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16 October 2007 @ 09:47 pm
Guessing games  
I like guessing games. I am somewhere between 1/3rd and 1/2th (actually, 41% it turns out) of the way through "War of Honor," which seems to be the second to last book in the series. I'm not sure if the next book wraps up the series, or if it's just the last one that's been published. (They seem to come out intervals gradually lengthening from one every 6 months to one every two or three years.)

So here are my guesses as to what's going to happen in the rest of this book and in the next one:

I was really pissed by the ending of the previous book. Everyone getting killed was sad, High Ridge taking over the government and declaring a truce with Haven was appalling however.

Both from the back of the book and the foreshadowing so far it's clear that the truce isn't going to last much longer however. I expect that whether by Andermani design or some kind of mutual foul-up that Honor will end up in a shooting war with them at Sidemore Station. The rather weak forces she got sent out there with will be totally outclassed and in the process of getting their asses handed to them when the "Protector's Own" force which is oh-so-conveniently making its secret way out to meet her will show up just in time to save the day.

Meanwhile they'll finally figure out where the seventh wormhole nexus at Manticore goes, and it will turn out to be of critical importance. Something of either great strategic or economic value (either short term or long term.) I'm not sure where that would be though, they already have a wormhole into Solarian space, and they already have one into Haven space. Perhaps right next to Sol or the Haven homeworld? Perhaps into Silesia space? (But the Andermani wormhole is already pretty close to there...) Perhaps to some very long range wormhole out to some well developed area on the other side of the Solarian league? Perhaps further out into frontier to some area that isn't settled at all but has some huge potential economic value?

Whatever it is, this windfall will be one of the last straws pushing the Havenites over into resuming hostilities, presumably due to stupid senator guy. Whether he'll manage this politically or through another coup i'm not sure, but i'm really hoping for the former. The new Havenite ships will hand the Manticoran's asses to them, with the Grayson's either unable to come to their aid or getting their asses handed to them as well.

That's probably around the point where the first book will end. Now that the Manticore fleet is in shambles the Andermani Empire will back off again, for the same reasons they did before. Honor will (once again) have a huge amount of political clout, having successfully defended Sidemore station while the rest of the fleet was busy getting destroyed. The Graysons will probably be riding pretty high on popular opinion too. I expect the High Ridge government to go down, but i'm not sure if it will be at the end of this book or sometime in the next one, and i'm not sure if it will be through some legal loophole (a vote of no confidence or something like that?) or something more messy.

A quick glance at the back of the next book revealed something about "can they achieve victory at last, and will the price be more than any of them is prepared to pay?" or some such stereotypical back cover drama speak. I don't think Manticore is going to end up losing (though i wouldn't put it _entirely_ past David Weber) but the question _is_ what margin of victory they will achieve and at what cost. I expect by the end they'll be in position to achieve a large permanent federation in the area. That's part of why i'm sure High Ridge and his cronies will be out on their ear, because that wouldn't be politically possible with them still in charge. I am hoping that whatever remnant of Haven is still left at the end at least gets to keep its new improved government.

I'm not sure how Manticore is going to achieve its victory. Presumably through the leadership of Honor and possibly White Haven obviously. Whether they're going to have to take time to build up the fleet again and/or discover some new technology or get some more allies on their side to create a larger fleet i don't know. Or possibly if the seventh wormhole nexus doesn't contribute to starting the war perhaps it will lead to somewhere near the Haven homeworld and allow for a quick decapitation strike or something like that.

Character-wise the obvious way to wrap things up would be to have Honor die. We've already been through that once already though, and i'm not sure if that makes it more or less likely. "We can't do that, that would be a boring repeat," or "Ha! They'll never expect me to kill her _again_!" I suppose the next "best" way would be to kill off White Haven. That would certainly give Honor pleanty of motivation for grinding Haven into the dust. Huh, you know, that's the first time i ever noticed the repeat between "White Haven" and "Republic of Haven." Anyways, if he were really evil he'd kill off Emily and then get rid of White Haven right before or right after he and Honor had the chance to form a relationship. And after him would probably be the queen or the protector of Grayson. Then her parents i guess. Or Nimitz of course. After that there's a whole slew of friends that could be taken out. And of course it could be more than one of the above.

Okay, that's about the best i can guess from this point. Now back to reading :)
 
 
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Steuardsteuard on October 17th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
The series is very much still ongoing. (Nor, to the best of my knowledge, is David Weber suffering from a terminal illness.) Not only is Ashes of Victory not the last book in the main Honor sequence, but Weber has started a second series in the same universe with a slightly different primary focus. Meanwhile, Eric Flint is writing a series of novels based on the characters that he introduced in his short stories in Changer of Worlds and The Service of the Sword. As I recall, Ashes of Victory makes references to events in both side series (though my impression was that those references weren't done in a way that would especially annoy those who hadn't read the other books).

I won't say anything one way or another about how War of Honor concludes, but let me just say right now that I found much of the book to be absolutely maddening: we spend an enormous amount of time watching people that we aren't supposed to like doing stupid political things that we're expected to find disgusting. That's not a recipe for enjoyable reading, making this one of my least favorite books of the series. On the other hand, Ashes of Victory may be my favorite book of the series, or close to it (though the improvement from War of Honor may be part of that).

As for your guesses... I enjoyed reading them. :) I probably shouldn't say much more than that for fear of giving things away. But knowing about the existence of two spinoff series (and that the main sequence isn't ending) might help you to make your good guesses even better. On the other hand, there are some new plot directions for all of the series turning up that you would probably have trouble guessing (though knowing that Eric Flint is involved could be a clue, if you recall his short stories from the anthologies).
DonAithnendonaithnen on October 17th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC)
Well i'm another 150 pages further along, and they've figured out where the wormhole leads to. I wasn't sure if that was going to be quite a big enough goad given how close it is to the edge of Sol space, but it made sense when they explained that meant it's economic value was even greater, and the planets in the region would be worried enough about Sol's encroachment to be eager to join up with an alternative, giving evil Senator/Secretary/whatever guy the excuse to accuse Manticore of having imperialist intentions.

Of course if Weber wanted to make Manticore's embarrassment of riches even worse it could turn out that the new system has its own set of wormholes.

The Protector's Own fleet has already shown up at Sidemore, so i guess my original theory there isn't going to happen. However now that Haven is sending out its own fleet to ambush Honor there my new theory is that if the combined Manticore and Grayson fleet isn't big enough to take on whatever task force it is Haven ends up sending, then Honor will just have gotten into a confrontation with the Andermani fleet, but not so heavily into the action that they won't both come to their senses and team up to wallop the Havenites when they show up in the middle of it. It would be kind of ironic if the evil Secretary guy's plan to get Manticore and Anderman involved in a war and the Navy's plan to do a preemptive strike on Honor end up canceling each other out :)

Speaking of which, as far the maddening quality of the books, i've gotten used to authors letting us take a look at what's happening on the bad guy side of things, and it can be amusing to watch them work at cross purposes. And in this case you've actually got four main groups. The "good" Manticorans and the "bad" Manticorans, and the "good" Havenites and the "bad" Havenites.

I haven't actually read any of the anthologies, or much else of Eric Flint's stuff either. He did the 1630-whatever series right? I read the first one of those and then decided they were inferior to "Island in the Sea of Time" and never continue on with the series.

Oh, and i presume you mean "At All Costs" and not "Ashes of Victory" as the last book?
Steuardsteuard on October 18th, 2007 04:56 am (UTC)
As far as seeing the "enemies'" point of view, I'm generally fine with that, but only when they are interesting characters in their own rights. My feeling in War of Honor was that essentially all of the "bad guys" were just cardboard cutout parodies of the same "recklessly selfish politician" archetype. I could always guess exactly what they would do in a given situation by asking "what is the single stupidest, most self-serving action they could take at this point". It made the "secondary world" of the story feel unrealistic to me for them to be so blind to the consequences of their actions. (I suppose that one might recast my complaint instead as "Weber made the 'right' course of action too obvious, so that no reasonable person ought to have been opposed to it.")
I haven't actually read any of the anthologies, or much else of Eric Flint's stuff either.
The anthologies are a mixed bag: some of the stories are really good, some are pretty "eh", and some were just terrible. (If you're interested, I could take a stab at suggesting which bits are worth reading, at least to my tastes.) Eric Flint's two stories in them are among the better ones, I think. The only non-Honorverse book of his that I've read is 1632 (which, incidentally, isn't at all related to the direction he's taking in his Honorverse stuff); I agree that it wasn't all that fantastically written, but it's a kind of premise that I tend to really enjoy. What is this "Island in the Sea of Time" of which you speak? :)
Oh, and i presume you mean "At All Costs" and not "Ashes of Victory" as the last book?
My word. Yes, I certainly mean At All Costs. I guess I mixed up the "A" names or something. How silly.