It's hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards conquest as the only option and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That's why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the Republic of Haven, and the planet Grayson is strategically situated to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office overlooked a “minor cultural difference” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet of Grayson are without rank or rights and Honor’s mere presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.At first Honor doesn’t take it personally. But, in time, such treatment becomes taxing and she makes plans to withdraw until Grayson’s fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning. Now, Honor must stay and prevail, not just for her honor, but for her sovereign’s, for the honor of the Queen.
A Note from Author David Weber
There's been some confusion—not to say, um, energetic debate, readers and fans being readers and fans—about the correct pronunciation of "Manticoran." The truth, alas, is that a stitch was dropped. An error occurred. A mistake was made… and it wasn't Audible's fault. It was mine. Before Audible recorded the very first Honor Harrington book, narrator Allyson Johnson and I not only corresponded by e-mail but actually spoke to one another by phone. She wanted to make absolutely certain she had the correct pronunciations for names, places, star nations, etc., and I tried to make certain all of her questions were answered. And so they were. Unfortunately, at some point in the process, I replied to one of her e-mails by telling her that "Man-ti-core-ahn" was pronounced "Man-tik-er-ahn." Exactly how this happened is more than I can say at this point, except to blushingly disclose that the original e-mail remains intact, confirming to all the world that it was, indeed, my fault. I can ascribe it only to a temporary mental hiccup on my part and crave your forgiveness. If, however, you must blame someone for the mix-up, that someone should be me and not Audible, who have done everything they could to get it right.
Listen to another Honor Harrington adventure.
©2002 David Weber; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Following in the best tradition of C.S. Forester, Patrick O'Brian and Robert A Heinlein! These hugely entertaining and clever adventures are the very epitome of space opera." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
The book is only saved by an exciting space-ship battle at the end. The rest of the time, the heroine does dumb stuff. The rabid patriarchal planet doesn't like women in command, so she runs off in a huff, allowing the rest of the navy to get clobbered. There is some satisfactory revenge as she wins the next space battle and there is real human pathos as she liberates some POW's but then she goes off half-cocked when she finds they've been killed or raped. Weber could've found a more inventive form of revenge. She saves the life of the patriarchal leader, leaving her with physical disabilities, but the leaders had already been pretty much convinced to accept women by then. If we had half star rating, I'd have given this only 2&1/2, not 3 stars.
Every character talks the same. I don't mean the narrator, I mean the dialog. Everyone across the known galaxy, no matter what planet they are from, use the same words and talk in the same way.
People say "Indeed, it is!" and "I see" all the time. This really drives me nuts. I mean if one character liked to say stuff like this, I'd get it, but everyone, even the backwards folks from obscure planets talk like this.
And everyone feels the need to clarify everything they say constantly, in the event that there is a small risk, and by risk I specifically mean a possible communication breakdown, that you might misunderstand, and/or accidentally misconstrue, misinterpret, or otherwise not quite correctly comprehend the intended meaning of what they are trying to tell you.
Yeah, that's how characters talk. It's like a book about robot space laywers. They almost all talk the same, and very few characters stand out with any kind of personality other than some obvious background traits that seem to have no effect on how they act or behave, like : 'this guy is good with a plasma gun' or 'this guy used to be a smuggler'
No. I mean, the plot was ok, but that was about it.
She's ok. I had no problems with the narration.
It's a plot, with robotic characters plugged in. The plot was ok.
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."
The interaction between Honor and the crew. She was facing some difficult choices, and like any commander, some were life threatening. She chose to commit her forces, even though success was not guaranteed.
When she had to commit a ship to the fight, when she knew it may be destroyed, but it was necessary for mission success.
When she was awarded controll over one of the agro domains.
This is an interesting take on what it would be like to serve in a space Navy. This is the second, and hearing the first may be helpful, but I had trouble keeping up with where we were and if the enemy was speaking, or not. Suggest you keep a list of characters as you go. The performance was good, but not great. The voice was picked for the heroine, but it didn't morph well into the other characters' personnas. Lots of death and blood and space battles, with redeeming honor.
Enjoyed it, but don't think I will get the rest of the series.
Miscast. Clarity. Misplaced emphasis. That's four.
I liked the feminist twist to a sci fy story. If you like excellent description of combat between battleships, you'll like this book. The star ships maneuver like sailboats at light speed in a vast three dimensional ocean. Cool, but not really my thing.
The protagonist is a female captain in the royal navy of her planet Manacor ( wasn't that the name of an evil company, in the TV series "Angel," who made super soldiers of children and put bar codes on their necks?) Anyway, Honor battles her way out of impossible situations directly or indirectly against the socialist planet "Haven." The two planetary systems vie for territory in the form of other inhabited planets.
In this particular book Honor comes up against two planets where the men totally subjugate the women. So Honor has to save a planet for people who won't accept her against an even more fanatical planet.
Sometimes there is a phrase in a book that really kicks one out of the books and causes one to think about the phrase thus not listening to the book. Honor, the protagonist, periodically folds her "arms under her breasts." I am a woman and I can't figure out how to do that. I can hod my arms under my breasts but fold them? No. Perhaps Honor has extra long upper arms or maybe her breasts are extra high and perky, up closer to her shoulders... Well the men in the book only fold their arms but Honor has to fold hers under her breasts. Well, I thought maybe someone would have given the author a clue but again in the second book still has Honor doing it again while men merely fold their arms.
Okay, David Weber's series is feminist and for that I applaud him but it is written for teenage boys. Lots of action. I guess teenage boys do need to learn that women are created equal.
"A pretty good second showing"
This book is subtly different to the first in the series, 'On Basilisk Station'. And in my opinion, not quite as good. But before you dash off thinking 'aw it's rubbish then'. You need to note how great I thought the first one was. It was great!
As with all second books, this one takes less time to paint the universe that it is set in. But still repeats a substantial chunk of the first book in explaining the physics and politics that make up such a large part of the appeal (for me at least) of this series. I can understand this... You don't want to alienate new readers. But I made the effort of starting at the start. I know this stuff... move on.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a pretty damn fine book. But it was not as compulsively grabbing as the first. And to be honest this does not surprise me hugely. How many series can you name where the second coming is as good, or even better than the first with less than 3 years between them (these were seperated by 14 months). After all, perfection takes time.
But do not be despondant. It is still great. There is more of an emphasis on space combat in this book. It still has it's fair share of political shinanigans, this time mixed with a pinch of religious zealotry. The twists are equally twisty. And there is an added level of grit that brings it a couple of steps further into the adult arena. The tension and build up is still there. But this time it did feel faintly contrived. Personally, I am just putting this down to the fact that I listend to 'Basilisk' and this book, back to back.
In short. It is well worth you attention. But I would recommend that you leave a gap between listening to 'Basilisk' and this one. It is a seriously good listen. But that delay will prevent the 'It IS good, but not quite as tight as the first' comparisons.
Look, I still gave it four stars!!! It's good. Honest!!!
Great novel and wonderful audiobook. I live Allyson Johnson's interpretation.
"Book 2 of the Honor Harrington series."
Just like the first Honor book,On Basilisk Station, this is great sci-fi and 'space opera'. The reader's still ponderous, but you get used to her.
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