I am a fan of Mr. Weber's work and have read the other books in the series. I enjoyed the story and the view into other pieces of the Honorverse. I will echo some of the other reviews - this is not a good place to start the series, nor is it a stand alone novel. Without the introduction given by previous previous novels to many of the characters, I'd find it impossible to keep them straight and wonder why I cared about them. If you have read the rest of the series however, you gain further insight into characters that have played a supporting role before.
The story was intriguing, and clearly is setting us up for the next chapter in the Honorverse. I feel like Mr. Weber found himself with too many Havenite characters that he respected/admired for them to continue to be the bad guys, and went looking for a more vile villain. Thus enters ManPower as more than just greedy, unscrupulous minor players but as an organized conspiracy with a bigger, more ambitious agenda.
My criticism of this audio book is with the audio. As other reviewers have noted, the narrator is not adept at female voices. With so many of them, including the main character, it was a distinct distraction. Coupled with his mispronunciation of "Manticoran" (ManTICoran instead of MantiCORan) I found the narration to interfere with the story.
I also found that parts of Mr. Weber's writing style just don't translate well into spoken word. He tends to add a lot of numerical and technical detail in his stories that I thoroughly enjoy when reading hardcopy, but make for clunky narration. When writing about "meters per second" (and other such descriptors) the m/s is nothing but a visual blip - easily ignored by the reader if they so chose. Spoken out it starts to intrude into the narrative and interrupts the flow of information.
Overall a good book, if you're a fan of the series I'd go for it. If not, start with On Basilisk Station
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