Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ashes of Victory - David Weber

Ashes of Victory
David Weber
Baen Books
Copyright: 2000

Back cover blurb:

For eight bloody years, the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its allies have taken the war to the vastly more powerful People's Republic of Haven, and Commodore Honor Harrington has been in the forefront of that war.

But now Honor has fallen, captured by the Peep Navy, turned over to the forces of State Security ... and executed on the interstellar network's nightly news.

The Manticoran Alliance is stunned and infuriated by Honor's death and grimly resolved to avenge it. Yet their military is over-extended and the People's Republic is poised to take the offensive once more, this time with a new strategy, new weapons, a new command team, and a whole new determination to win. The war is about to enter a phase of unprecedented ferocity . . . and the Alliance is on the short end of the stick.

But even as powerful Peep fleets hurtle towards their objectives, neither they nor the Alliance are aware of events occurring on a distant, isolated, inescapable prison planet called Hell. For what no one knows, not even State Security, is that Honor Harrington is not dead. She and a handful of her people are trapped on Hell, and determined to disprove the Peep boast that no one can ever escape it. Honor Harrington is going home, and taking her people with her... even if she has to conquer Hell to do it.

While this was another exciting volume of the Honor Harrington series, I felt that it too had aspects of the 'train wreck' that I've commented on before about this series. Of course, my feeling that way quite possibly comes from both the fact that I've been reading my way through this series without too many breaks in the last two months, and also the fact that I've read the book before, although that was several years back.

Still, David Weber hasn't lost his knack for writing exciting action scenes, be they space battles or otherwise, and no matter how many times I've read the books before, I still found myself holding my breath at the climax: "Will she survive this one, or has the Salamander finally found a fire too hot?".

If you're looking for strong characters that aren't perfect along with a well-created universe - detailed, but with plenty of scope for growth in future books, this series is definitely a good one for you. The physics "work" within the world Weber has created, but also have the feeling that they could work here, if we only had the technology, making it easy to suspend your belief for the duration of the story.

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