So when trying to decide what to read next, and if i need to get any extra books for my trip home, i of course checked out the Baen store and discovered two wonderful things. First, there's already an ARC of the next Honorverse book, "A Rising Thunder" available! Second, at some point in the past Baen started picking up old Heinlein novels without me noticing! I was actually looking for Heinlein ebooks online a couple weeks ago, particularly "Star Beast," but couldn't find it anywhere. So after thinking about getting the Rising Thunder ARC copy for a bit, when i then discovered that the March 2012 Webscriptions bundle includes both "A Rising Thunder" _and_ "Star Beast", along with an Andre Norton book ("The Forerunner Factor") a Mercedes Lackey book ("Bedlam's Bard") and a random assortment of three other books for $18, i just couldn't resist going with that instead :) Unfortunately they've only released the first half of "A Rising Thunder" and "Star Beast" so far, so i'm going to have to resist the temptation to start reading them right now :)
So now some spoilery thoughts about "Mission of Honor"...
Oyster Bay was kind of surprising. I figured either Manticore or Grayson would stumble across it at the last minute somehow. Maybe not enough to prevent it but enough to blunt the impact. I guess it kind of makes sense though, from a meta or whatever perspective. I'd already decided at the end of the previous book that Manticore could have handed the Sollies their asses if it came to an actual war, at least as long as they could have worked out an accommodation with Haven. Apollo would have kept their systems perfectly safe from anything the League could put together while their fleet cruised around systematically dismantled every League naval yard in existence. Haven on its own could probably have fought the League to a standstill, but without something like the Apollo system they might not have been able to simultaneously keep their systems properly defended while taking the fight home to the League.
I was predicting that the war with Haven would be resolved in this book, though that took more twists and turns than i was expecting. I'm kind of surprised that immediately after Oyster Bay Honor wasn't instructed to lay down a very big carrot and stick. "In the next 24 hours either you will sign a peace treaty with us, in exchange for which we will give you the technical specs for our missiles and you will start mass production of them for us at Bolthole, or we will resume hostilities, starting with this system."
Of course it all worked out one way or the other, and i presume Bolthole is going to come up in the next book. I'm not sure if it's secret enough that Mesa doesn't know about it, but it seems like Mesa isn't going to be doing any more major attacks during this stage of their operations anyways.