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.
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.