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.
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.
I would like to LOVE this series but the narrator is not very good at this type of narration. She makes the battle scenes boring and reminds me of a newscastor rather than an actor. She would probably be perfect for some other type of series but this is sci-fi with tech heavy dialogue and intricate descriptions of battle in space. She also seems flat and emotionless during romantic moments, tragic moments and periods of self reflection. The stories come off as one dimensional and at first I thought the problem was with the writer. but, sorry, no. It's the reader. Compare her narration with those of the "Lost Fleet" narrator and see what I'm getting at.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Though she???s a woman and not a diplomat, Honor Harrington, the highly competent and well-respected Manticoran Navy Captain, has been assigned a diplomatic mission to a planet run by a patriarchal religious cult. Why would the Manticorans send an aggressive woman with no diplomatic skills on this type of mission? There???s only one possible reason: to try to make The Honor of the Queen more interesting...
I wasn???t thrilled with On Basilisk Station, the first book in the Honor Harrington series, because there was too much exposition about military tactics and spaceship dynamics and Honor was too perfect and seemed cold and distant. I decided to read The Honor of the Queen because I already had purchased it in audio and I was hoping Honor would be more relatable as we got to know her better. Actually, she does seem more human, going on an almost murderous rampage at one point and becoming teary-eyed at another. Weber begins to make it clear that Honor has emotions, but we rarely see them and she???s such a Mary Sue that it???s difficult to feel comfortable with her. Even her homicidal rampage was more righteous than reckless.
But my biggest issue with the Honor Harrington series is that the plots so far (I???ve read only the first two books), though exciting at times (e.g., the big space battles at the ends) are constantly being interrupted by dull exposition about base and closing velocities, acceleration rates, missile weights, engagement times, energy ranges, magazine sizes, projected courses, etc.
This material does not have to be dull. As I read, I kept comparing it to Patrick O???Brien???s Aubrey/Maturin (Master and Commander) novels which have analogous plots (just at sea instead of in space). Those books contain a lot of information about warships and naval tactics, but they are immensely entertaining because the protagonists are real people with interests, hobbies, relationships, problems and faults.
To be fair to David Weber, it is certainly possible that my disappointment is partially caused by Allyson Johnson???s narration of the audiobooks. Her voices are pleasant, but she uses little inflection. I downloaded a free print copy of The Honor of the Queen at the Baen Free Library and read several pages that I thought were dull in the audio version. They were better in my head than they were on audio, but I still found myself skimming over some of the exposition (which is difficult to do with an audiobook). I???m not sure that any narrator is skilled enough to make The Honor of the Queen exciting for me or to get me past the glaring problem with the premise of Honor being sent as a diplomat to a misogynist society.
I think I???m finished with Honor Harrington, which is too bad because I spent one of my Audible credits on the third book.
I'll read anything, fiction, nonfiction, sci fi, mystery, young adult, even a romance if it is well written.
The story is a little heavy in technical descriptions and battle detail for my taste. The narrator's various accents are very strange, but they are consistent. The story is good and is what kept me going through the first three of the series, but I was disappointed by the somewhat flat handling of character interactons and motivations.
Best: the story
Least: the narration
The narrator has an odd way of emphasizing too many words. So that there seem to be quotation marks around phrases - not required by the storyline.
The voice chosen for the lead character sounds like a petulant teen. The narrator's own baseline voice would have been a better choice. Captains don't whine.
Read it in print and return the audiobook.
Narration can make or break an audiobook. American narrators often have an odd inflection, that I don't hear in narrators from the UK. It's as if they think it has to be "really serious."