For those who need the heads-up, this is very hard science fiction. So hard that the frequent and lengthy science, technology, and weapon-related asides made my eyes glaze over a bit. Necessarily as the first novel in a fairly long series, this does provide a lot of background, fundamental universe structure, and a firm grounding in How Things Work here, and this Weber managed commendably well.
The story itself is a gradual, somewhat grinding buildup to the final ship battle (which, oh man, it's *epic* and well worth the wait), and it almost always feels slightly disconnected from what's going down "on the ground." While at times frustrating, this *works* for the story, as it's told from command central.
I thought, at first, that it lacked much of the interpersonal relations that make characters interesting (apart from a secondary character's ongoing inner conflict) until I caught myself going "duh". The military demands professionalism, not tete-a-tetes, and so much of the character interaction remains very true to what one should expect in that atmosphere. Honor is an undeniably strong and driven female lead, something relatively unusual in hard science fiction, though I admit that I'm still waiting for actual flaws to balance out the character.
If this first novel is anything to go by, the series looks as if it should be quite promising.
David W. (GypsyD) reviewed On Basilisk Station (Honor Harrington, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
A brilliant start to a brilliant series. Honor Harrington is a character who inspires admiration and affection as does her empathic companion, the treecat, Nimitz. Tight science for the technophiles, plenty of action for adventure buffs, complex and multilayered background world promising a rich environment for future development...
I am addicted to this series and its spinoffs... 5 stars from me...
The first and the best of an incredible series - this introduces Honor Harrington and Nimitz and sets the stage for all that comes after. A great story in and of itself, it serves as a terrific foundation for a truly great series. Rip-roaring space opera, with characters that are wonderfully drawn. The battle scenes are great and very believable. Weber has the unique ability to create strong women characters without emasculating the men around her. Honor makes a wonderful role model for any young woman.
"Having made him look the fool, she's been exiled to Basilisk Station in disgrace and set up for ruin by a superior who hates her. 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 system.
But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They've made her mad.
On Basilisk Station (or "HH1" as it's known to the faithful) is the first installment in David Weber's cult hit Honor Harrington series, which has charmed the socks off schoolgirls and sailors alike. Honor--the heroine of this fast-paced, addictive space opera--is a polished, plucky bulldog of a naval officer, part Horatio Hornblower, part Miles Vorkosigan, part Captain Janeway, and with a razor-clawed telepathic cat thrown over her shoulder for good measure.
The series' kickoff puts a giddy Commander Harrington at the helm of her first serious starship, the HMS Fearless. But her excitement quickly fades--political maneuvering by top brass in the Manticoran navy has left her light cruiser outfitted with a half-baked experimental weapons system. Against all odds (just the way Honor likes it), she still manages a clever coup in tactical war games, a feat that earns her accolades--and enemies. The politicians she's offended banish her to a galactic backwater, Basilisk Station. But that outpost soon proves to be a powder keg, and it's up to Harrington and the Fearless crew to thwart the aggressive plans of the Haven Republic. A perfect mix of military SF and high adventure--if you enjoy your tour, re-up with HH2, The Honor of the Queen. .
From School Library Journal
YA-Move over gutsy female detectives-here's a daring woman spaceship commander waiting to claim a place in readers' hearts. Honor Harrington is sent in disgrace to the forlorn outpost of Basilisk Station, where military authorities hope she will be forgotten about. Instead, with her woefully under-armed vessel, the Fearless, she executes incredible flying maneuvers in an attempt to stop foreign takeover of a major space station.