Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 26 April 2014
Great read, well written and easy to read. I am adding this author to my wish list and looking out for more books
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 October 2012
The first thing you have to know about this book is that it is written for teenagers, so it's not designed to have the complexity, multiple plots, and cast-of-thousands of the Honor Harrington series.

This is the sequel to A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom (Quality)) and picks up a few years later; Stephanie is now approaching her fifteenth birthday. She's an adolescent now, with all that entails - learning how to deal with other people, learning to drive, in general learning how to be an adult.

There are also external challenges - as one of the only humans adopted by a treecat, she's very much involved with the politics of how the existence of treecats will be integrated into Sphinxian life. The action plot of the book revolves around this concept (which is probably going to be central to the whole series, I think).

I have to admit, I could see what happened coming a mile off. I don't know whether that's adult perspective, being a voracious reader, or just that it was predictable. It also seemed to have a softer edge than David Weber's usual style, which I think may be Jane Lindskold's influence, comparing with the last time I read something by her. Not that this is necessarily bad - just different. However, even so, it was a pretty enjoyable book.

If this had been marketed as an adult book, I would have given it three stars, but as it's a young adult book it gets four. I will almost certainly get the next book in the series when it comes out.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
"Fire Season" is the second book in the "Star Kingdom" series set in the Universe of David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series but some five hundred years earlier. These stories are particularly aimed at young adults but can be read by older readers.

This book follows on from "A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom (Quality))" which describes how Stephanie Harrington, a twelve-year-old girl from the first generation of Honor Harrington's family to move to the Manticore system, became the first human to be "adopted" by a Sphinx treecat. This was originally written as a short story which was first published in the collection "More Than Honor," can also be found in the more recent anthology "Worlds Of Weber" and was then extended to a novel.

The third book in the series "The Treecat Wars" is due out in 2013.

For anyone who has never read any of the Honor Harrington books, "Treecats" are a small arborial sentient species native to the planet Sphinx who look a bit like six-legged cats with long tails. Among themselves they are fully telepathic: they can read the "Mind-glows" of humans well enough to be empathic, e.g. they can read emotions but not thoughts. Treecats find the mind-glows of many humans attractive and in some circumstances a human and a treecat can form a lifelong bond similar to those between the human and dragon characters of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight series. This relationship is referred to in Weber's novels as "adoption."

"A Beautiful Friendship" told the story of the first such bonding, of how Stephanie came to be known as "Death Fang's Bane" among the treecats, and of the struggle to have treecats recognised as an intelligent species with legal rights corresponding to human rights. No human alive in Honor's time has personal memories of Stephanie because Weber tells us in "Mission of Honor: Honor Harrington, Book 12," a book in the Honorverse main series, that the first generation of the "Prolong" technology which allows Honor and many characters of her generation to expect a vastly extended lifespan, first became available about a hundred years before that book. E.g. four hundred years after the birth of Stephanie Harrington.

However, treecats can and do share memories, and one of the most important groups in their society are "Memory Singers" who act as a living library of important memories, some of which can be very old. Nimitz's wife Samantha, who is bonded to Honor Harrington's husband Hamish Alexander, is a memory singer. And in A Rising Thunder (Honor Harrington) which came out in March 2012, Samantha introduces Honor to "Sorrow Singer," a treecat memory singer who does indeed hold such a memory of Stephanie Harrington and can tell Honor, "You would have liked her. She was much like you in many ways."

A major focus of both the first books in this new prequel series is on how an intelligent but non-technological species like the treecats might react to the arrival of human colonists on their world, and on the good and evil ways that a society of human colonists might react to the discovery that the planet where they have been building a home for several generations is home to a native intelligent species.

At the start of this book, a few T-years after the start of the first one, Stephanie is approaching her 15th birthday and suffering a bad case of the usual teenage tension with her parents. She is interested in treecats, ecology and science, and flying, and uninterested in making friends with other humans, particularly most of her fellow teenagers. Some of whom are actually nice people and some are not - this aspect of the book is a fairly typical coming-of-age story.

This attitude begins to change when a delegation of off-planet scientists arrives to review whether treecats are really intelligent. Stephanie is strongly attracted to Anders, the son of the leader of these scientists, who is about her own age.

Sphinx's forest ecology is dependent on occasional natural forest fires, although these can threaten treecat clans and human homes alike. Because careless human activity can make this risk worse, the ranger service in which Stephanie is an apprentice is very concerned to control forest fires during the planet's "fire season." Stephanie and her friend Karl find themselves involved in several rescue attempts - with unexpected consequences ...

There are no space battles in "A Beautiful Friendship" or "Fire Season." Like Honor's own parents and most of their family, Stephanie's parents are medical professionals. The original Republic of Haven, if it exists at all yet, has not decayed to become the corrupt and totalitarian "People's Republic of Haven" and so the military threat posed by the "Peeps" lies many years in the future.

However, the vast and ruthless conspiracy which will eventually become known as the Mesan Alignment did already exist in Stephanie's time, and one wicked human whose actions in the first book damaged human and treecat relations may - or may not - have had links to them.

If you like the treecats in David Weber's other books you should read this. It's enjoyable and interesting as long as you are not among that part of Weber's fanbase who read him solely for the battles.

If anyone reading this is a big fan of military or naval science fiction, and in the unlikely event that such a person has somehow managed to avoid reading any of the Honor Harrington books, click on the following link to the first book in Honor's story, "On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington)," and you are unlikely to be disappointed.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 April 2013
Fire Season is the second Stephanie Harrington novel, the new YA series from David Weber. I thoroughly enjoyed A Beautiful Friendship, so reading Fire Season was a no-brainer. I knew that Jane Lindskold was on board for co-writing duties, and I questioned how this would effect the novel, and how different it could be in tone and style to A Beautiful Friendship. Turns out the answer wasn't what I hoped for, and Fire Season marked a change in both style and storytelling.

With Sphinx entering the end of its long Summer, the forests of the planet are ripe for fires. Stephanie and Climbs Quickly are Forest Rangers, travelling with a more experienced partner and helping where possible. While on one of these excursions, Climbs Quickly identifies the calls of some Treecats in peril, and swiftly alerts Stephanie, guiding her to their location in order to help them. And this is just the start of the Fire Season...

I'm not going to say much else about the story in Fire Season because it's all in the title. Fires rage, Stephanie and Climbs Quickly respond where they can, and Treecats are rescued. Add in a few smaller plot threads - an off-world scientific team studying the Treecats, Stephanie's relationships - and that's Fire Season for you.

To be honest, I'm disappointed. I really thought that there was so much potential after reading A Beautiful Friendship, and while their were glimpses of it in Fire Season, it really didn't live up to expectations.

The major downside to Fire Season, when compared to A Beautiful Friendship, is the prose and style. I really don't know how much of this novel was written by each author, and while I thought there were times I could see Weber's writing, it feels flat. While the first novel was aimed (or at least written) at an older YA audience, Fire Season seems to be undecided as to its target audience. There some times, like most of the the day-to-day incidents that plague Stephanie (i.e. boy issues, friendships, etc), where it's written towards a very young crowd, while at others (like the scientific party discussions) are clearly above such a readership. With no consistency in the writing, Fire Season fails at delivering a gripping and exciting story.

It's such a shame, because their is huge potential here for some truly interesting and exciting stories. Perhaps the subject matter of this one limited the scope, or perhaps Weber & Lindskold were adjusting to working together on a novel. Either way, I've come away unsure whether or not to try the next novel, Treecat Wars. I'm interested in it, but I'm also worried it will be the last Stephanie Harrington novel I read....
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 March 2013
Following on from the first book, the second in the series gives another look at the background for the planet it is based on, the characters and rules found in this mini-universe.
The plot flows smoothly and the description of events can leave you imagining you are still there. The character descriptions are deep enough to let you imagine who they are but short enough that they don't impact on the storyline and flow of the book.
A very good book which gives more detail and a bigger focus on the creatures involved and makes you feel as though this could be taking place right now.
With the same setup for technology as the first book, it gives the impression of being futuristic but not unbelievable in terms of technological development.
An excellent book to contiunue after the first.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 December 2013
This is a pleasant book to read, it is shorter than expected but it expands upon the on-going relationship between the humans and the indigenous tree cats, it is set in the fire season as the title suggests so only deals with a small period of time,
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 July 2014
good book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 February 2013
fantastic book filling in the back ground of the main series i would recommend this book to any one who wants to learn about honors ancesstors
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse