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.