Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Shadow of Saganami, by David Weber

The Shadow of Saganami, by David Weber

I’ve enjoyed the Honor Harrington series but thought it was getting stale. After 15 or so books the plotlines are starting to get a bit repetitive so I was happy to see a new series in the same universe being created. This wasn’t as strong as some of the earlier Honor books, but still enjoyable. A bunch of new characters are quickly introduced and several are promising. I’m looking forward to the next one in the series.

While the centerpiece is still a military space opera, politics takes a significant portion of the bandwidth. We’ve got planets run by big business, planets with strong socialist tendencies, planets with rigid class divisions, planets with limited governments, etcetera. The plot revolves around all these worlds trying to form a single constitution to join a larger political body. While this could have been fairly interesting à la the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, it tended to drag. Weber has a tendency to drone on long after his point has been made; my dad would say he is the kind of guy that if you asked him what time it was he’d tell you how to build a clock.

After a slow start the story is captivating, but I think about 150 pages could have been shaved off without too much trouble. If you aren’t in a hurry, though, it is worth wading through. I wouldn’t use this as an entry point into the Honorverse, but it is well worth reading.

First Sentence:
Admiral of the Red Lady Dame Honor Harrington, Steadholder and Duchess Harrington, sat beside Vice Admiral of the Red Dame Beatrice McDermott, Baroness Alb, and watched silently as the comfortable amphitheater seating of the huge holographic simulator filled up.

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