Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more.
Michelle Henke, Queen Elizabeth of Manticore’s first cousin, Honor Harrington’s best friend, and the commanding officer of Manticore’s Tenth Fleet, is just a bit surprised when a messenger arrives from the Mobius System to inform her that the Mobius Liberation Front is prepared to rise in rebellion against the hated regime President Svein Lombroso. But why tell her about it? After all, she has problems of her own, like the minor matter of a life-or-death war against the Solarian League.
And that puts her in something of a quandary when the messenger from Mobius arrives, because someone’s obviously gotten a wrong number. According to him, the Mobians’ uprising has been carefully planned to coordinate with a powerful outside ally: the Star Empire of Manticore. Only Manticore — and Mike Henke — have never even heard of the Mobius Liberation Front.
It’s a set-up . . . and Michelle knows who’s behind it. The shadowy Mesan Alignment has launched a bold move to destroy Manticore’s reputation as the champion of freedom. Mike Henke knows she has no orders from her government to assist any rebellions or liberation movements, that she has only so many ships, which can be in only so many places at a time . . . and that she can’t possibly justify diverting any of her limited, outnumbered strength to missions of liberation the Star Empire never signed on for.
She knows that . . . and she doesn’t care. No one is going to send thousands of patriots to their deaths, trusting in Manticoran help that will never come. Not on Mike Henke’s watch.
The book in itself is not a bad book but then David Weber generally does not write really “bad” books. At least I cannot remember having read one. However, I quite frankly feel cheated by this book. I have waited eagerly for quite a while to get my hands on a new Honor Harrington book and when I finally do…there is no Honor Harrington in it!!!
Yes the story takes place within the main story arc of the Honor Harrington novels but it does not really advance the story in any major way. A good chunk of the book is taken by a minor skirmish that, from the main perspective, can be said to be a side story and nothing more.
Also, as is, unfortunately, now a common trait of the works of David Weber a lot of the book is spent on talk, talk, talk between different parties. This is a shame since he is really better than most in writing actual space battles. Actually, the before mentioned minor skirmish is probably the most fun part of the entire book to read.
As I mentioned above the book is not really bad. Quite to the contrary it is a quite good book although I would have preferred a bit less talking, especially since most of the talking is about politics and such despicable activities, and more of the actual action parts. It is however totally mismatched against my expectations. In particular, the fact that it is presented as an Honor Harrington novel and then Honor Harrington herself is not really in it is just…not right. I could perhaps have accepted that if the book actually advanced the story in any significant way but that it does not.
I am indeed somewhat disappointed with this book.