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Shadow of Freedom (Honorverse: Saganami Island #3)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Honor Harrington--Shadow of Freedom - Finished Reading (SPOILERS)

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message 1: by Lindsey (last edited Apr 05, 2013 03:37PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lindsey | 382 comments This is the thread to discuss Shadow of Freedom by David Weber. Spoilers for this book and previous Honorverse books are allowed.

Chronologically, this book falls after A Rising Thunder in the main series but starts before that book ends; it may be is a direct sequel to Storm from the Shadows (I'm 90% sure and will check this soon and update). Currently, there are no books after this one in the series; therefore, spoiler tags are not necessary.

ETA: update on sequel status.

message 2: by Justin (new) - added it

Justin Wilkerson | 27 comments Well, I finished the book last night. Although it is described as the next mainline story, it is more attached to Storm from the Shadows as Lindsey mentioned. However, instead of simply calling it a sequel to one of the spin-offs I have another theory based on 2 bits of information.

First is the fact that I had heard A Rising Thunder had been split into 2 books and Shadow of Freedom would be the second part. Second is the fact that Weber himself has discussed how he wants to bring the spin-off stories into the main story. Obviously with the war against Haven over and the war against the Solarian League heating up it would have to happen.

But more importantly, I think this was his attempt to do so. While reading Shadow of Freedom it occurred to me that nearly every chapter in the book could have been interspersed with the chapters of A Rising Thunder.

If it had been kept as 1 book, you would have a very long blend of all 3 stories where you see Cachat and Zilwicki reach the 'Wages of Sin' Station (I think that's right) and find out about Honor being in Haven. They then go to Haven and open the can of worms that leads to the alliance we see formed in A Rising Thunder. Meanwhile we get the chapters from Shadow of Freedom in the Talbott Cluster where Michelle is getting the time-lagged reports from home and the new reports of all the crap going on in the Verge (the captured Mantie freighters, the rebellions). And then she makes her move to Meyers. Really that big movement and her decision at the end to strike at Mesa are a culmination of the events of all 3 stories.

I feel Weber has passed the torch of main storyline heroine from Honor to Michelle at this point, which honestly makes sense. Unless we want 5 books of just watching Honor discuss the war over and over with the Empress and Hamish, we would need to follow an Admiral that is actually in the action.

All right THAT is out of the way, let me discuss my thoughts on the book itself.

I enjoyed it for the most part. The one part that irked me was the 5 or so chapters spent on the incident in Saltash. Every chapter before that had been a rather rapid passage of time and then suddenly we get multiple chapters within a few hours of each other. I thought it really played hell with the flow of the story. But after Saltash the pace picked up again and it felt good.

I thought this book had a good mix of military action and political intrigue. The knowledge that every confrontation between the Manties and the Sollies is very one-sided is actually very entertaining for the moment, but I can see that becoming old fast, thus I'm looking forward to what happens in Mesa.

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments Finished it. I enjoyed it, but somehow not as much as I anticipated, not surprising enough.

David | 5 comments I think it would be interesting to see some of the Andermani in more detail, since Honor suggested to Chien-lu Andermani to go after Mesa. I think it would be interesting to have both fleets hook up for that one.

Marty (martyjm) | 310 comments David wrote: "I think it would be interesting to see some of the Andermani in more detail, since Honor suggested to Chien-lu Andermani to go after Mesa. I think it would be interesting to have both fleets hook u..."

More on the Andermani would be good. Continuing to learn more about the societies would make it more interesting.

message 6: by Justin (new) - added it

Justin Wilkerson | 27 comments I would also be interested in seeing more of the Andermani's actions. I think its entirely possible we'll see more of them as things ramp up against Mesa.

Lindsey | 382 comments I'm not quite done yet but, for those of you who are finished: I started a thread where we can discuss the series as a whole. That's also a great place to speculate about what's coming next.

message 8: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3219 comments Mod
Just finished this book tonight. I'm ready to have Weber wrap this up in 1 or 2 more books. Really--"let's be about it" and get this series settled. If he wants to move on with other characters, fine, but wrap up the Sollies and Mesan Alignment and move on.

Lindsey | 382 comments Finished this a few days ago but my computer is on the fritz. Will check in occasionally on my phone but I'll save any longer commentary for when I have a larger screen to type on.

message 10: by Lindsey (last edited Apr 29, 2013 07:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lindsey | 382 comments Sorry for the delay, my computer had a major meltdown. All better now.

I wasn't as impressed with this book as I had been with the other "Shadow" books. I really like Mike Henke and Abigail Hearns as characters but there was just so much "catch up the plot" going on in this time frame that there was little to no character development. I could see going forward with the two of them as the focus characters.

This was also a book where the jacket copy was misleading. I never felt like helping those native resistance movements was particularly taxing to Henke's fleet. Yes, it was unexpected for them but after 2/3 of a book's worth of build up it just gets handled and on we go to the Mesa attack decision (which, frankly, makes a lot of sense). I'd like to see the Andermani, too (because what little we've seen of them is interestingly different), in conjunction with Henke's fleet.

It was also really obvious that this book should have been integrated with A Rising Thunder, IMO. Once you take out the repeat chapters and sections, you'd only have about a 600 page book. I could almost understand why they split it if this one had been billed as a Shadow book but it wasn't. And 600ish page would have been nowhere near the longest entry in the series. I really wonder what drove that decision!

All told, I agree with the majority opinion here: it's time to wrap up this series. The new threat is interesting but I just can't see it dragging on for many more books and staying that way.

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