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Stop me if I've said this before...but it's time we all admitted that Honor Harrington has become Jack Ryan. Oh, not in every respect, but let's face it, she's not following the trajectory of Horatio Hornblower any more. The relatively slim novels of naval derring-do amidst the stars have become gargatious tomes laden with all manner of political skulduggery, diplomatic hoo-ha, and (God save the mark!) blueprints. All that remains now is playing the parlor game of figuring out who the John Clark and Ding Chavez of the Honorverse are, to say nothing of the Foleys; we already know who Admiral Cutter was played by.

Yes, actually.

On to Storm from the Shadows, which starts with an excessively long introduction explaining why Admiral Dame Alexander-Harrington isn't dead like Nelson (when she was supposed to be), why books in the Honorverse are multiplying like rabbits, and how exiled mutant treecats have actually been behind not only the Peoples' Republic of Haven but Manpower as well. Okay, just kidding about that last part. Weber does explain that a lot of material that seems repetitious is necessary to hold the various tracks of the Honorverse together, and that there's no C&P going on since different points of view are used. Which explains why a lot of action that is shown explicitly in At All Costs happens again just offstage in Storm from the Shadows, and it's okay.

By and large, this is an okay book, although I think a lot of the bureaucratic nattering could have been cut with no loss to the basic plot, and we could also have been spared the high-level foreign policy noodling between Queen/Empress Elizabeth and her advisers, which has more to do with the main Honor Harrington Manticore v. Haven plot line than the developing clash between Manticore and the Solar League Navy in the Talbott Cluster. I think that if those two items had been cut, we could have had a satisfactorily explosive climax to the book rather than a cliffhanger ending, but hey, he's the best-selling author and I'm not. Recommended if you enjoy the Honorverse, not recommended as a stand-alone novel, no, not in the least.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
danae
Jul. 14th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
Honor was never supposed to follow Horatio Hornblower, she's supposed to parallel Horatio Nelson I believe. I had like a 3 hour conversation with David Weber about where the books are going at CONvergence 3 years ago.
wombat_socho
Jul. 15th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
Right, but since C.S. Forester modeled Hornblower on Nelson, it's a distinction without much of a difference. With Weber having decided not to kill off Harrington, she's become even more like Hornblower...who also wound up marrying into a politically powerful family and being promoted to Admiral. Although Harrington did it the other way 'round...
haikujaguar
Jul. 15th, 2009 01:28 am (UTC)
Ah, I hadn't realized the new book was out. I wonder if there's an e-book yet, I'm too lazy to drag a hardcover around.

I admit the political stuff is getting rather weighty. I wish he'd take a scalpel to some of it.
wombat_socho
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:35 am (UTC)
There's an audio book version out, but (oddly) Baen doesn't have it out as an e-book yet. As for the political stuff, I don't mind it so much, but in a book that was 90% focused on the Talbott Cluster, the high-level strategy noodling felt out of place. Maybe it's just me.
haikujaguar
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
That is odd for Baen. o_o

I like the political stuff, but I think Weber uses too many words! He needs to use less words. He could get the same message across. -_-
wombat_socho
Jul. 15th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
This is a common problem with technothrillers...the last couple of Jack Ryan novels were damn near unreadable because none of Calncy's editors were willing to tell him he needed to make cuts.
luned
Jul. 15th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
I haven't read this yet due to inertia + fear (people I know are joking that the only way I'm going to get it done during the season is if Seth McClung lands on the DL, and they are right)
wombat_socho
Jul. 15th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC)
Well, instead of making like Rogers Hornsby and staring out the window all winter waiting for the 2010 season, you can get caught up on your SF. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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