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Shadow of Freedom - eARC
by David Weber
Publisher: Baen Books

New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international best-selling phenomenon David Weber delivers book #18 in the multiple New York Times best-selling Honor Harrington series.

Wrong number? There are two sides to any quarrel . . . unless there are more.

Queen Elizabeth of Manticore's first cousin and Honor Harrington's best friend, Michelle Henke, has just handed the "invincible" Solarian League Navy the most humiliating, one sided defeat in its entire almost thousand year history in defense of the people of the Star Empire's Talbott Quadrant. But the League is the most powerful star nation in the history of humanity. Its navy is going to be back—and this time with thousands of superdreadnoughts.

Yet she also knows scores of other star systems—some independent, some controlled by puppet regimes, and some simply conquered outright by the Solarian Office of Frontier Security—lie in the League's grip along its frontier with the Talbott Quadrant. As combat spreads from the initial confrontation,the entire frontier has begun to seethe with unrest, and Michelle sympathizes with the oppressed populations wanting only to be free of their hated masters.

And that puts her in something of a quandary when a 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. And when the RMN doesn't arrive, when the MLF is brutally and bloodily crushed, no independent star system will ever trust Manticore again.

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.

Published 3/15/2013
SKU: A9781451638691
Ebook Price: $15.00 
Not Currently Available
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Showing comments 1-10 of 37 (Next 10) Click Here to see all comments
1. Randall on 2/19/2013, said:

I was definitely disappointed by this book. It wasn't bad, but it feels unbearably like killing time. Honor Harrington, despite being featured front-and-center on the cover, never appears in the book, and many characters who once featured prominently in this sub-series are absent. The midshipmen from Shadow Of Saganami are swept under the rug, and we get a single, token appearance by Helen Zilwiki to provide information we already know. In fact, much of the book is just bringing the characters up to speed on what happened in A Rising Thunder, and the rest ends up going nowhere; characters do things which either have no effect, or that effect isn't felt in this book at all. It doesn't help that the universe they inhabit is no longer threatening. The Solarians are boring and repetitive, and while seeing them get curb-stomped once was fine, by the fourth time in so many books, I'm tired of it. The Mesans aren't much better, and attempt to humanize them are trite and useless. And it all culminates in a decision to do something that should have been done two books ago. It's like David Weber forgot what made his books so interesting: the people living inside the world he created, not the world itself. So often in this book, characters are created solely to prove a point, and then are tossed aside. There is no drama here, just dry analysis that's pointless if someone's already read the other books. It's the Honorverse series, minus all the things I really liked. In the end...it was readable, but unlike other books in the series, I don't see myself re-reading this.
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2. Bruno on 2/16/2013, said:

For me parts of the book were fun, parts weren't. I pretty much like the second half in which Henke et al get busy and the speed of the story picks up. Not much to criticize there from my point of view (except that I miss Honor :P). Most of the first half unfortunately - yes, bored me. Which is kind of a novel experience with a Weber book. The reason is that so many new minor characters appear - only to disappear again a couple pages further on and basically the same story gets told three times (on three different planets). The reason, no doubt, is, that we are supposed to be told that this very same story happens at a lot of places in The Verge at this time as the bad guys get busy setting their plans for the League in motion. Nevertheless being told basically the same thing three times in a row is - boring. I think a little aggressive editing would have done the book a world of good. Stick to one storyline and just mention that similar things happen elsewhere too. Some scenes (the wedding comes to mind) could have been dropped from A Rising Thunder also - and then both books could have been merged into one and been more fun overall.
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3. Paul on 1/25/2013, said:

the addition of the two side stories has added extra texture to an already deeply interesting story.
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4. warren on 1/20/2013, said:

Short story, last 3-4 books in this series can be fit into 1 book. The only advances to the plot in this one are that the sollie dupes that started the war with maticore finally got their just deserts. About half the book was filler, and could be cut out with no loss. Three More plot lines with a host of additional minor characters were added and the major characters of the last few books such as Michelle Henke are hardly followed through the 30+ chapter book.
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5. Adam on 1/13/2013, said:

Somewhat disappointing - in the grand scheme of things it does a perfectly fine job of moving the whole Honorverse plot along in classic Weber fashion, but taken alone, the plot is loose and there are no massively important incidents. The basic scenario from the blurb - resistance movement thinks it is getting support from Manticore, it's really Mesa - is repeated several times, and unless I missed something, a few of those scenarios are introduced and then simply abandoned - we literally never hear of them again in the book. Presumably they'll show up again in future, but still. Other books in the series, even non-Honor spin-offs like the Torch books, have done a much better job of being satisfying stories in themselves while still moving the overall plot along; this one really doesn't.
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6. James on 1/12/2013, said:

It was OK. I got a little tired of his plot device, of someone gets a Dispatch/Message/Report about something and everyone starts freaking out about it. Most of the time it refers to something from the other books, so a new reader would be wondering what the hell happened. I've read the other books so could figure out what they were talking about, but for new readers, it would be frustrating. And he didn't do it just once, but 2 or 3 times. In ONE TIME, it actually (painfully slowly) comes out what was in the message, but still it was annoying. They are sending a fleet off and its going to be bloody, then 2 chaperts later, we find out why. Why? Also disappointed that so little was resolved and it was left just hanging.
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7. Kathryn on 12/17/2012, said:

No, Honor isn't in this one. No, there aren't any of the mercilessly long battle descriptions so many fans seem to love. Instead, we have a rollicking good plot driven story that fills in blanks and rounds out the Manty/Solly/Mesan tempest in a very satisfying way. I'm so glad I bought the eARC!
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8. Ward on 12/17/2012, said:

The series is reaching its climax, probably within a couple of books.
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9. Christine Ann on 12/10/2012, said:

When you overlay this book with the previous it males much more sense. My preference would have been to keep the two intact. This part of the arc stressed the injustice that has to be resolved with the political system of unbridled capitalism. As with other commentors looking forward to what happens next.
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10. Kyle on 12/7/2012, said:

I was disappointed with this book overall. If I had not read the synopsis before reading the book I would have been lost for the first few chapters wondering when the story would loop back to the planets those chapters touched on. A map at the beginning of the book showing the Verge, especially showing the Talbott sector and the planets mentioned in the first few chapters would be helpful. I agree with an earlier comment that it seems pretty dumb for Firebrand to use the same name. The only reason I can think of for this is to inform the reading audience who it is. For that you could use, "Mr. X, previously known as Firebrand on Montana (or was Montana the name of the guy?)" Also, Henke's thoughts/actions seemed to detract from the flow of the story rather than add poignancy. I did like the insight into the workings of the governments overran by Frontier Fleet and the capture of Hongbo and associates. I was surprised there was not more mentioned about the "Freighter" Hongbo was capture on. It would seem that an examination of its logs would have tied it directly to the Monica situation. One other thing. David has a dedicated fan base. We don't need conversations reprinted from the main series or side series - we own the books! If someone is new to the series, tracking down the older books and learning about what is referenced in the new books is part of the fun of discovering this universe. Well, I probably won't buy the next eArc. I really like the Harrington series, but this one was worse than the last and does not bode well for the future. Perhaps David needs to focus more on the Young Reader series instead. I will continue to buy and read David Weber, I think he has proven his ability and talent; I just hope future works rise to his potential.
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