Saturday, March 25th, 2006
3:26 pm - At All Costs  
Okay, three quarters of this was much better than the previous Honor Harrington novel. Doesn't mean it still couldn't have been edited down by half. I will admit that there were far fewer pages devoted to interstellar politics than the last couple of books, so they didn't drag so much as they did last book. There were more battles, which was good, except that Weber continues with his large numbers fixation in terms of talking about warships and missiles and such. After a while, reading that 150,000 missiles are inbound towards Harrington's task force just doesn't impress any more, especially as he whittles them down as if he was rolling dice in a sim. (Tom Clancy and Larry Bond pioneered this approach in Red Storm Rising, but it wasn't nearly so obvious as it is here.) The battles certainly could've been edited down a lot.

There were also far fewer pages on Harrington's personal life than in the past, but the one's that were there almost totally sucked the life out the narrative. There are eye rolls aplenty as Honor discovers she's pregnant, the result of having forgotten to renew her birth control implant. WTF? No big deal for her career, as she has the baby placed in an artificial womb so that she continue to hare around the galaxy. She's more concerned about how single motherhood will play with the Graysons, so she enters into a Catholic Church sanctioned group marriage with White Haven (the father), and his other wife, Emily. Emily, just to keep up her end, decides to have a baby as well. Damn, my eyes got sore. I really am beginning to prefer the two new Honorverse series because they don't feature HH.

Still, most of this was better than the last couple of HH books. As usual, and despite the eye rolling parts, it's a page turner. A lot of familiar characters meet their ends along the way, and the final battle is a tense affair, with the outcome certainly in doubt.

There is one other incredibly neat thing about this edition in that comes with a CD containing every one of David Weber's books and collaborations in several electronic formats. That's almost worth the price of admission alone.
 
 
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