The elements of the premise are familiar. A secret war between non-human factions, with human allies. AncientThis is a very solid, entertaining book.
The elements of the premise are familiar. A secret war between non-human factions, with human allies. Ancient astronauts. Symbiotic/parasitic aliens. But the way that Chu puts them together is unusual enough to keep everything feeling fresh.
Roen, Tao's new host, will be very familiar to a lot of people. Overweight, stuck in a dead end job, pining for something more but unable to say what. The difficulties he has with accepting his new reality, and in turning himself into the sort of partner his new alien friend needs, seem realistic. The time frames are reasonable, and Roen doesn't end up as the Chosen One, excellent at everything.
The ending of the book is well executed, exciting, and bittersweet.
Novik's follow up to His Majesty's Dragon was an interesting read from the beginning. Our heroes, Laurence and Temeraire, are thrown into situation tNovik's follow up to His Majesty's Dragon was an interesting read from the beginning. Our heroes, Laurence and Temeraire, are thrown into situation that not even an 18-ton dragon can face head on - politics.
The Chinese have learned of Temeraire's diversion from his journey to Napoleon's court, and have come to England to demand his return. Eager to form an alliance (or at least to prevent one between China and France) the government agrees, but Temeraire refuses to be separated from Laurence, and Laurence won't lie to Temeraire about what's going on.
Finally, the Chinese embassy and the English Admiralty are forced to admit the pair can't be separated in the current circumstances, and order Laurence to accompany the dragon to the East. The two must face the dangers of the ocean, rivalry with the naval crew and the blandishments of the Chinese diplomats as they make the months-long voyage.
Novik makes clear use of her interest in the Age of Sail during the ocean voyage, and keeps the narrative interesting despite the limited scope of the dragon transport. She also does a good job of representing a wide range of attitudes and motivations among the Chinese and English characters. The contrast between the lives of Chinese dragons and that of Temeraire and his comrades is well done.
A strong continuation of an interesting story....more
I enjoyed this installment of the series a great deal, of other reasons than the previous books. It was good for character development to see Honor anI enjoyed this installment of the series a great deal, of other reasons than the previous books. It was good for character development to see Honor and her "select companions" deal with adversity. It also kept Honor from being too much of the Milkmaid of Destiny. When a character, however good, never faces defeat or adversity it weakens the story for me.
Weber continues to put human faces (good and bad) on the PN and the Committee for Public Safety....more
Book 6 in the Honor Harrington series was as enjoyable as its predecessors. In typical David Weber fashion,multiple viewpoints and subplots (protagoniBook 6 in the Honor Harrington series was as enjoyable as its predecessors. In typical David Weber fashion,multiple viewpoints and subplots (protagonist and antagonistic alike) are woven through the narrative. Weber continues to improve his ability to make his characters complex, and to toy with likable antagonists and unlikeable allies for the protagonists.
Politics plays a large role in the storyline of Honor Among Enemies, and seems to foreshadow a time when Honor will no longer be conning a starship. Weber seems to be grooming some old subordinates of Honor's to step into her place as she advances to flag officer status.
Despite the more complex characters, the star nations themselves continue to be rather one dimensional and predictable. On the one hand, that makes for a stable backdrop before which to set the action, but on the other hand it takes some of the punch out of the political maneuver portions of the story....more