What she didn't realize was that she would find herself on a collision course, not with a hostile government, but with the interstellar syndicate of criminals known as Manpower. And Manpower had its own plans for eliminating Manticore as a possible threat to its lucrative slave trade, deadly plans which remain hidden in the shadows.
©2009 David Weber; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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"Important for the Honorverse Story!"
A well told story set in the "honorverse" a must listen for all who follow the series or the next "main line" book Mission of Honor will not make alot of sense.
I want to point out to the negative reviews that this is the 14th book in the Honor Harrington Series, while marketed as a sequel to The Shadow of Saganami it is not truly a sequel, infact the author does not think of it as a sequel but as a major part in the main story.
the best i can say is, DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS WITH OUT READING?LISTENING TO THE REST OF THE SERIES
if you do not it will not make sense to you and will leave you feeling like the negative reviewers
now i do have a bit of a negative, and that is the reader. he mispronounces Manticoran as Man TIC orin. and his female voices are poorly done, should have been 2 readers 1 male, 1 female
"Great story for Weber fans; narration so-so"
If you are already a David Weber/Honor Harrington fan, this is a great book. I will guess that some of the poor reviews for this book were written by people who have not previous read any of the HH series. If you haven't this is NOT the place to start. The Harrington series is long, complex, involved, and wonderful if you start from the first book and work your way through. It is not shoot-'em-up space action, it has politics, intrigue, plotlines that build on previous novels, and action that takes place at 'realistic' stellar distances, not WWII-style dogfighting. If that's not what you're looking for, this is simply not your cup of tea - but that doesn't mean it's not a good book!
If you ARE a Weber fan, this book takes place contemporaneously with the previous two novels (Shadow of Saganami and War of Honor), so the intertwining plot lines can be confusing if you've forgotten what happened in those books. There is a huge setup/cliffhanger at the end for another novel (or novels) which I suspect may 'wrap up' the Harrington series (but I hope not!).
That being said, I do agree with the reviewer who wished the narrator was a woman. A majority of the main characters in this series are females, so the choice of a male narrator doesn't make sense. Previous Harrington novels were voiced by Allyson Johnson and Barbara Rosenblat, who did a fine job. Jay Snyder is a very good narrator, but is not able to pull off a convincing female voice - all the women sounded like falsetto characters from a Monty Python skit to me (sorry Mr. Snyder, I thought you were great otherwise!).
"The audio production is a mess"
I'm about 1/4 of the way through it, and finding it painful to imagine being halfway through it. This is not to say anything against the novel itself. It's just that the novel doesn't lend itself to the audio format. Between the large use of internal dialog, asides, and other dialog adornment, a five minute conversation between two characters inevitably takes a half an hour, with the result that it's almost impossible to follow the flow.
And given that most of the main characters are women, the choice of narrator is questionable at best. While I've found him perfectly decent on other titles, he's just the wrong woman for this job.
"Good story - needs a different narrator"
I am a fan of Mr. Weber's work and have read the other books in the series. I enjoyed the story and the view into other pieces of the Honorverse. I will echo some of the other reviews - this is not a good place to start the series, nor is it a stand alone novel. Without the introduction given by previous previous novels to many of the characters, I'd find it impossible to keep them straight and wonder why I cared about them. If you have read the rest of the series however, you gain further insight into characters that have played a supporting role before.
The story was intriguing, and clearly is setting us up for the next chapter in the Honorverse. I feel like Mr. Weber found himself with too many Havenite characters that he respected/admired for them to continue to be the bad guys, and went looking for a more vile villain. Thus enters ManPower as more than just greedy, unscrupulous minor players but as an organized conspiracy with a bigger, more ambitious agenda.
My criticism of this audio book is with the audio. As other reviewers have noted, the narrator is not adept at female voices. With so many of them, including the main character, it was a distinct distraction. Coupled with his mispronunciation of "Manticoran" (ManTICoran instead of MantiCORan) I found the narration to interfere with the story.
I also found that parts of Mr. Weber's writing style just don't translate well into spoken word. He tends to add a lot of numerical and technical detail in his stories that I thoroughly enjoy when reading hardcopy, but make for clunky narration. When writing about "meters per second" (and other such descriptors) the m/s is nothing but a visual blip - easily ignored by the reader if they so chose. Spoken out it starts to intrude into the narrative and interrupts the flow of information.
Overall a good book, if you're a fan of the series I'd go for it. If not, start with On Basilisk Station
"Not the worst performance ever, but YUCK!"
How the hell do you mispronounce "Manticore" 3/4 of the time? Wasn't anyone involved in the production besides the reader? The "shadows" series has been the most consistently likable subseries in the Honorverse for a while, but Snyder manages such an over-punchy delivery half the time that the book becomes a mockery of itself. When he relaxes a little and forgets about over-enunciating everything it's not so bad, and a good production team would have been able to guide him to a much better overall result.
Still - when your main character (and Henke is the focus of this book, though it is something more of an ensemble) is female, you should take a long, hard look at any decision to use a male reader. The modern trend seems to be that all readers are expected to "do voices", and Snyder's read of Henke is truly awful. Much better if he just read it in a normal voice.
"great book, needs better narrator"
This is one of the books I re-read and sync to Kindle. I wish the narrator could do women's voices and pronounce Manticoran right.
"Good story marred by poor performance and ending"
Talbot, Henke, Mesa
Nicely developed the story of the Tablot Cluster, including a brief recap of what happened in the prior Saganami book, but from Queen Elizabeth's perspective instead of just from Terekhov's. Expect some repeat (verbatim) from some other Honor books, but at this point it's still fairly minimal.
Allyson Johnson, who recorded all the main-line Honor audiobooks.
This book takes place concurrently with mainline Honor 11 (At All Costs) and Saganami 1 (Shadow of Saganami) [and parts of Torch 2: Torch of Freedom, although the things that happen here are generally just referenced, and done in such a way that you can understand what you need to]. It should not be read as a standalone, and moreover, it cannot even be read as just a continuation of the previous Saganami series book, since it makes too much reference to things going on in the Honorverse at large. Finally, it ends on a dramatic cliffhanger that is resolved in Honor 12 (Mission of Honor). Readers should be familiar with the previous works as indicated and be prepared to read Mission of Honor immediately after this for resolution of the cliffhanger.
The narrator should be banned from ever reading any works with female characters again, as his "female" voice is just awful. He does a fine job with the non-dialogue reading, although he does not follow the established (by Allyson Johnson, who reads all the main series for Honor Harrington) pronunciations for certain words. Because the main character of this book is Michelle Henke, and further, has a number of important supporting female characters, this makes for a miserable listening experience. I strongly recommend that you purchase or borrow the print or Kindle (etc.) version of this book, and pass on the audiobook.
"Honorverse still fun"
I haven`t read the printed version. So can`t comment on that.
I liked the new setting, with Henke as the main protagonist, reading about the empire building in Talbott. And the tensions with the Solarian league.
I don`t have a particular favorite and i rated the performance down some cause i think Snyder creates annoying voices for some of the characters
Not really no
If you like the Honor Harrington series then this is a most buy. But you need to have read the previous books before you get this one.
An unfinished story! NEVER
Read the next part.
When I bought this book I was NOT informed that it was part 1 of a continuing story. I do not know whether you have recorded subsequent chapters of this story or not. There is no information from Audible and I am therefore VERY disappointed to say the least.
"Honor Harrington Universe Book 19"
"One of the best books in the series"
The plot of this book primarily occurs in Talbot cluster, but it derives from somewhere in the middle of the previous book, during the time when Michelle Henke was captured by the PRH and later send as an emissary.
Rear Admiral Michelle Henke was released on parole to make accommodations for peace talks between PRH and Star Empire of Manticore, which later spectacularly failed because of number of assassination attempts.
According to the terms of her parole she could not be a part of any military actions against PRH, but nobody said anything about anyone else.
So the Admiralty made her the commanding officer of the new Tenth Fleet, and sent her to the Talbott Quadrant to support Vice Admiral Augustus Khumalo and the newly appointed Imperial Governor, Baroness Medusa.
NEXT BOOK IS "Torch of Freedom"
I found this audio book difficult to enjoy. The story was excellent as always with Weber but the narrator's ridiculous female voices made it very difficult to follow conversations.
In one conversation between characters Abigail Hearns (he has chosen a straight RP accent for this character) and Helen Zilwicki (a horrible sounding sing-song irish lilt) the accents actually switched several times so each character was speaking with the others voice. There are many more instances of this and it is incredibly frustrating. It doesn't ruin the audiobook but it does make it a lot harder to follow.
I may get other David Weber audiobooks in future but only if they feature a different narrator
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