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22 December 2011 @ 04:40 pm
Yay books!  
I just finished up Weber's "Mission of Honor." On the plus side i zipped through it pretty quickly and am eager for the next one. On the downside, after a dozen books in this series and five in the Safehold series, i'm starting to grit my teeth at the sarcastic exchanges between characters. I loved them at the beginning of both series, but i think they may have overstayed their welcome =P

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.
Steuardsteuard on December 23rd, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
[Huh, apparently I haven't posted comments on LJ for a while: new interface. I wonder what I think of it.]

My feelings on Mission of Honor were surprisingly mixed. (I decided to buy it new as a thank-you to Baen for giving me so many books to try out for free. And along similar lines, so I could have an Honorverse CD of my very own.) One thing that has been on my mind for a while is that Honor herself is a couple steps too perfect at this point. She was always a superb tactician and an inspirational leader--that was her strength from the start--and she developed into a superb strategist (which felt pretty natural). But then, she also early on was shown to be a superb hand-to-hand fighter and a peerless marksman, and she's got genetically enhanced super-strength. Her relationship with Nimitz has gone from "more or less standard treecat adoption" to "miraculously strong bond" to "near-telepathy even with other humans", and then she got to be the first person to establish true linguistic communication with them. She originally had a weak point where politics and diplomacy were concerned, but now she's Manticore's chief negotiator. In all honesty, I think that it would have been a stronger story if she had died at the climax of the last book as Weber originally intended. [As I understand it, the "Shadow of Saganami" series was supposed to address some of those issues (since it focuses on younger characters), but I couldn't in good conscience recommend the second of those books to anyone. (The first was okay, but rather unfocused.)]

Ah well. I'm still attached to the setting and the characters, and I'd like to see where they end up. I'll keep reading. :)

[Weber certainly tried to make us think that someone was going to stumble across Oyster Bay in time! But no. Sneaky! Meanwhile, the thing I'm interested to see in the next book or two is how Beowulf's involvement will take shape.]
DonAithnendonaithnen on December 31st, 2011 06:58 pm (UTC)
[Huh, apparently i haven't posted comments on LJ for awhile either. It looks weird, but mainly the lack of a subject line is kinda annoying.]

Yeah, i felt like the plausibility of Honor's prowess was getting rather strained at the point she became a perfect shot out of the blue with no setup in previous novels.

And i agree, he should have followed through on the killing her off thing. I'm kind of peeved that Flint/Cachat have put the whole Mesa plot on the fast track. (Can you combine fast tracking with derailing?)
Steuardsteuard on December 31st, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
Can you combine fast tracking with derailing?

Sounds particularly easy to me. :)

I'm not upset about the Mesa plot being on the fast track: something was going to happen next, after all, and the way the storylines have woven together has felt reasonable to me. I just never understood why Honor or her children absolutely had to be primary characters in it. What would have been wrong with viewing those events through the eyes of the principal characters in The Shadow of Saganami, for instance? (Weber is strangely obsessed with monarchies and bloodlines, so I can't say I'm too surprised.) Maybe super-mega-treecat-psychic talents are going to be necessary to resolve it somehow.
dustgrl on January 2nd, 2012 06:24 am (UTC)
Mission of Honor was a mixed bag for me as well. I think it has, for me at least, turned into Star Trek the Next Generation. Perfect characters frozen in a moment of greatness. The good of that being of course that you do like the characters. The downside is I've pretty much lost empathy with them.

The peeps are all good, even former terrorists. Honor is perfect of course and now has nearly godlike mental powers in addition to martial arts skills, perfect marksmanship, super strength, the ability to stay thin and eat anything she likes, trust me to a middle aged woman like me THAT is a super power, cybernetic enhancements, pulser built into her hand, loving family...

That's prolly the thing that most took her from being a relate able character. Suddenly she has gone from unlucky in love, to secret relationship with many difficulties, to the perfect three way relationship except of course Hammish is all her's physically. Despite the conservative nature of Manticoran society everyone is just poof ok with this.

Oyster Bay as most stunning because Honor didn't sneeze and accidentally save everyone from it.

A series is in trouble when you keep rooting for something, anything, to happen :(

and yet still I read it :)