First, it's very irritating to find the main character present in fewer than one-third of the scenes in the book. Second, this particular book in the series ends in the middle of the action. Is this a soap opera or a novel?
If I am not reading I am listening to a story sometimes both.
I am new to the series and have just read or listened to all 12 books. I have not read the related books so yes this book was way out on a limb for me because despite all the words I mostly did not understand what was going on with the new characters and their evil intent. That may be my own fault but there was no way for me to know I needed to read those books first.
That being said I wonder at the reviews others wrote for this story.
I like the reader, she has read all 12 books and so the characters have been voice set since book 1. Why would she change anything in book 12? All the books have been wordy with lots of detail so that is not new either so I do not get these reviews that say ......they have read all his books but this last one is to wordy, to many details, the reader's voices are wrong?
Ok just my opinion...
Weber's already unintentionally funny overuse of the "suppressed mental grin" and similar expressions of olympian stoicism ring a cringe-making crescendo in this book. All of the characters use almost the exact same word choices and expressions and almost every single entry in the serial monologues includes one of the phrases, "on the other hand", "to be fair", or "to be honest". The forced descriptions of a dozen new characters was so uncompelling and boring that it took an effort not to skip it. Of course, they are all workaholic superpersons with superhuman attentions to detail, yet not one of them was remotely human, nor did Weber establish any reason at all why we should care who the hell they are individually.
The narrator was effective, but her habit of giving every other character her version of a thick accent was grating. Her talent for accents is impressive, but the accents were unnecessarily difficult to understand. I've worked with people from around the world and I can parse accents fairly easily, but without being able to see the face, a thick French accent, for example, is far more difficult to understand than a lighter touch would be.
I've hungrily gobbled up the entire HH series and many of the auxiliary sets of stories. I accept and even revel in the pulp elements of Weber's writing because his approach to speculative fiction is so inventive and workable that his reverence for workaholia and expressionless faces can normally be overlooked as minor flaws of a brilliant tale-spinner. As much as this book disappointed me, I still like reading David Weber and I will read, but probably not listen to, the next entry in the HH series.
I love the HH novels, and I have gotten very used to Ms. Johnson's narration, but this book never seems to end. Mr Weber has gone out of his way to destroy and wreak havoc on HH in more ways than in all of her previous "rides of the Valkyrie." Weber digs the grave so deep for the book's characters that I found myself just stopping the playback because the depression was just too much. He kills off some of our favorites as well, but we dont get the same emotional effect like when we lost Adm Raoul C.
Listening to the first two thirds of this book is a boring chore. It's all recap, bloated exposition and endless chatter that could have been done MUCH better and consisly..The book is not just slow, it crawls. There are hours of dialogue in which nothing happens and where minor characters do (and say) unimportant things. In one scene, we follow a team of marines through a captured ship, from the airlock to the bridge. Nothing happens. They don't even encounter anyone. Why was this in the book? The attack on the Manticore system is the big event of the book, but it feels very anti-climatic after listening for hours of drooning background. When compared to time wasted on the problems of prisoners, it really feels diminished. There are references to events from 'Torch' and 'Storm' which were never explained, and if you have not read or listened to them, you will be totally lost with this audiobook. I have read them, and I still got lost.
\If you are a HH fan, you will be disappointed. She is hardly in the book at all, when she is, she does not do anything. The book also ends on a huge cliffhanger, which is not at all typical for this series. I wanted to love it. It's been so long since we had a good solid HH book. But unfortunately I don't, and this isn't one! 3 stars, I gave 2 extra stars because HH is one of my favorite SiFi fictional character
I hate silly marketing questions designed to reveal.
Weber should be legally prevented from using the phrase, "but on the other hand". I have never seen an author who relies on dramatic dialog and writes some of the best space battle sceens I've ever read/heard rely on such a cliche this much. Literally every scene containing a substantiative discussion between characters, and they are numerous, used that phrase. His editors should be flogged.
David, where did you hide Honor...you ve lost the feel...you lost the story...and you have lost me...I always buy the Honor series...but its not the same...this book drags so badly you could eat the pages...and have something better than this book...the plot would have been great if only you had known what you were doing...you buried it under needless words...forgot the action...when I finished it..and it was hard to do so...the last page was the only good part of the whole book...it said...THE END.
I have enjoyed the Honor Harrington series for a long time. I do not know how many of these ebooks I have -- but a lot. I also enjoy David Weber's writing (usually).
Having said that, this could well be the worst book to which I have listened in over a year. It is very poorly written. The ruminations of all the characters goes on for hours. Arched eyebrows are everywhere, and there is zero action.
I will admit that I stopped after eight hours. The total audiobook is about 24 hours long, but the pain was just too great.
If someone makes it to the end of this terrible book, I would just like to know (out of curiousity) if anything ever happens. I am curious, but not enough to put up with the literal physical pain of an inappropriate reader reading a poorly written book well.
I would listen again. Will finish the series before going back trough to see if there is anything i missed.
David Weber is a brilliant Sci-Fi autor and I have read most of his book. I also have almost all of the Honor Harrington Audiobooks. It was a shame that Madeline Buzzard became "unavailable" because she did a splendid job. After that they changed to Merry Cane which was OK. I just bought book 12 and 13 and Allyson Johnson simply ruins it. Her thick Texan accent dosent fit all story and the characters, so I have decided to return both books. 5 minutes was more than I could bear.
Read the book
Don't buy the audiobooks of Honor Harrington with Allyson Johnson.
I'm expecting every chapter in the next book to begin with "dear diary", have a pink cover with unicorns and hearts drawn in the margins and be insane with glitter. The series as a whole is wonderful, but weber is wasting a lot of pages delving into all of the characters feelings, i say waste because he could have gotten the point across with much fewer pages. more pages do not equate a better story, i found myself seriously wishing i had bought the ink and paper book just so i could skip the constant dialogue about how everyone was feeling. this book and the previous could have been at least a hundred pages and hours shorter and the reader/listener would not have missed a thing. do i recommend it, yes, i also recomend that you go make yourself a sandwhich or catch up on the news or something when they start talking feelings trust me you won't miss a thing.