26 August, 2010

(Audiobook) Review - On Basilisk Station by David Weber

Honor Harrington is young and already looking to have quite the military career and she's just been given her first full-fledged starship, the HMS Fearless. But, almost immediately she learns, not everything's quite what it's cracked up to be.

The HMS Fearless, Harrington's new command, is stripped of its usual weapons systems and supplied with newer, less fully tested tech. Harrington and her crew suffer defeat after defeat during the fleet war games; adding fuel to the crew's disappointment with their new captain, not to mention getting them sent to the backwater of the universe, Basilisk Station.

While up to this point, Harrington's career had been more than promising, it's starting to look even more bleak as political maneuvering ensues and she is left in insurmountable situations. But... that's where Honor Harrington thrives the most.

On Basilisk Station [US] [UK] is the first book in David Weber's ongoing Honor Harrington series. This series is already at 12 books (yep, I'm a bit late to the game) and as far as I know and until I'm corrected, there's no end in sight.

After taking quite a bit of time for me to get into, and I'll address this in the Audio Commentary section, in the end I enjoyed On Basilisk Station. It's hard not to root for the underdog and that's where Honor Harrington spends most of the book - fighting against the odds.

Honor Harrington is just a hard character not to root for in general. She's calculated, cool under pressure, and really sticks it to anyone who thinks they can push her around. Those moments in the book are definitely the most fun whether it was outside forces or her own crew, but man does she stick it to them.

Audio Commentary

I have to admit, I had a hard time getting into this book, but the more I listened, the more I realized it was the audio portion itself, not the story or characters, that was preventing my full enjoyment. The narrator was really hard to follow as her voice was mostly monotone and boring.

Plus, most of the characters just had accents from different countries to distinguish them and I thought that was a bit odd.


On the other hand, the story, characters, and plot are all great, especially if you're a fan of military sci-fi. I do plan on continuing the series at some point, although the 12 book series does sound daunting, so I'll make no promises, although I'm captivated enough to want to read the next one.


3 out of 5 Stars (I think this would be higher had I read, not listened to, the book)

On Basilisk Station and The Honor of the Queen (Honor Harrington Book 2) are both available for free at the Baen Free Library.


bascule said...

"Plus, most of the characters just had accents from different countries to distinguish them and I thought that was a bit odd."

The same was done to "The Dreaming Void" Even the multiples, made my head spin at times wondering "Who is the Welsh bloke again?"

Bryce L. said...

@bascule - Haha, I was doing the same thing, especially when, at least as far as I can remember, nothing was ever specified as to country origins.

Thanks, that's good to know.

grega_g said...

Yea, Honor Harrington is my favorite series so far.
Bus as for number of books, its true there are 12 in main series, but there are also 4 analogies and 2 additional side series with 2 books each. See "Honorverse" wiki for publication/reading order

Anonymous said...

Love the Honor Harrington series! Trying to persuade my son to start reading it now.

Bryce L. said...

@grega_g - I didn't even realize there were so many outside of the main series, thanks for that info.

@jm - Good luck, I have a 6 week old and I'm excited to geek him out one day. :)