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Friday, October 18, 2013

The Honor of the Queen by David Weber (Honor Harrington #2)

This book felt like I was reading one info dump after another: summary of what happened at Basilisk, history of Greyson, history of Masada, complete breakdown of the Manticoran Fleet.  compete dissection of ship capabilities.  Info. Overload.

I kept coming across what I considered "unnecessary science"- there is the over used example in writing workshops of "the door iris-ed open" to convey that it was not a traditional door, but a futuristic setting.  While I can't find the example I want from the book ('reading' as an audiobook),  it's as if the author is trying too hard to establish the science and/or militaristic aspect of the setting.  "The door irised open with the individual wedges sliding seamlessly into the wall with a slight hydrolic hissing, fitting snugly into the metal bulkheads that gave the LAC its unique shape and structure." 

My issue with the audiobook - Honor's voice sounded like a child's, squeaky and questioning.   Not the "smooth soprano" as indicated in the book. There were several other female characters and their voice would have been perfect for Honor's.  Alas, no.  She got high pitched and childlike making commands sound questioning rather than commanding.

The whole premise of the book - religious diaspora, religious schism, religious fanatics on two worlds, a universal "superpower" stepping in to try and resolve difference that go back centuries, a third power who wants a slice of the pie - was too America/Middle East with flavors of Mormonism to even be unique or interesting. The use of "Satan's Harlot" and "Whores of Satan", "the Infidels" to refer to the Manticoran women, and in particular, Honor didn't seem to convey the right religious fervor and instead, felt antiquated and out of date. 

The whole concept of a far future religious society that "protects women" and cannot wrap their brains around the fact that the rest of the universe allows women in society - OMG!  equal rights! -  did not make for the best background story. 

I recall not being thrilled with book #2 the first time I read it (pre-Goodreads reviews) but upon a second 'reading', I remembered why.  I waffled about whether I wanted to even finish this audiobook, but since I was waiting for a book to come in at the library, I stuck it out.  Still not recommended. 

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