In Enemy Hands by David Weber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this Honor Harrington book and judging by its 4.20 (out of 5) score on Goodreads, so did a lot of other people. This is the seventh book in the series and they probably need to be read in order to benefit the most from the books. This book is very different from other Honor H books. We see less Honor and more of her crew, secondary characters, for example. They play the main roles in this novel. We see Honor actually lose a battle for the first time and surrender to a Haven ship, be taken into captivity, tortured, and sentenced to die. This is all new stuff and somewhat unexpected. We also meet Honor’s physician mother who comes to Grayson to start a geneticist clinic and who is on the cutting edge of fashion and sexuality in good old fashioned Grayson. It’s pretty funny. We also meet a bunch of new tree cats and see Nimitz and Samantha’s kittens. Unfortunately, we also get to experience the pain Nimitz feels when he is beaten while aboard the Havenite ship. Additionally, the author chose to inject the possibility of a romance between Honor and an older superior officer who is married, which I suspect will be seen in future books in the series. I wasn’t too fond of this and found it distracting. I also found it somewhat unbelievable. Finally, we get a look at the leaders of Haven, especially the evil Cordelia Ransom, who delights in torturing and killing people with her State Security thugs. She sends Honor and her remaining officers to a prison planet called Hell to die.
Okay. The book started off fairly slowly. I know Weber likes to build up to action in his books, but this was a long buildup. Once the action commenced, however, it was pretty good. It was interesting to find “good” and “honorable” Haven naval personnel who wanted Honor and her crew treated properly as prisoners of war, as opposed to Ransom, who just wanted to torture and kill them. The torture scenes were fairly minimal, but were painful to endure. Just hard to read. The final 100 pages or so, I couldn’t put down. It was exciting, nonstop action with an awesome plot twist. The only real odd thing about it is, we don’t see Cordelia Ransom at the most critical juncture of the book, which doesn’t make sense, and which left me with a bad taste in my mouth, as I wanted revenge. The book ends without a clear resolution, clearly leading to a sequel, which I have and am about to start reading, but I still hate it when authors resort to that strategy. I thought about giving this book four stars because it did have some weaknesses, but it was pretty original and it did hold my attention and it was a pretty dynamic ending, so five stars it is. Recommended.