Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Audiobook: On Basilisk Station by David Weber

On Basilisk Station
Author: David Weber
Series: Honor Harrington Book 1
Narrator: Allyson Johnson
Publication: Audible Studios (March 4, 2009)
Length: 15 hours and 36 minutes

Description: Having made a superior look a fool, Honor Harrington has been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin.

Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship's humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station.

The aborigines of the system's only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.

Parliament isn't sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called "Republic" of Haven is up to something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn't work to police the entire star system.

But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They've made her mad.

My Thoughts: This book introduces Honor Harrington as she takes command of the Fearless and, after embarrassing Admiral Hemphill, finds herself assigned to Basilisk Station. There she finds an old enemy, Lord Pavel Young, in command. He attempted to rape her while they were at the Academy but she wiped the floor with him. However, instead of pressing her advantage and getting him thrown out of the service in disgrace, she let's him off the hook and makes a major enemy.

Young takes advantage of Honor's appearance to take himself and his ship back home to Manticore for "essential repairs" hoping that Honor will fail in her new command. However, Honor doesn't fail. Despite a first officer who seems to have some sort of grudge against her, she rallies her crew to do all the things Young and his ship should have been doing.

From customs inspections to interfacing with the diplomatic mission overseeing the residents on the planet, Honor's crew is stretched thin but finally doing what the Navy should have been doing all along. And just in time too. Because Haven has been hatching a plot to get Manticore off Basilisk and gain control of its terminus for itself.

Haven has hatched a plan to drug and arm the natives with weapons far above their technological development and let them loose on the enclaves where the foreigners live. Then they will sweep in with their Navy and "save" the foreigners and highlight Manticoran incompetence.

However, with Honor on the planet, there is no Manticoran incompetence to be had. After Hemphill's reconfiguring of Honor's ship's weapons which made them a lot less effective and useful, Honor is left to face a much larger and better armed Havenite ship to keep it from escaping to hyperspace and alerting the rest of the invasion force that it is time to sweep in to an easy victory.

The story is filled with technical detail that I would normally skim but couldn't in the audiobook. However, the parts of the story where people were interacting and plans were developed was engaging enough to get me through the technical details. I loved the way Honor wins the loyalty of her new crew and even finally gets her first officer on the right track.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm currently listening to a later Honor book on audio and have the same problem with all the tech speak. But I like seeing her deal with all her foes, both friendly and the ones shooting at her. My book club read this last year or a bit earlier and we had a good time with it.


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