Author: David Weber
Series: Honor Harrington (Book 19)
Publication: Baen (November 1, 2016)
Description: The Mesan Alignment is revealed, and, for Honor Harrington and the Manticoran Star Kingdom, this means war!
Sometimes things don’t work out exactly as planned.
The Mesan Alignment has a plan—one it’s been working on for centuries. A plan to remake the galaxy and genetically improve the human race—its way.
Until recently, things have gone pretty much as scheduled, but then the Alignment hit a minor bump in the road called the Star Empire of Manticore. So the Alignment engineered a war between the Solarian League, the biggest and most formidable interstellar power in human history. To help push things along, the Alignment launched a devastating sneak attack which destroyed the Royal Manticoran Navy’s industrial infrastructure.
And in order to undercut Manticore’s galaxy-wide reputation as a star nation of its word, it launched Operation Janus—a false-flag covert operation to encourage rebellions it knows will fail by promising Manticoran support. The twin purposes are to harden Solarian determination to destroy the Star Empire once and for all, and to devastate the Star Empire’s reputation with the rest of the galaxy.
But even the best laid plans can have unintended consequences, and one of those consequences in this case may just be a new dawn of freedom for oppressed star nations everywhere.
My Thoughts: This multi-threaded epic has the Mesan Alliance fomenting revolution on various planets in the Verge under the guise of being Manticorans. A lot of the book looks at those individual attempts on various planets to overthrow unjust governments.
Meanwhile, the Mesa Alliance has unleashed another sneak attack on the Manticore home worlds which destroyed a space station which is a repair base for the Manticoran Navy. Among those killed were the crew of the Hexapuma that hadn't already been transferred out to other assignments. A couple of the viewpoint characters in this one were survivors.
Manitcore and Haven have become allies having realized that much of their enmity was encouraged by the Mesan Alliance. Now they are determined to bring the war to Mesa at last. Admiral Mike Henke of Manticore and Admiral Lester Tourville of Haven are in joint command of the operation. First they have to get over the remnants of anger and resentment that remain from when they were enemies.
Also, the Mesan Alliance is forced to accelerate their own plans to decamp from Mesa and form their own secret Star Nation. The speed makes it necessary, in their viewpoint, to murder anyone that they can't get off Mesa before the joint forces of Manticore and Haven arrive. They do have a cunning plan to blame terrorists from the Ballroom who oppose the genetic slavery Mesa is know for. And, through them Manticore, which has some ties to the Ballroom.
This was a complex fantasy. It was also more concerned this time with people and people's actions than complex space battles and missile properties though there was one of those near the end of the story.
Considering how this book ended, I am curious to know where this epic will be going next. Fans of the Honor Harrington series won't want to miss this episode.
She really wished it could be as simple as settling into orbit and posting something like "Hey! Any revolutionaries down there expecting Manticoran assistance? Here we are!" to the plantary boards. Somehow, though, that seemed a little lacking in...subtlety. Worse, it might very well spark a rebellion which wouldn't have occurred otherwise."I got this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.