Shadow of Victory

Parson

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Well, I can't believe it but I am finally going to start to read this book. That I've had it for weeks and weeks and haven't opened it yet must mean that I'm afraid David Weber has lost some of his mojo for me. I'll try to post how I'm feeling about the book at somewhat regular periods of time. I'll try to post without any major spoilers. If I have to write one, I'll tag it.
 

Parson

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Okay,

I'm 10% in and starting to enjoy it. The early chapters I was wondering not because of the writing but because Weber was introducing all sorts of Czechoslovakian names which I hadn't a clue how to pronounce and could have got lost in them. --- Still might, but it looks like two are quite important and the others bit players --- Right now we've switched over to Manty side and so am getting into people that I know and like. My biggest fear is that this will start looking like the Safehold series with continual wheel spinning and no traction.
 

Parson

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Update #2

I'm now 25% into the book and it is clearer which way the wind is blowing. At least in the early parts of the book, and I'm suspecting up until we get to a hoped for monster climax this is going to be a kind of spy vs. spy story. I find it a bit hard to follow because both sides are using the same techniques and both insinuating that they are fronting for Manticore. Sometimes I get confused on which line I am following. But while we are on a long build up, it isn't boring. Weber has introduced interesting characters that I'm beginning to care about. At this point I wouldn't put the book on the level of the early Honor Harrington books, but it doesn't feel anything like the late Safehold books, save that so far Dame Honor has only even been mentioned one time. Which I find a bit aggravating and a little worrying.
 

Parson

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Update #3

I'm now just over half the way in this book. I just picked up on something that I should have picked up on earlier, this occurs in the same timeline as the devastatingly effective sneak attack on Manticore. I was thinking that it was further along the timeline and some of comments were not making sense, now they do. --- I'm 66 years old and deserve a little slack. --- At the present moment we are back on Manticore and dealing with known characters and ship board tactics. I'm much happier with this then with the espionage parts.
 

pyan

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Yes, I found the Czechoslovakian names a little confusing, Parson (but I thought they were Polish...). Be assured though, this is a real slow burner, and the climax is excellent!
 

Parson

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@pyan .... Thanks for the life line and the confirmation of my hope. I was assuming they were Czech because Czechoslovakia was named once.
 

Parson

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I'm about to read chapter 61 or, to put it another way, I'm 76% of the way into the book. It is now feeling like a true Weber book. The ending is beginning to loom. I now have a handle on who's who and I know who I am rooting for and why. My feeling right now is that it took too long to get to this point. Why do the latest Weber books all have to have 600 or more pages? My favorites were the early Honor Harrington books and they were about 350 pages in paper back. On the other hand it is really good to have some of my favorite characters making an appearance, and the thing I like best about Weber's books is coming out. That is, when people are guided by honesty, loyalty, and honor things have a way of working out for them.*

*This is something I believe deeply and have experienced in my life.
 

pyan

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Good question, Parson (Why do the latest Weber books all have to have 600 or more pages? My favourites were the early Honor Harrington books and they were about 350 pages in paper back), and I quite agree. There seems to be an awful lot of people telling other people about things that we already knew in the later books.
My favourite theories are that (a) Weber's editors, beta-readers and associates don't tell him to prune and cut back any more, for whatever reason, so the books get more and more self-indulgent, or (b) he's negotiated a deal where he's paid by the word...

Another voice on the Honorverse - a bit harsh, but everyone's entitled to an opinion and this chap says some interesting things. The comments are worth reading, too.

bibliogramma | The decline and fall of Honor Harrington
 
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Parson

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Yeah, I agree a bit harsh, but with enough truth to sting.

I'm now at 95% complete and taking time to post here probably is not a good sign. I remember reading half the night (until 2 or so; and I ordinarily get up at 6) to finish On Basilisk Station. But unless there is still a wonderful twist at the end the ending has been acceptable, but not all that memorable. Once again the Manticore Navy has vastly superior weapons, tactics, and personnel making any fight less than dire. And I have been frustrated how all of the places that are in danger the Manties just happen in at the nick of time to save almost all the bacon.
 

Parson

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After at least 600 pages I'm done....
Wonderful twist at the end; none.
The bush fires have been tended.
The political intrigue ended.
But victory is still far from won.
 

Vertigo

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Good question, Parson (Why do the latest Weber books all have to have 600 or more pages? My favourites were the early Honor Harrington books and they were about 350 pages in paper back), and I quite agree. There seems to be an awful lot of people telling other people about things that we already knew in the later books.
My favourite theories are that (a) Weber's editors, beta-readers and associates don't tell him to prune and cut back any more, for whatever reason, so the books get more and more self-indulgent, or (b) he's negotiated a deal where he's paid by the word...

Another voice on the Honorverse - a bit harsh, but everyone's entitled to an opinion and this chap says some interesting things. The comments are worth reading, too.

bibliogramma | The decline and fall of Honor Harrington
Sadly I don't thing they are being all that harsh. I'm afraid the change in the writing of the HH books over the series is quite extraordinary. I continue to read them for much the same reason that blogger does but only just barely and if I'm honest I'm not really looking forward to reading the next one (Shadow of Victory). I suspect there are a lot of readers who feel the same and I also suspect that Weber is a little blasé because the series is still selling. I wonder if he realises how much of his HH best seller status is now being maintained by grudging buyers like me. Sadly I'm beginning to think I may not complete reading this series.
 

Parson

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@Vertigo .... I suspect you are right about Weber becoming blasé about his writing. I find myself in the same boat with the Honor Harrington series and especially when it comes to the Safehold series. I never had the same "Can't Wait for the Next Book'" feeling with that series, but they too are becoming even more bloated. I would dearly love to know if he has an editor, and if he does; "Does he listen to her?"

I suppose that when you are charging $25-$30 for a book there is a feeling that you have to give the reader many hours of pleasure. ---- This is faulty logic I believe. While it may hold true for a first buy, if the writing is good I doubt that there is much relevance for any purchase past that.
 

Beamer01

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As a long time Weber fan, I was disappointed with Shadows of Victory. It was about the slowest read through at least the first half of the book of any Weber book I have read. It did get better but still not really a Honor Harrington book. Honestly at the moment I am enjoying his Safehold set more then what he is writing in the Honorverse. The Multiverse books have been good too.
 

Parson

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I agree with your assessment of Shadow of Victory, but I still find the Safehold series slower yet. Multiverse are good generally, but I don't find them quite as grabbing as the early Harrington books.
 

Vertigo

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Speaking of the Multiverse books, I see there is finally, after a gap of 9 years, a third book in that series co-authored with one Joelle Presby rather than Linda Evans who I understand was having many health problems. Not sure I can motivate myself to get back into that world again.
 

Vertigo

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As a long time Weber fan, I was disappointed with Shadows of Victory. It was about the slowest read through at least the first half of the book of any Weber book I have read. It did get better but still not really a Honor Harrington book. Honestly at the moment I am enjoying his Safehold set more then what he is writing in the Honorverse. The Multiverse books have been good too.
I'm not sure that this is actually a Honor Harrington book. With three different threads to the 'series' now it's all getting a bit confusing. There's the actual Honor Harrington books which Baen tend to subtitle 'A Honor Harrington novel,' then there's the Crown of Slaves Series, primarily about Zilwicki and Cachat, and then there's the set beginning with 'Shadow of Saganami' which Baen tend to subtitle 'A Honorverse novel' which is how this book is subtitled. Now I know there was talk of just combing all three into effectively a single series but I see the cover of "A Rising Thunder" is subtitled 'A Honor Harrington novel' whilst this is subtitled 'A Honorverse novel' so I'm not really expecting too much HH in it.

However I'd like to add that we now seem to have to cover the same period three times over - once for each series - and that's beginning to feel a bit over the top. [Maybe beginning is the wrong word to use there!]

I shall see for myself soon as this is currently about five books down in my TBR pile.
 

Parson

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Good catch Vertigo, I wondered about that myself. Honor Harrington does not even make an appearance in Shadow of Victory. But it is clear that the two series are drifting toward each other. I would expect a kind of meet up somewhere along the line.
 
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