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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

On Basilisk Station / David Weber

On Basilisk Station  - David Weber

Honor Harrington in trouble: Having made him look the fool, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her. Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station. The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens. Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling, the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is Up to Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn't work to police the entire star system.

But the people out to get her have made one mistake.

They've made her mad!


Honor Harrington—a very obviously virtuous name for a woman who is going to be all about her own personal integrity. I liked Honor as a character because Weber depicts her as a strong, decisive leader. Mind you, he throws in a few stereotypes as well—she’s “not good at math,” she has striking good looks but thinks she’s lumpy and unattractive, and she’s single, so she has to have a cat (because we single women are always just steps away from being crazy cat ladies). Nevertheless, if anyone can make lemonade out of the lemons that life handed her, it’s Honor.

There’s lots of good action, but Weber could take some lessons from Lois McMaster Bujold and her Vorkosigan series on how to keep the plot flowing. (I found quite a few similarities in how talented both Miles Vokosign and Honor Harrington are). Unfortunately, OBS has pages and pages of different commanders going on and on about what they were going to do plus how and why they were going to do it. *Yawn!* Also, during the final, dramatic space chase, there were more pages and pages devoted to the history of hyperdrive. Really? In the middle of the supposedly high stakes chase? Dude, I’m glad you thought about these things, they’re great background info for you as author, but why are you dumping them on your readers? I almost never skim and I skimmed until I found action again.

I also had to go back and re-read bits, where the space Navy and the Marines annihilate thousands of Medusan aborigines! I just couldn’t believe what I was reading and that they were completely unconcerned about repercussions of such an act. Seen through a 2019 lens, that just seems wildly out of touch. How times have changed!

Still, it was a pretty good story and I’m glad that I read it. I’m maybe not excited enough to pursue the series, however.

Book number 317 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy reading project.