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On Basilisk Station

February 12, 2014

On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington, #1)This novel is the first in Honor Harrington series. It is a strongly military flavored sci-fi space opera.

The main character is Honor Harrington, a recently made captain of a space ship. Even though she is the best graduate in her academy, her career in the space fleet is not too shiny, because she is a commoner, against all the well connected aristocrats (the government in this novel is a monarchy). And story begin when she get her first assignment in HMS Fearless, a light cruiser with some history in her majesty fleet.

The military aura in this novel is strong, especially the navy culture. This book also covers high politics of the parliament and admiralty down to the actual naval operation. Maybe it is a bit too wide, but Weber did the job pretty well. Most of the story is about the life of the crews of HMS Fearless in their new station at Basilisk.

What I truly love about this novel is the plot. This is actually common is a good space opera, where the science is down played, and the plot is emphasized. This novel really gives you a thrill ride. The characters are plunged into an impossible situation. Her crew and her ship are not of the best kind available.

The setting of politics is also interesting, full with corrupt officers, interest laden politicians, and incompetent leaders. And Honor Harrington, is trapped in the middle of this maelstrom.

One thing that deserved mentioning in this novel I think is the gender role. There are no differences of role between male and female in this novel, whether in politics or military. Even in physical strength, a female character can beat a male character. Maybe it is too good to be true, but certainly it is a future that I am dreaming of.

The one thing that I find lacking is the voice of the enemy. Too little portion of the book is given for the antagonist. Sometimes it is good to know the entire motives of the enemy, even to sympathize with them.

In conclusion, this in a very good beginning of a series. Solid 4 stars.

PS: This novel is a tribute to Captain Horatio Hornblower series by C.S. Forester.

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