I like this series enough to keep reading it, but it's not the best thing I've ever read. It's strongest when it focuses on naval operations and the particularities of the far future setting. I enjoy the "Napoleonic Wars In Space," schtick. The political infighting within all the big nations is completely believable. The way the space technology works is extremely detailed, which is fine, and the way the setting re-creates an interesting historical period in the far future is a treat.
This book was a partial return to what made the first book successful. Honor Harrington does "Navy Stuff,"- she commands a starship, fights space pirates, makes life or death decisions, and suffers the consequences. The subplots are all set up well and all pay off. I particularly enjoyed the plight of the People's Navy officers who were too decent for their own good. The theme that civilized states, even when they fight one another, are all superior to barbarians resonates with me.
The series is weakest when it wallows in the protagonist's emotional life (for someone who has killed thousands of people in space battles she sure has a lot of angst about relatively minor problems), with the absolute low point in every book being when the space cats appear. Cats don't belong on naval vessels, ever, and should be thrown over the side, or out the airlock, whenever an infestation appears. These animals gain more intelligence, telepathic powers, and page space in each successive book of the series and are obviously not ever going to be killed, by anything, ever, despite how ridiculous they are. To me, they are the Jar-Jar Binks of the whole fictional universe. Maybe David Weber likes cats?
When Honor Harrington becomes an action hero, able to defeat anyone at their own game, I roll my eyes. This is the stuff of B-grade action movies. Since the tone of these books is light, perhaps I shouldn't complain about it. "Honor Among Enemies," only has one scene like this, but it's set up before hand (unfortunately that setup is a big clunker, having to do with a madman, a nuclear trigger, and an over-involved negotiation that I mostly skipped through.) The resolution was a surprise, using a "Chekov's Gun" that I'd mostly forgotten about.
The "Navy Stuff," is very well done. I served four years in the the US Navy, and the books have a good grasp of what it's like to be in the service. The "lower decks" subplot with Petty Officer Wunderman is sadly a very common experience. My understanding is that David Weber is a naval historian, and it shows.
All in all, this is a much better book than the previous entry of the series, which spent far too little time in space.
The narration is good. I don't know why so many people are annoyed by it, but with the main character being female dictates that a female narrator should be reading the book. The narrator does a much better job with the male voices than almost any male reader would do with female voices, and since Honor Harrington is doing most of the talking it makes complete sense. The one character that, to me, sounded silly died in book four. I can always tell the characters apart, and the foreign accents make sense given that this is the "Napoleonic Wars In Space."
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
While I like all the books in the series, this one is probably my favorite.
Wanderman's story is easy to relate to.
I have tried to adjust my ear to the chosen pronunciations of the reader but even after listening to 5 of the books I'm being pulled out of the story every time the home star nation of HH is mentioned to find my self screaming in frustration. Can't do it anymore. Love the books, just can't listen to them anymore.
I'm sorry to say that I keep trying to get used to the reader and , through all the books, I still have NOT. I'm ready to give up on the series because of the irritating narrator.
I agree that Audible should make an effort at a sequence order list.
I've read most of David Weber's Honor Harrington series so I thought I'd give the audio version a chance. Sadly, a terrible reader ruined what is otherwise a really good science fictions story. In most cases the narrator talks in a monotone with little differentiation between the various characters' voices. When not talking in monotone, the narrator spoke in an up and down cadence that becomes so annoying I couldn't finishing listening.
This is the third book that ends with Harrington winning the day in personal combat. The plot device is a bit old by now.