I enjoyed the first book enough to give this one a chance. However, from the description I thought it was going to a poorly done commentary on gender equality. I expected to hate it.
It was actually well done and handled well. I suppose a big part of it is many of the "bigots" end up being fairly reasonable and accepting of Honor in a fairly short period of time (though they do have significant motivation to do so). The focus of the story still ends up being large space ships maneuvering around.
I'm not sure if this story needed to have a focus on gender politics. But I suppose as an "alien" culture, it worked as well as any other.
In the end this story was more than good enough to transform me from someone experimenting with this series, into someone who decided to read the series.
The plot is very much like the first book, wherein Haven seeks to dupe Manticore to gain advantage for the upcoming war and Honor manages to thwart them. It was okay and there was an exciting part where Honor and her tree cat get to show some martial arts skills. The only thing that bugged me was the narrator failing to express the appropriate emotions. It was mostly jarring because the writing kept saying that someone's voice was cold or angry or sad and then the narrator read their part exactly like every other time.
Anyway, if you liked the first one this is more of the same.
Excellent story as with the first book. Narration sounds more natural to me (the narrator was getting noticeably better through the first book). Maybe I'm more used to the context/viewpoint switches now than in the first, but it was easier to keep track of who was talking and what was going on where.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
The Second book in the Honor Harrington universe and it's a big step up from the first in the series. This book features Honor and co. visiting the planet Grayson and attempts to sign a treaty to help in the upcoming war against Haven. Haven in the mean time is teaming up with the Masadan's whose arch enemy are the Graysons. Both countries are religious fanatics and believe that women should not be soldiers, much less captains. It's up to Honor to work through the prejudices and get the treaty signed without letting Masada destroy Grayson and try to stop war between Haven and Manticore.
This is a big step up from the first book. The stakes are higher and there's a much more complete story here. Weber lets us know that no one is safe in the Honorverse, and there are repercussions for everyone's actions. I thought that the story was really fleshed out with the politics of Grayson and Masada and their philosophies around religion, women and politics.
Allyson Johnson does a great job with her cast, but there's a point where speech patterns change for a character and she doesn't quite hold it together for the rest of the book which is understandable as it would be very difficult to narrate that for a large portion of the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more about Honor Harrington and the world he's created.
No, yet as I make that flat out statement, I do not wish to take away from Ms Johnson's talented reading skills. In the first book I was prepared not to like the way she read. Well. ... . maybe that is only a half truth. I was determined not to like the way she read. But, by the end of the fourth chapter, I was willing to admit that she was not bad, still not good by any means but not bad. By the end of the seventh chapter she was getting better and by the end of the ninth chapter we were old friends.
She continues her high level of reading into the second book as well. So, if I think this highly of her reading skills why do I still think that personal reading is better. . .? When you read a book on your own you need to be so wraped up in the reading that you literly climb into the book and let it transport you to the time and place you are reading about. When someone elser is reading to you, your mind has a tendency to wander more often than when you personally read the text.
Again Weber makes several memorable moments in his books and this one is no excception. The best I believe is when Nimitz and Honor show their willingness to get up close and personal with the assains that attempted to assinate Proctector Benjamine.
Another when Honor proves human and looses control and slaps Reginald Houseman across the room and again at the Blackbird base and had to be restrained by Scotty Tremaine.
And once again in the final battle as to how her people again and again surpass the best that can be done to reach mythic proportions. We have many stories of such daring in extream crisis throughout the history of mankind and each and all can be attributited to the mark that one person made upon another by great sacrifice in the face of adversity.
The final run for Grayson by the Masadan's who had finally figured out that all they had to do to defeat Harrington was to keep coming and pounding away at her because their ship was bigger, meaner, and tougher. She could not last. Honor realizing this and having already made up her mind that it would be her final attempt to stop or slow them down, turned to the communications office and requested that Hammermill be played as they made the final run.
Curage, Guts, and integrity . . . . Honor Harrington makes Horatio Hornblower look like a Pansey!
I have read every book in the Honor Harrington universe twice over and listened to all at least once. Many people complain about his (Mr Weber) penchant for techno babble. . . . . if a world class chef cooks me a prim cut of steak and it is the best in existance. . . . I will listen to him tell me how he is going to prepare it and tenderize it and flavour it and any other thing he wants to tell me, as long as he delivers the most magnificent piece of meat I have ever eaten!
Honor of the Queen is the second of the Honor Harrington series, picking up where the last book left off (Captain Harrington assigned a new task, essentially that of protecting a planet and a diplomatic mission). The story itself is entertaining as military-SF and I recommend the book -- not, I should clarify, because David Weber writes great pose but because he tells an engaging story. The series is popcorn fiction at its best, if you know what I mean.
Allyson Johnson narrates the second book much as she did the first, so if you enjoyed the first you'll no doubt enjoy the second. For my own part though ... I have to say that I enjoy Allyson Johnson's "normal voice" reading fine -- she has a pleasant tone, clear diction, and an engaging style. Her character voices, however, I struggle with. In my opinion, she reads most of her characters with an overly expressive emotional range, and with the same affected style where she pauses mid-dialog in almost every conversation (as if none of her characters never think through what they say before they say it). To my ear the voices just do not come sound military or even particularly competent at times. I'm not sure the fault is entirely Allyson Johnson's -- some of Weber's dialog is pretty bad -- but oh how I notice the badness so much more listening to this reading than I do reading the book myself!
Anyway, if you are a Weber fan, you are going to buy it anyway, right? I mean, what choice do you have :) If you are not a Weber fan, I recommend that you read his first Book (On Basilisk Station) before listening to the audio, if that's an option for you. And hey, tastes vary -- you may even love Allyson Johnson's narration. Many do.
After finishing this I have to repeat what I said about book 1. The lack of fun and character relationship renders the novel quite plain. The plot is all about bald action with only a few twists here and there. The character relationships are too straightforward. The novel is missing spice and adventure, the thrill, it feels plain. Narrator is quite ok and certainly makes effort to render the novel more interesting.