Summary: Basilisk Station is the rug under which the Royal Manticoran Navy sweeps it’s incompetents, fools and washouts. The experimental armament of Commander Honor Harrington’s new command, the light cruiser Fearless, is intrinsically flawed; rather than admit that the costly renovation of the aged warship has left it largely defenseless, powerful forces in the navy arrange for Honor and her crew to be shunted aside to Basilisk. Once on station, an old enemy of Honor’s arranges for Fearless to be abandoned as the only ship monitoring the busy post, with the hope of watching her fail. Honor’s determination to meet all of Fearless’ assigned duties, no matter how impossible that seems to be, puts her and her ship squarely in the path of the People’s Republic of Haven, which has its eyes set on seizing control of the star system.
Review: Since it’s release in 1993, the Honor Harrington Series (currently at 12 books) has become one of the most essential military science fiction series available. Putting a future Horatio Hornblower/Admiral Nelson at the center of epic space battles, Weber writes tales of political, strategic and tactical maneuvering on a rarefied level. This first entry is very good; the next entry in the series, The Honor of the Queen, is superlative. The audio for the book is solidly done, as well. There’s nothing about the reader (Allyson Johnson) to write home about, but neither does she get in the way of enjoying the tale.
Read-a-likes: Other military science fiction authors, such as David Drake and Elizabeth Moon, are worthy read-a-likes. Fans of the seafaring stories of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian may be rewarded here as well. Weber rewrites their classic tales of wooden ships and iron men with panache here.
Review by Eric.