I know there's a lot of loose ends but it must be close! (lunatics with bio-weapons, advanced tech, huge fleets mobilized to slap down the neo-barbs, a 15 year (or so) war to settle and some major comeuppance for several bad guys/gals!) Might be a bit much in 1 book!?
Spoiler alert if you're not up to date on all 3 series (Main Honor Harrington series, Saganami Island series, and Torch series).
I see where you're coming from since several strands seem to be climaxing together. Looking at the issues separately:- 1) I see the biggest diplomatic issue being whether or not the Mantie government can bring themselves to trust the Pritchard admin in Haven. The Mantie and Havenite navies have huge mutual repect, and I think would trust each other operationally. 2) There's a supply and resupply issue with the Mantie, Havenite et al alliance dealing with the Sollies. Specifically, individually, any of the alliance battlecruisers or SDs can destroy a Sollie waller before the Waller gets into range, but I think the Sollies possess (if they can mobilise them all) sufficient hulls to run the entire alliance navy and their auxilliaries dry of missiles, even with targetting advantages like Keyhole, Apollo and Moriarty. 3) The Mesan factor - I don't think that even Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat realise:- a) The depth of the Mesans' ambitions. b) Anything about the Mesans' navy, and their improved spacedrives.
Thanks for replying - I am not the only person in the Uk reading this stuff!! :) re: 1) - I think Cachets finds have tipped the balance - would need a very high level beheading before they can miss the new and proper target(s). (finally!) 2) Hopefully (been done before) the shock of mantie equipment will shock the Sollies into utter surrender. Even if they know about the supply problems could they afford the face loss/control loss of a massive fleet. (they have other neobarbs banging on Romes doors!) With the Help of Pritchard and the Havenite support (which has to come into play - they are way above the Sollies tech and ability levels) the shock should dissuade possible attrition of Manties Lines of battle - maybe in a 'cavalry' to the rescue style!( Bounce them from behind against the Manties Anvil -what a doozy battle that would be!) Mesans - I just plain want there comeuppance! Maybe cachet can do something with the agents in the field! (uprising of slaves - aquiring the technology etc) Damn I seldom get excited by books! (don't tell anyone!)
Well, several of my colleagues read the series, but I don't think they post in Amazon discussion threads.
1) I hope so; I do have highly personal reasons (I won't discuss exactly what here) for being unsure about Elizabeth Winton's personal willingness to trust the Havenites politically. 2) I see what you mean about just how far ahead the alliance navies are; let's face it, the Havenites have the poorest (a relative term) tech in the alliance, and I'm rating any Havenite battlecruiser as capable of destroying a Sollie waller before the waller can make energy range to reply. I was honestly just concerned about the sheer quantitative advantage the Sollies have if they can and choose to mobilise sufficient hulls in the right direction. I suspect though that they're sufficiently arrogant to think they have a qualitative advantage that could get them defeated in detail. 3) I want Mesa to go down <b>HARD</b> too.
Have a feeling that this won't be the last one, as twists and turns keep throwing up new plot lines. Pretty sure that the good guys will triumph eventually, but at what cost? Weber was planning for Honor to go out with a bang at the moment of victory, like Nelson. Perhaps that is still on the cards even now. It is probably fairly safe to say that Mesa is going to get a big slap however.
The actual answer to "is this the last volume in the series?" can be found on Honor's Wikipedia page. I'm deliberately not saying, partly because it's a possible mild spoiler, and partly because speculation about future volumes and really big space battles is fun!
Are the Mesans heading a few star systems that are effectively seceding from the Sollies? If this is the case and it happens after a few massive Solly Battle Fleet defeats, the Sollies will have a lot to think about.
I do hope so (keep going) love a good space battle - love a bit of diplomacy (or lack of it!) and the characters almost always follow as expected (if the unexpected is the norm). We may have to clone David so little hims keep writing the stuff we need!
As I read HH12 Solly defeats are exactly what the Mesans want and expect. That forms the catalyst for the League's collapse, then their Alignment steps in and takes over the League through their Renaissance factor. The danger for the good guys is that if the Mesans succeed, their tech plus the League's vast production facility equals disaster. What has really shaken the Mesan plans is the Cachat/Zilwicky revelations. They obviously saw Manticor as the biggest threat, hence their Pearl Harbour type attack. They knew there was enough left to trounce Filaretta and trigger a collapse in the bent Solly government, but leave Manticor short of missiles. Now (yippee) the Havenites will stuff the League attacks. The details of their streak drive are in the allies hands and maybe that will leave HH to go up against the Leonard Detweiler class SDs, and please, pretty please give them their comeuppance!
I'd also love to see the Treecats moved into serious action by the atrocities. If all the key characters had treecat guards (armed with small pulsers?) then the Mesan nanotech would fail to kill key allies such as Eloise Pritchard.
I'm really enjoying this series but I don't understand David Weber's desire to kill off Honor. Is it just a wish to make her like Nelson, and go down in a blaze of glory? Actually he was a good tactician, but a pratt in his personal life (unlike Harrington). He left his love, Lady Hamilton to die in poverty in a workhouse. Whatever his reason, I won't be among the 5% who still like Weber after he has killed off Honor.
Ok, this is a reply to Marton Barlow's 14/01/2012. I tried to use "reply to this post", only to get a "window" about 1 inch wide, rather than the 8 inches of the "Add message" one, so the reply window is clearly unusable!
I think Martin is probably correct about the Mesan Alignment's ambitions, and what will probably undo them; well that and the Manties now realising that a submarine analogue is possible, so setting off to invent SONAR.
It's well established I think that Treecats will only bond with certain humans, so Treecat bodyguards for all probably aren't possible. There's no clear indication as to whether or not Treecats could or would use pulsars.
I'm not entirely sure that DW intends to kill Honor off any more. He did originally, but things have been moving faster than he intended (source DW), hence things like Mike Henke moving to a more central role than he first intended.
I hope you're right about HH. There is no shortage of alternative heros but I'd hate to lose her even if she isn't always where the fire is hottest. Raoul? Raised from infancy with empathic contact with the cats.
I must say I find the Eric Flint stories a bit tedious, disjointed and with an excess of superlatives, but that said they seem to have moved the story line into more interesting areas. I'm currently listening to Torch of freedom (I do read, but mostly use audible and listen while mobile) It's about what I expected but essential reading between Mission of Honor HH12 and A Rising Thunder HH13. No spoilers but there's an ex-Sphinx forestry ranger called Judson with a treecat called Hengis on planet Torch. While Hengis doesn't have a pulsar it suggests treecats are more widespread (and useful) than the impression in the earlier books. The Detwielers hate the cats too, that must mean they have more value and probably a bigger part to play in the eventual 'comeuppance'. Also it looks like this 'unexplored' wormhole junction in the Torch system will be significant. I wonder if it goes to Mesa or that planet where the Alinement builds its navy.
Don't get your hopes up for this book. The ebook Advance copy is now available from Baen.
Don't expect too much in the way of resolutions what's getting really frustrating in this series is that between the Shadows and Torch books most of the events in this have already been flagged up.
To make it more frustrating the main new events are flagged in this book though they will happen in the next. Weber spends so much time on exposition from the Sollies that their plans that will happen in HH14 are completely obvious and it makes it feel like you have already read a synopsis of HH14!".
Well, that's increasingly my main frustration with the HH series; the increasing amount of time DW is spending on telling us by exposition in meetings (death by Powerpoint non-optional ;-) ) instead of showing us!
I don't mind the exposition per se. I tend to like the concept of the rough split of the 3 sub arcs : HH political thriller + empires clashing Shadows : smaller scale military (old HH) Torch : espionage and moral dilemmas.
However the execution of these is poor and getting worse.
Rising Thunder also suffers for being obviously truncated. All the set up for the action of the removed second half but none of the payoff. Leaving you feeling both cheated and knowing the plot of the next book
Like G.C. I don't have a problem with scene setting. In fact I quite enjoy it. Also a lot is necessary, to explain the illogical policies and actions of the League, why it goes headlong to its own collapse, why it tolerates incompetent admirals, etc. The answer to many such questions being manipulation by Mesa. Likewise, certain outcomes are inevitable and so predictable. Especially since we are near the end of the story (probably). Lets face it, Lord of the Rings would hardly be as good if Sauron won and subjugated middle earth to eternal misery. Just realized a lot of the above sounds very familiar in the 21st century! What's our glorious leaders' excuse?
But I agree about the poor execution, I found the Torch books especially tedious, although they contributed to the overall storyline. Obviously, I've not read HH13 yet so can't comment, but the idea of leaving all the good stuff, we all know must happen, till the next book seems a bit mercenary.
I suppose the implied question of this thread, "Must this be the last one..." - Has been bypassed by events. A better question is will HH14 be the last one? Maybe DW is bored with making all this money? It's a big universe out there and there are already 3 alien races mentioned. After stuffing the Detwielers maybe an alien empire could come to call HH et al out of retirement ?
On the subject of the treecats taking a more pro-active role. check out - http://jiltanith.thefifthimperium.com/site/page/ARisingThunder/03/-
Its 1 of 3 snippets from 'A Rising Thunder'. Dr Arif is asked to provide an air-car for a gathering of memory singers from all over Sphinx. They want a com meeting with Honor. Then as the snippet ends the sole survivor of Blackwater clan, Sorrow Singer signs to Honor that she has a proposal... So what can that be? No spoilers please, if anyone has read an ARC.
I suppose if you only want to read about space battles then you could say, 'not so much happened' in Storm from the Shadows or Mission of Honor. But actually they are both great SF. The final part of Mission is superb stuff.
I'd agree Martin; I've already said this but IMO it warrants repeating - The issue is when you tell us about things using 'death by Powerpoint' rather than when you get on with showing us a story like, say, Cachat and Zwilicki's deep cover infiltrations which are a long way from big space battles but still good stories.
While I'm loving the HH story, it is true the writing style is not as great as, say Peter F Hamilton. Sorry this is a bit off topic. His books are long (hence good value) and sometimes slow to start but great space opera sagas. I recommend anyone new to PFH starts with Pandora's Star.