Top critical review
Getting a little convoluted at this point...
on 11 April 2017
I have to say that I've gone off this series of books lately. After the Manticore/Haven War story arc completed I feel like the author(s) had difficulty deciding where to take the series next and have settled on this weird combination of rambling conspiracy theories, resistance movements and the escalating conflict with the Solarian League.
Don't get me wrong, what (few) space battles there are, they are the usual quality and entertainment we've come to expect from the series but they're sandwiched between masses of dialogue which in my opinion isn't particularly stimulating, interesting or even original. All the characters regardless of what their personality is supposed to be seems to have this need to qualify all of their motivations and reasoning with long winded caveats so you feel like every conversation is just one long excuse for one eventuality or another, and every conversation feels very much the same as the rest.
Also something that I found a little puzzling is that the main character of the first arc, Honor Harrington herself, isn't even in this book (while she is mentioned "in passing" a few times) and yet this novel comes under the "Honor Harrington" umbrella. I think this is a consequence of the authors attempting to keep too many plates spinning at once, so to speak. There are too many branching story lines and characters at this point and if you haven't read all the sub-arcs (especially the ones handling Torch and Manpower) then you're either left guessing as to what the characters are actually talking about, or you're sat reading expositions and re-reading about what happened in the other books!
What you're left with is a verbose patch-work of explanations and crisscrossing story arcs that at best bore the reader and at worst leave them confused and frustrated. If you're a fan of the fast paced tactics and action focusing on a few main characters of the early series, you probably won't enjoy this or the later novels.
I sincerely hope the author(s) get back to a single focused story arc with lots of action soon or I fear I won't be buying any more books for this series, and instead going back and just re-reading the ones I have.