing the political situation and how the technology works. I found the enemies plans a bit dull and the end resolution unsatisfying. I liked it enough that I'll try the next book at some point, hoping that now that things are setup he doesn't need to do it again and the story will thus be more satisfying.
The story is a fun one of Horatio Hornblower type set in future space-faring human society. Narrator is very good. The only thing that bothers me is her pronunciation of Manticoran (adjectival form referring to the home planet of the heroine, Manticore) as Man-tick-or-an. However, as Ms. Johnson is only following Mr. Weber's pronunciation notes, she can't be blamed. (Mr. Weber later said something to the effect that he must have been having a senior moment at the time, and the error was his. Very graciously, I might add.) It does jar, however, which is the only reason I'm not giving the book 5 stars.