I’ve been rereading the Honor Harrington series in order to catch up on all the characters and the situation as a whole. Over the weekend, I finished Ashes of Victory by David Weber (military science fiction, 645 pages).
I’ve really been impressed by the Honor Harrington series as a whole, mostly because of how massive the world-building, technology, and storyline have become. It feels very much as though this is a real universe. The story is populated by enormous amounts of people, but you as the reader wind up picking a few of your favorites and cheering them on, even if they’re technically on the opposing team to the protagonist. Sometimes, the characters get to be on the side of good people and good governments doing what’s best for the people and sometimes things don’t quite work out that way and that’s one of the key things that makes this universe believable. The characters make mistakes and lives are lost because of it. The people are human and act according to their nature, not according to plot holes or storylines.
I also have to say that this book in the series includes my absolute favorite moment out of all of the books I’ve read in this series so far. It doesn’t look like much, but this is my favorite line in the whole series: ‘”Oops,” she said.” Even just typing that makes me giggle. Three words that can have so much behind them. It’s a very well-written story with some fantastic little tidbits just like that.
One of the other things I noticed while I was reading this novel was that I don’t think a female’s breasts have been mentioned anywhere in the entire series. The main character, Honor Harrington, has several times referred to herself in her youth as being awkward and flat-chested, but that’s a legitimate reflection as to how she viewed herself and her potential attractiveness. It actually fits nicely with the story and isn’t weird or sexist at all. I was thinking about this given my response to the book I finished last week. The sexism in there was enough for me to either notice it on the side or actually be slightly uncomfortable with it. But that’s not the case with this series because this book is telling an enormous story with great depth and real, human, characters. I respect that a lot.
This is the ninth book in the Honor Harrington series and the pace doesn’t let up nor have I become bored with the series at any point. Nor does it feel redundant. Overall, still a good book and something I will likely continue to take off the shelf and reread.