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Strength and Honor (Tour of the Merrimack, #4)
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Strength and Honor (Tour of the Merrimack #4)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  320 ratings  ·  34 reviews
The forced alliance between the interplanetary Empire of Rome and the United States-led Earth forces is shattered as Caesar Romulus declares war, striking at the U.S. Deep Space base, and then following with a direct attack against Earth. Merrimack has no choice but to retaliate with an assault on the Roman capital world of Palatine. In the midst of this chaos, the Hive re ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 4th 2008 by Daw Books
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This was a rousing and highly entertaining conclusion (?) to the Merrimack series. In this one, Farragut's victory over the Hive triggers Caesar Romulus to immediately declare war on the US, starting with a surprise attack a la Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, it turns out the Hive has planted eggs (or the equivalent) everywhere, and Romulus discovers his brilliant plan has a few flaws.

My only quibble with this book was that I highly admired Romulus' scheme and planning for the war declaration, and
...I ate this entire series up like cereal. I don't really know why I love this series so very much. I pretty much dislike most of the female characters and the 'love' relationships but they seem to work better (as in palatable) in this volume than in previous ones. Steele and Blue have both become more likable, which can only be a plus, considering how much my eyes crossed whenever their segments popped up. Pretty much no one ends up where I want them to be but I can't think of any other possib ...more
Dec 14, 2008 Jeffrey rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military science fiction fans
Coming late to Meluch's stories, its hard to judge the prior books, but this one has all the usual military sf parts that you like, big fighting starships, ground assaults, secret missions, political intrigue, aliens and gladiators -- yes gladiators, how can you go wrong when you open a sf book and end up in a colliseum fighting gladiators -- you cannot.

Its a fast read and fun
Augh! So conflicted! Everyone was perfectly themselves, which was what I wanted from this book, but no one ended up where I wanted them to! Which is probably my fault for reading military S.F. because I fall in love with the characters.

Apparently this is the last book? Boy, that ended all of a sudden for me.
Mar 27, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of military sf
Shelves: sci-fi
The tenuous alliance between the reborn Roman Empire and the United States has been broken, and war breaks out between them once more. Farragut, the American captain of the USS Merrimack, is forced to fight the Romans on one flank and the continuing menace of the Hive on the other. Meanwhile, his head Marine, TR Steele, is forced into gladiatorial games on Palatine, and must fight his way to freedom. The battles between Rome and the US are thrilling, if a bit slapdash. In the last three books, C ...more
I don't think that this was one of her better books in the series. I felt like she was just drawing on random events to move the story along... and the fight between the Romans I felt was kind of weak and stupid, almost contrite.

However, I have never studied navy warfare or any kind of real warfare except in the books that I read, so maybe the skirmishes are based on real life events... but I highly doubt it?

The ending was also kind of anti-climatic I believe. She does close up loose ends, but i
I didn't care for Strength and Honor half as much as The Sagittarius Command, mainly because Strength and Honor is mostly about (view spoiler) ...more
Daniel Shellenbarger
Strength and Honor meanders and then ends, sort of concluding the first set of Merrimack books (except that there's already a fifth book in the series so...). I can say I genuinely enjoyed the first three books (though there were definite flaws, especially her rather flat characters), and some of Meluch's concepts in them were quite clever (such as the weird time distortion/alternate universe thing going on between book 1 and 2), but Strength and Honor is just... a mess. It feels as if the autho ...more
Another fun, action-packed entry in this somewhat preposterous space opera series. As Jo Walton said: “They're not good books but they’re good enough for the kind of day where what you want to do is lop the tentacles off everything in sight with a sword while standing on the outer hull of a spaceship. Don’t tell me everyone doesn’t have days like that.”

There are some inspired sequences (everything to do with Augustus) but largely the action is just as wild as ever. This book is all over the plac
The last book in the series is by far the weakest with the whole Caligula part 2 thing overwrote and predictable and with an ending to all the problems solved by a Deus Ex Machina in the form of the Patterner Augustus, and is even mentioned as perhaps being an agent of god in away. The epilogue was nice enough and most lose ends ties up so that was nice I guess, not my favorite in the series by any stretch of the imagination.
Marta Dulce Și Gavina
A solid 3,5. While not as brilliant as the first three volumes in the 'Tour of the Merrimack' series, 'Strength and Honor' is a very entertaining read. Some might think its level of ridiculousness is too high to consider it a good book. To me it is still a light, funny game with the space opera topoi, put into high gear. As I see it, the author thought: "The idea of Romans in space with a mix of republican values and imperial political system is absurd and funny. Let's add something even more ri ...more
This book was a great Outlet Bookstore find. I've been looking for a Space Adventure series for a while. Video games seem to corner the market on good space stories, but Meluch does a good job.

Jumping to the fourth book may have been a mistake, but I will definitely be starting from the beginning. With an exciting world to explore and a gripping story, this book kept me hooked. If you want a sci-fi adventure, with all the excitement of any military story, the likes of "The Hunt for Red October"
Space opera that is never short of action and intrigue.
Perhaps the weaker of the series but still enjoyable!
Per Gunnar
So I finally got through all four books in this series.

If you do not mind the somewhat ridicolous back-story that the Roman Empire have been resurrected in modern times with all the things that go with it like latin, emperors, lieing down when eating etc. etc., if you do not mind plotting and scheming old rome style, if you do not mind that the author is totally clueless both in science and in military matters, then this book might please you.

I didn't really like it. It doesn't deserve a one st
Good solid story, well written. & entertaining
I picked this up last year at the library on a whim and I was thoroughly entertained. Excellent plot and characters, and despite being the fourth in the series, I did not find myself challenged to understand the relationships between the characters. Militaristic science-fiction, with some romance thrown in.

Now I'm going back and reading The Myriad so I can enjoy it from the beginning of story arc.
This fourth installment is better than the third one but still can't hold a candle to the first. At least John Farrugut mostly speaks English again and there are a few clever twists. Unfortunately, like the second and third books, "Strength and Honor" has major pacing and plot-wander issues. I'm actually not sure why I'm still reading the series. I guess I'm hoping the brilliance of "The Myriad" returns in the next one!
John Strohm
Ties the series up nicely. Characters continue to develop along the same lines, which is ok, and they develop a little more nuance. We get more flavor of the Roman empire than in previous books, and this book has an interesting take on war in a world where shields are generally stronger than what can penetrate them -- this leads to some odd stand-off situations.
I loved this book as I was reading it but looking back it was unsatifactory the ending left me wanting more and not in a good way. I did like the perivous books in this series but I think that this one just does not live up to it's predesestors. It relied to much on cheap humor and clif hangers to keep you reading so unlike the previous books only a three.
Timothy Chamberlain
Read through this one in a day, and feel that is a good amount of time to spend on a book like this. Enjoyable adventure as always and a good break from non-fiction.
Another great book in the USS Merrimack series. These books are not meant to be literary masterpieces, rather they are more like the Indiana Jones movies - just one action pack scene after another with very little room to catch your breath.
Really love how Meluch used the glimpses of the alternative timeline from The Myriad to give insight into the main characters, and in Strength and Honor she wraps the whole series up very satisfactorily.

Continued to love the whole series.
Good, if bitterwseet. One of the major characters barely shows up...although it is understandable why, and his actions resonate through the events of the entire book. But still....whyyyy....
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Nov 15, 2008 Jo (Mixed Book Bag) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any friend who likes scifi and space opera
This appears to be the last book in the Merrimack series. It tied up many of the loose ends. I loved the series and would recommend it to anyone who loves scifi and space opera.
Action! Action! Action! This woman writes excitement, and after checking her webpage I can understand a little better. Great book, great series, no way can it end here.
Pretty good greek comedy, I mean space opera.

I think it's pretty cool when a character is dead, but still reaches out from beyond the grave to win a victory.
Sherwood Smith
I loved this until the end, which I found disappointing, but the velocity up until then, the intensity of my investment, carried me right through.
Must admit, after not caring for the first book, I read all four and enjoyed them. This one ties things up nicely.
Adam Worm
A compelling ending that could have been the end of the series. Kept me on the edge of my seat for its entirety.
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Other Books in the Series

Tour of the Merrimack (6 books)
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