Honor Harrington: A Chick’s POV

A couple of months ago when I neared the bottom of my "must read" pile, Sean mentioned on the 'cast that he really enjoyed the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. Since I'm not a "book bigot," I decided to give the first, On Basilisk Station, a try.  After waiting seven to ten days for Amazon to ship it to me I finally had it in my hands and ready to crack the cover.

In short: I loved it! Honor is strong, conscientious, and treats her enemies with respect.

Why do I love Honor Harrington, the series' brilliant female strategist and namesake? She's both mentally and physically strong. She's knowledgeable in martial arts, shooting, and swords. She can command a ship with total support and devotion from her crew because she has their total respect and she respects each and every one of them. And most importantly she has a conscience. Losing her crew hurts her horribly, but having to eliminate enemy crews hurts her almost as deeply. Because of this, she does not kill just to kill. Any enemies that survive battles with Honor's ships are picked up and treated with courtesy and respect.

Her companion Nimitz -- a loving, capable, and dangerous (to enemies) treecat complete with four legs, two arms, and an awesomely-entertaining attitude -- was a surprise, though. Author David Weber treats Nimitz as a full-blown character in the books. Nimitz has his own feelings, his own relationships, and his own opinions. He has his own quirks and addictions. While my first thoughts and mental images of him were those of a large house cat, he quickly became much more to me. His empathic ability and his link to Honor and her emotions are one of my favorite parts of the series.

I'll admit that I don't understand everything in the books. I took algebra twice in college before I passed, and the series contains a lot of math and science to explain gravities, T-waves, and acceleration and deceleration rates. Initially, the anal side of me started to read and re-read these parts in an effort to understand.  But eventually I realized that while they're part of the book, I don't have to completely understand all these concepts in order to enjoy the rest of the story. Instead of letting them stop me from reading, I just accept those concepts on faith and enjoy the Honorverse.

Having plowed through the first four books, I now own the last of the available paperbacks in the series and am working on those. The hardest part about reading this series is fighting the spouse for a book as we're both reading the same title right now. David Weber also penned four books thus far in an Honor Harrington extended universe that Sean assures me are worth the read. I already have them on my wish list!

David Weber [Professional Site]
David Weber at Baen Books [Baen]

      
7 Responses to "Honor Harrington: A Chick’s POV"
  1. Pike says:

    Hrm. I wonder if Raul from the American Flagg comics was inspired by Nimitz.

  2. Solai says:

    Ok, now it is official: I need to find this book. No library around me has it so I will have to finally just bite the bullet and purchase it. Great article Splatterson!

  3. Casilda says:

    I already requested this book from the library for the upcoming podcast, but your piece has made me even more excited to read it!

  4. brendon says:

    I have been eating this book series up ever since Sean first mentioned earlier this year.

    But before warned the series is epic in scale; by that I mean Weber is already up to 11 core novels (the 12th due out next year), a host of short stories found anthology collections, and three novels (a fourth due in November) that take place in the same universe but all of the events are interconnected to those of the core novels.

    Here are the stories that focus on Honor Harrington and the war between Manticore and Haven listed by the internal chronology:
    1. On Basilisk Station {novel: HH1}
    2. The Honor of the Queen {novel HH2}
    3. The Short Victorious War {novel: HH3}
    4. Field of Dishonor {novel: HH4}
    5. “A Whiff of Grapeshot” (in More than Honor {anthology: HHA1}
    6. In Enemy Hands {novel: HH7}
    7. Echoes of Honor {novel: HH8}
    8. “From the Highlands” (in Changer of Worlds {anthology: HHA3}
    9. Ashes of Victory {novel: HH9}
    10. “Nightfall” (in Changer of Worlds {anthology: HHA3}
    11. “Fanatic” (in The Service of the Sword {anthology: HHA4}
    12. “The Service of the Sword” (in The Service of the Sword {anthology: HHA4}
    13. War of Honor {novel: HH10}
    14. Crown of Slaves {novel: WS01}
    15. The Shadow of Saganami {novel: SI1}
    16. At All Costs {novel: HH11}
    17. Storm from the Shadows {novel: SI2} (November of 2009)
    18. Mission of Honor {novel: HH12} (expected 2010)

  5. bkitty says:

    Audible has it. It’s on my My Next Listen list!

    Many thanks for writing this Splatterson!

  6. mymatedave says:

    Thought you guys would like to know that at least the first two books in the series are available for free at

    http://www.baen.com/library/

    and On Basilisk Station is here:

    http://www.baen.com/library/067157793X/067157793X.htm?blurb

  7. NothingButheRain says:

    I love Honor. Thanks for the article Splatterson.

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