I have not read much science fiction over the last 50+ years. I do read historical naval fiction (think Horatio Hornblower series or Alexander Kent‘s series). Recently I was told about David Weber’s series featuring Honor Harrington. I was told to expect naval fiction in space. This is the perfect description of On Basilisk Station, the first book in the multi-book Honor Harrington series.
Honor (a Commander in the Manticoran Space Navy) is appointed Captain of the light cruiser Fearless as it comes out of a refit. She is disappointed in her ship at first sight because it has been stripped of its main battery of weapons. Her second-in-command thinks he should have been given command of the Fearless. Honor, her crew and her ship are assigned to the Basilisk Station a remote outpost usually given to commanders on the outs with upper level commanders. Honor not only has to win the respect of her disappointed crew, and especially her Executive Officer, she has a job to do.
As Honor struggles with the personnel problems, she is also trying to uncover a plot to take over the Basilisk planetary system. Are members of the Kingdom of Manticore’s commercial class responsible or is the Republic of Haven directing the efforts? There are battle scenes worthy of the best nautical fiction. There are enough “science” scenarios to satisfy sci fi fans (speeds faster than that of light, ships weighing millions of tons fighting battles at a distance hundreds of thousand kilometers in space, etc.).
All in all it was a very enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more in the series. I already have book 2.
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–Jim Harris, retired sales rep
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