Review: Echoes of Honor by David Weber

Echoes of Honor (Honor Harrington, #8)Echoes of Honor by David Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was . . . maddening.

On one hand, it told the tale of Honor Harrington and crew trapped on a deadly prison planet and trying to escape with deadly risks, dangerous all-or-nothing chances, and a crew of ne’er-do-wells and unlikely bedfellows. Brilliant, awesome, edge of your seat sci-fi action adventure in the highest degree.

The other half was a technical manual and a struggle in politics on new technology that would change the balance of the fictional war that is the focus of the series. Total yawnsville. Worse, you *have* to read it, because if you don’t, you won’t understand a damn thing about what happens in the rest of the books.

I am reminded of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, which is about one half the awesome story you know from the Broadway musical and one half a political dissertation. And not Game of Thrones politics either. I skimmed the political bits.

Equal parts awesome and frustrating. But the essential story was fantastic, so I must rate it more highly than not.

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Baln’mazzad, les pyramides enterrées

Les voyages de Deryn Naythas

Sphère de cristal : Dronesh-Qual’nareeth

Type de monde : Sphérique rocheux

Taille : D (diamètre équatorial de 5 723km)

Rotation : 27 heures

Révolution : 402 jours

Lunes : Gal, Ohulu

Population : 78 543 Lirii, 46 521 Goshènes, 39 478 P’z’l kreen

Trame magique : Tellur resserrée, magie divine dominante

Le monde médian du système de Dronesh-Qual’nareeth est un vaste désert de sable bleu, balayé par des vents chauds se transformant fréquemment en tempêtes hautement destructrices. Seule une haute chaîne de montagnes équatoriales permet de briser ces dangereux phénomènes climatiques, qui rendent la majorité de la surface impraticable. Une flore s’est développée dans les profondes vallées protégées des vents, mais elle prolifère plus facilement à travers de vastes réseaux naturels de cavernes, creusées par des rivières souterraines qui restent les ressources majeures pour les peuples de Baln’mazzad. La faune à la surface est pour sa part composée de nombreux prédateurs du désert, qui…

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Review: In Enemy Hands by David Weber

In Enemy Hands (Honor Harrington, #7)In Enemy Hands by David Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This novel was excellent and hard to read. It was hard to read because most of it follows the story of Honor Harrington and her crew as prisoners of the People’s Republic of Haven, the enemy space empire, and Weber pulls no punches with the reality of a prisoner of war. Military fiction in the strictest sense, a lot of it also centers around ethical dilemmas facing soldiers of opposing navies and I really enjoy such things because for me, a story is all about the characters and how they react to things.

The series of events that lead to the novel’s conclusion are highly improbable at best and they somewhat stretch the suspension of disbelief if one is critical of plot points. However, I was still on the edge of my seat. Weber writes fabulous action. And also, this book, unlike many of his others, was refreshingly free of infodumps (mostly).

I doubt you would enjoy this novel as much if you haven’t read the rest of the series, however. A lot depends on previously established characters and relationships. You can still enjoy it, but many of the subtleties will be missed.

However, highly recommended and it might just be the best book in this series aside from Honor of the Queen.

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Review: Honor Among Enemies by David Weber

Honor Among Enemies (Honor Harrington, #6)Honor Among Enemies by David Weber
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was a big disappointment after the last two in the series.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s still worth reading, it’s full of dramatic tension, and you have to understand what went on here in order to understand the rest of the novels, but it bogs down in most of the first half with painful infodumps and the “downer” of Honor returning to the Manticoran Navy to a position well beneath her talents that puts her in an entirely unnecessary situation. I appreciate the realism of having good people pay for the unrelenting idiocy of others, but as the sixth book in a series I’m beginning to grow impatient with the system’s constant jerking around of Honor Harrington. Her devout loyalty to her Queen is one of the qualities we are meant to admire about her, but personally I don’t see why she doesn’t just tell all of them to take a walk and join the Greyson Navy full time. Certainly her promotion gives her more than ample justification and her new position as a head-of-state of an allied power assures that she will spend lots of time with her friends; more than she did as a mere Manticoran Captain. I think that stretches credibility and because it puts her in an unnecessarily bad situation that she had no real right being in, I find it frustrating and more than a little irritating.

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Review: Flag in Exile by David Weber

Flag in Exile (Honor Harrington, #5)Flag in Exile by David Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was truly excellent!

In disgrace after the events of Field of Dishonor, Honor Harrington goes into exile on patriarchal religious world Greyson to lick her wounds. The progressive leader of the planet’s unique society is wise enough, however, to recognize the opportunity that Honor represents. Having already given her a political position (roughly equivalent to a duchy) after previous events, he now appoints her to an Admiralty in his budding Space Navy as well. The rest of the novel deals with labyrinthine plots and plans as the more right-wing reactionary forces on Greyson react negatively to this “imposition”. The story confronts religious controversy, feminism and sexism, politics, progress vs. tradition, terrorism, and a host of other complex issues. And Honor handles all of this with a fantastic combination of patience, compassion, and righteous indignation. Weber manages to mostly avoid yawnful infodumps and keep the story rolling along at a delightfully quick pace. I thought it was awesome; one of the better books in the series.

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Arkkel‘zeer, les nécrolithes éveillées

Les voyages de Deryn Naythas

Sphère de cristal : Oss-Kyessat

Type de monde : Amorphe rocheux

Taille : C (diamètre équatorial de 847km)

Rotation : Aucune

Révolution : Aucune

Lunes : Aucune

Population : 2 873 Saadrah, 4 839 Nybarii

Trame magique : Vacuu renforcée, magie profane dominante

Jadis partie intégrante d’un monde tellurique, Arkkel’zeer fut projeté dans les Confins par la force d’un cataclysme à l’échelle cosmique. Peu après le début de l’Âge des Prétendants, une flottille Saadrah découvrit le planétoïde, où existait les vestiges d’un sanctuaire Clydön. Une cabale impériale avait longuement étudiée le vortex d’Oss, avant de disparaître.

Depuis lors, ce monde fut toujours occupé, et de grands ouvrages magiques permirent de le rendre habitable. Son noyau est un orbe d’une matière noire, huileuse, se cristallisant pour donner d’impressionnants nécrolithes, véritables monument d’énergie négative solidifiée. Ceux qui résident en ce lieu sont tous affectés par les pierres noires, qui peuvent redevenir liquide à tout…

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Press Release: Starfinder – Pathfinder in Space!

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Legion Archon

On behalf of John Reyst of d20pfsrd.com, we are pleased to announce the upcoming product, entitled “Starfinder”, brought to you by myself, and George “Loki” Williams.

“Starfinder” will be a primary guide to plan and play adventures in space. Travel between worlds, fight space pirates, or become one yourself! Discover new alien species and use amazing feats to help you become a great spacefaring vessel captain if you choose! Customize your vessel to create the perfect vehicle to suit your playstyle.

John will be releasing more details as they become available on d20pfsrd.com, so visit the website or d20pfsrd.com’s Facebook page for more information!

Of course, we welcome your questions!

d20pfsrd.com is the 2010 & 2011 recipient of a Silver ENnie award and publisher of several series of products that are on sale now at Paizo.com and DriveThruRPG.

Follow the link below for more information and to ask questions: