Weber's hardcover debut extends an established paperback series (Honor Among Enemies, etc.) about Honor Harrington, a genetically engineered warrior whiz, now a commodore in the service of the good-guy Alliance against the evil-empire People's Republic, or Peeps—the circumstances of which we learn all about during a prolonged and tiresome introduction. Honor's constant companion is Nimitz, an intelligent and empathic treecat. Finally, Honor takes up her duties aboard a convoy escort. But when her detachment is surprised by Peep cruisers, Honor draws the enemy away from the convoy until, her own ship heavily damaged, she's forced to surrender. Vicious Peep bigwig Cordelia Ransom orders Honor imprisoned pending execution on planet Hades, while the battered remnants of Honor's crew are held aboard ship. Honor resists every attempt to break her spirit; her crew stage a breakout, rescue her, and blow up the ship—along with the unspeakable Cordelia—so that the Peeps will think they're dead. Ludicrously overburdened with titles and honorifics, and with comic-book villains, cardboard backdrop, and invisible plot: an unutterably tedious experience.
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