Doctor Who: Timewyrm: Genesys

Doctor Who: Timewyrm: GenesysOrder this bookStory: The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Ace to ancient Mesopotamia, a critical juncture in human evolution which demands strict non-intervention. But Ace is appalled at how women are treated in this place and time, and worse yet, the Doctor receives a recorded message from his fourth self warning about an ancient menace capable of ravaging the web of time from its beginning to its end. On Gallifrey, they had a name for this menace – the Timewyrm. And to the Doctor’s horror, it has arrived on Earth and is already influencing events.

Review: Who would have guessed that great things would have come of this first book? It’s almost hard to imagine that a series of novels with the depth and complexity of the New Adventures began with this novel, which barely fit the range’s early tagline of “stories too broad and too deep for the small screen.”

For what it’s worth, John Peel does a decent job of picking up from where Survival left off (though that’s almost been made obsolete by the flood of BBC past Doctors novels and audio plays that also happen in an unspecified post-Survival timeline). But there’s something pedestrian about Peel’s writing style that always kept me from really sinking my teeth into this book. […]

Honor Among Enemies

Honor Among Enemies (original cover)Order this bookStory: As the war between the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the People’s Republic of Haven grows in intensity, both sides’ attention turns to the space between the Silesian Confederacy and the Anderman Empire, where neutral shipping lanes have become ripe for raiders and pirates, costing both Manticore and Haven dearly. Honor Harrington is called up for duty aboard a Manticoran ship once again, an order she has the option to refuse but can’t bring herself to turn down. But her return to Manticoran uniform is anything but glamorous – she’ll be commanding a squadron of “helpless” merchant freighters retrofitted into warships – and her reinstatement has been engineered by old enemies bent on seeing her forced into a no-win situation. And if that’s not bad enough, then there are the forces at work against her within her own ship…

Review: If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of slowly plowing through
the Honor Harrington series, it’s this: just about any ship and crew to whom we’re introduced outside of the first four chapters of any given book will not be returning to the shipyards intact by the last chapter. It’s the Honorverse’s equivalent of redshirts, dished up – and done away with – a couple thousand at a time. David Weber always walks a fine line here, making sure we know that Manticore’s most capable captain always has her eyes – and her conscience – trained on the body count. Though in “Honor Among Enemies,” Weber makes sure that the bad guys are so bad that no one’s really sorry to see them go. […]

The Short Victorious War

The Short Victorious War (new cover)The Short Victorious War (original cover)Order this bookStory: Having recovered from the serious injures she sustained in the battle to protect Grayson, Captain Honor Harrington is assigned to her new command – the battlecruiser Nike, fresh out of Manticore’s shipyards and ready to take its place at the head of the fleet. Nike’s shakedown cruise is a little bumpy, however, delaying the ship’s participation in fleet wargames near the remote Hancock Station outpost – and giving Honor time to become friendly with Captain Paul Tankersley, overseeing Nike’s repairs at Hancock. But the wargames are in danger of becoming the real thing as the signs begin to point toward a sudden escalation in aggressive territorial moves from Manticore’s enemy, the People’s Republic of Haven. Eager to quell civil unrest within its own empire, the Havenite military plans a bold strategy to start a war with Manticore – intending all along to make it look like Manticore is the attacker.

Review: Whereas the first two books in the Honor Harrington series are more or less self-contained, with the universe’s backstory and a few tendrils connecting them, “The Short Victorious War” is clearly setting us up for big stuff down the road, while also giving the reader more than enough action to stay awake for. But this book shakes things up where storytelling in the Honorverse is concerned in other ways. […]