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Saturday, April 28, 2007

2 for 1: On Basilisk Station & The Honor of the Queen

Weber, David. On Basilisk Station. The first book in the Honor Harrington series proved to be a lot of fun. Based on the Horatio Hornblower series, a daring young woman is given command of a space ship that has been refitted with experimental weapons that she knows will not be practical. When the experiment ultimately fails, she and her crew are sent to one of the most unpopular posts available, Basilisk Station. Faced with an almost impossible task, Honor puts everything she has into making the situation work.

What to call the specific sub-genre? Another reviewer called it a cross between "space opera and military science fiction." That works well for me. A highly entertaining read, if you like this sort of thing. I enjoyed it enough to read the second in the series.

fiction. Science Fiction. 1993. 419 pages.

The Honor of the Queen. Two years have passed, since Honor's success at Basilisk Station. Another assignment (with much more prestige), and lots more space battles and high adventure. An interesting feature in this one is a religion that decided to eschew technology, and an even more fundamentalist off-shoot of that. This intertwined religious/Luddite theme is developed in Weber's new series that begins with Off Armageddon Reef.

The characters in these novels are somewhat stereotypical, but the emphasis is on the fast-paced action. Honor is really, really good-- strong, confident, smart, fair, innovative, decisive: A paragon of the space commander. It is good fun and highly entertaining to see the Heroic Woman take charge and kick ass.

fiction. Science Fiction. 1993. 422 pages.


  1. I have a question for you JenClair. You always write such great reviews of books I've never heard of before! Where do you find the books that you read? Is there a list of books to read somewhere or are these random picks?

  2. Chris - Although I have several long lists of titles, subjects, and authors (gathered from all kinds of sources including blogs!)that I work from, I also choose a great many from the new book shelves at the library and browse through the stacks as well.

    In the case of the Honor Harrington books, I found Off Armageddon Reef on the new book shelves at the library and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read others by Weber. One book often leads to another--by the same author, on the same topic, or on something mentioned in the book. :)

  3. I haven't read any Weber books before...had a guy in the sci fi section of Barnes and Noble recommend them to me once, however.

    I pretty much shied away from military sci fi in the past but considering how much I loved the John Scalzi trilogy I need to rethink that position.

  4. Carl - They were very fast-paced, and I did enjoy them. Still haven't gotten around to Scalzi, yet; the library didn't have any of his books.

  5. With a last name like Weber, he's got to be a winner!

  6. I love me some David Weber. I've got almost all of the Honor series. I kinda wish he'd do more of the Dahak Series.