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Honor Among Enemies (1996)

by David Weber

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2,000156,895 (4)26
For Captain Honor Harrington, it's sometimes hard to know who the enemy really is. Despite political foes, professional jealousies, and the scandal that drove her into exile, she's been offered a chance to reclaim her career as an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy. But there's a catch. She must assume command of a "squadron" of jury-rigged armed merchantmen with crew drawn from the dregs of her service and somehow stop the pirates who have taken advantage of the Havenite War to plunder the Star Kingdom's commerce.That would be hard enough, but some of the "pirates" aren't exactly what they seem . . . and neither are some of her "friends." For Honor has been carefully chosen for her mission - by two implacable and powerful enemies. The way they see it, either she stops the raiders or the raiders kill her . . . and either way, they win.… (more)
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English (12)  Swedish (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Well. Those who have read the last few know that Harrington was previously put on half-pay, and more-or-less exiled to Grayson—which was (mostly) happy to have her—where she excelled in the role of Admiral. But this book starts with her Manticorian enemies, of all people, conspiring to get her back into RMN uniform as a captain again. And once that happens, more enemies start popping up every couple of chapters, it seems; the book's title is quite apt, really. And until the end, Honor manages to survive, and give most of them the thrashings they deserve, through her usual combination of luck, friends, talent, and strong moral fiber. And the finale: wow! Even though I was aware that there are at least eight more books in the series (never mind the Honorverse books), I was really worried during the climactic events. Weber does an amazing job here of showing us the uncertainty, doubt, and guilt of a commander whose people have died or been hurt because of her decisions, and the thin lines between success, failure, and catastrophe.

This sounds great, and it is, but.... The problem is that Weber, in the last few books, has grown increasingly strident with his libertarian preaching about the perils of a welfare state, and this is the preachiest to date. Over the last few books, the in and out of character musings on the object lesson of the People's Republic of Haven have grown starker, and preachier, and as a result less interesting (although this book does interestingly flesh out some of its political figures in nice ways, that make me want to know more about their careers).

The other problem with this book is that the degree of luck that plays into Harrington's achievements seemed to me to shoot through the roof. Yes, she has incredible tactical insights, and inspires her people to heroic levels of competence, but there's no way those things could occur if the people she ends up with didn't have the raw stuff to excel, or she didn't receive the intelligence on which to base her conclusions. So events feel more than a little forced here.

I still like this series a lot, and I figure I will read at least the next couple in it. But this is the first one that's made me think that, just maybe, I don't need to read all of them. ( )
  JohnNienart | Jul 11, 2021 |
This episode sees Honor rejoining the Manticoran Navy but with a nearly impossible assignment. Her job is to take some refitted merchantmen and head off to Silesia to stop the pirates that are harassing Maniticoran shipping. This assignment was dreamed up for her by Klaus Hauptman who has had it in for her since Basilisk. After all, his merchant ships are losing money and the Navy is supposed to protect them. If Honor fails, Hauptman wins in his subversive battle against Honor.

But all isn't as it seems in Silesia. Some of the pirates are actually Peeps in disguise whose goal is to prey on Maniticoran shipping both for the products they will get and in the hopes of drawing Manticoran forces away from more valuable targets.

The Manticorans also deal with a legitimate pirate who is running a group of ships and who has taken over a planet. His crews are busy raping and pillaging at his command and one of their victims is a ship owned by Hauptman and captained by someone close to him. That story weaves its way through the book and gives Hauptman his reason for being in the system for some of the major plot points of the story.

I enjoyed the variety of viewpoints in this one as we learn that not all Peeps are bad people. I also liked getting a look at some of the other people who are serving in the Manticoran Navy in the person of Aubrey Wanderman who is a new recruit in gravitics and who has some problems with a major bully on the ship.

I also liked meeting a new treecat named Samantha as her person is assigned to the crew on Honor's ship. I liked watching Nimitz and Samantha fall in love.

This was another excellent episode in a great series. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 12, 2020 |
This episode sees Honor rejoining the Manticoran Navy but with a nearly impossible assignment. Her job is to take some refitted merchantmen and head off to Silesia to stop the pirates that are harassing Maniticoran shipping. This assignment was dreamed up for her by Klaus Hauptman who has had it in for her since Basilisk. After all, his merchant ships are losing money and the Navy is supposed to protect them. If Honor fails, Hauptman wins in his subversive battle against Honor.

But all isn't as it seems in Silesia. Some of the pirates are actually Peeps in disguise whose goal is to prey on Maniticoran shipping both for the products they will get and in the hopes of drawing Manticoran forces away from more valuable targets.

The Manticorans also deal with a legitimate pirate who is running a group of ships and who has taken over a planet. His crews are busy raping and pillaging at his command and one of their victims is a ship owned by Hauptman and captained by someone close to him. That story weaves its way through the book and gives Hauptman his reason for being in the system for some of the major plot points of the story.

I enjoyed the variety of viewpoints in this one as we learn that not all Peeps are bad people. I also liked getting a look at some of the other people who are serving in the Manticoran Navy in the person of Aubrey Wanderman who is a new recruit in gravitics and who has some problems with a major bully on the ship.

I also liked meeting a new treecat named Samantha as her person is assigned to the crew on Honor's ship. I liked watching Nimitz and Samantha fall in love.

This was another excellent episode in a great series. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 12, 2020 |
These books are great comfort reading (Mary Sue kicks ass in space and everyone loves her and her psychic cat!), and quick, too-- as long as you skim all the infodumps and any paragraph that starts with "as you know..." ( )
1 vote being_b | Jan 8, 2020 |
What an excellent book! Behind the scenes of Honor Harrington's return to the Royal Manticorian Navy are plots and plans. She has made some enemies and those enemies have made plans that they believe will benefit them in one way or another. So yes, there are battles to be fought brilliantly and doggedly.

However, what made the book sing for me were the characters and growth. From a young engineer who is helped to grow a spine (and taught to be able to defend himself) to a merchant who finds out that he isn't always right, people grow and change. We also gain more insight into the decent people who are part of Haven, making the enemies less cardboard and more real.

If you like military science fiction, start at On Basilisk Station and keep going. You won't be disappointed. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | Feb 11, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Weberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bury, FlorenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buzzard, MadelynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, AllysonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mattingly, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riphead, Buggy G.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If cats had hands, he would have been Nimitz.
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For Captain Honor Harrington, it's sometimes hard to know who the enemy really is. Despite political foes, professional jealousies, and the scandal that drove her into exile, she's been offered a chance to reclaim her career as an officer of the Royal Manticoran Navy. But there's a catch. She must assume command of a "squadron" of jury-rigged armed merchantmen with crew drawn from the dregs of her service and somehow stop the pirates who have taken advantage of the Havenite War to plunder the Star Kingdom's commerce.That would be hard enough, but some of the "pirates" aren't exactly what they seem . . . and neither are some of her "friends." For Honor has been carefully chosen for her mission - by two implacable and powerful enemies. The way they see it, either she stops the raiders or the raiders kill her . . . and either way, they win.

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