Echoes of Honor

David Weber, Author Baen Books $24 (592p) ISBN 978-0-671-87892-4
Extrapolating Horatio Hornblower into a rousing far-future galactic conflict, sex-changing him into Admiral Lady Dame Honor Harrington and setting in motion a myriad of teeth-baring space-naval commanders make Weber's military SF (In Enemy Hands, etc.) irresistible. This hefty eighth installment of the Harrington saga opens with Honor's supposed execution--but wait! She and her empathic treecat, Nimitz, though wounded, are really on Hades, a prison planet of the nefarious People's Republic (Peeps), where they are hatching a plot to spring its POWs, smash the Peep fleet invading the space of Honor's Manticoran Alliance and bring everybody safely home. Meanwhile, unscrupulous Peep politicians hamstring their own commanders with bumptious informers, while the Manties' Admiralty officials cope with lukewarm allies and the bloodthirsty polygamous Calvinist Graysons of Honor's other homeworld, a Puritanical society hell-bent on dispensing with Lady Harrington ""and no mercy!"" Weber's enormous canvas allows for masterful combat sequences, technological expertise and appealing character painting. Most of the military types (among whom women abound) on both sides are tough, decent and efficient, while most politicians (including those in uniform) are self-serving numskulls--portraits that most readers will applaud, along with the rest of Weber's rousing novel. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
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