After long last Honor Harrington arrives at Audible. David Weber's Military Sc-Fi series finally gets the Audio Treatment It deserves. 11+ books and growing. The narrator tries to match Honor's inflections with mixed results as her voice is Hit or Miss with the Others. Honor's Origin story is filled with intrigue and mystery. Weber does an excellent Job of seeing through the eyes of not only Honor But her enemies and crew as well. Weber's Universe is filled with semi-realistic science with the battles matching sea Battles rather than the super quick Star Trek types. The Battles will last for chapters and pages and seen from inside both ships. If you don't mind long exposition you'll enjoy the Book. Fans should have little worry.
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.
I have everything David Weber has written either as a real book (he's classed as "Buy In Hardbound", which few authors in my library have achieved) or eBook. The book is great. It's an extremely good series about Honor's rise to prominence over her career. That's the good part.
The bad part: the narrator. For the love of all that's holy, is it impossible for these readers to know their subject material? How this one reconciles the pronunciation between Manticore and Manticoran is beyond me. There are other similar issues, but this one is like a knife to the ears every time. Some of here characterizations are crazy. In a universe set hundreds of light years from Earth, where do all these French and Cockney accents come from?
I've already resigned myself to having to live with this, since I'm determined to own the series. Please, producer, remember that there's a difference between being able to read and doing so competently. This one falls far short. My rating is for the story. The reader should be given one star. Or maybe even go into negative territory.
Intense, active, complex
That despite the chaos dumped in Honor's lap, she still is human. She hasn't been given super-human abilities to cope and like all humans, she does have a breaking point. When dealing with a listless crew, suspected smuggling problems and superior officers who try to squash careers, I'm sure most people would have given up, yet Honor's resilience is realistic.
Before the Honor Harrington series, I had not heard any performances from Allyson Johnson.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
Story - Since this is the first of the series, it begins with a lot of background information, character building and somewhat confusing politics, but after that's out of the way (hopefully), there is a lot going on. There is interesting crew dynamics, a mystery to solve, battle strategies to plan and plenty of actual combat. Honor is a smart, strong and dedicated starship captain who is determined to fulfill her duties regardless of risk, and I think her duties will provide for an excellent sci-fi series!
The book is not exactly what I'd call an "easy listen," but neither is it mentally or emotionally taxing. It comes to a satisfying conclusion, so it can stand alone as a story.
Narration - This narrator does a great job. I love it when men sound like men and women sound like women, and she does both sexes well. Not only that, she does some pretty decent Irish, French and Spanish accents.
Overall - This book is not a must-hear, but it provides some good background information which may be helpful if you continue the series.
I had no idea what to expect when I started this book as I found it by accident. I was hooked almost immediately, and now (to the chagrin of my wife) I'm hooked on the entire series! David Weber does an excellent job of mixing action sequences, political drama, religion, believable technology, and a contagious sense of honor and duty into his stories. It's easy to accidentally start
My favorite aspect of the story is it's depth and believe-ability (in the context of the universe it exists in). It's easy to put yourself right into the story as an observer, and what a great seat to have!
too hard to pick just one stand out moment!
A must read for sci-fi, and especially military sci-fi fans. Even if you THINK you might like it, give it a try!
Honor Harrington's world is one of my favorites. Allyson Johnson's voice took some getting used to but it is worth doing that to have the characters brought to life as she does it. I highly recommend this book and the rest of the series for those who enjoy complex plots and characters.
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!