Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

SF: discuss futuristic sci-fi series, ideas, and crossovers.

Moderator: NecronLord

Post Reply
User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10451
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-09-15 11:01am

We used to have a pretty good line of Honor Harrington threads, has anyone been reading the prequel series by Weber in conjection with Timothy Zahn and Thomas Pope?

I'm about halfway through the second novel at the moment. I was surprisingly impressed with the first book 'Call of Duty' on first read and I think it's one of the best Honorverse novels I've read recently.

According to the blurb the main character is Travis Uriah Long (though no-one has yet to try and kill him by putting on the front lines, maybe that's still to come) and he's a rule stickler that starts out as an enlisted man and mostly gets swept up in bigger events around him. But there are lot of other characters big and small involved in it with significant page time. More so than the people who aren't Honor in the main series.

It's set when Manticore's only something like it's third monarch, before the wormhole's been discovered and the Navy is ill funded and the chancellor wants to defend it further in favour of the space rescue surface which for some reason is under his control. There are three sub-books. One involving Travis' training, one with a rescue mission for a miner, and one involving piracy in another system at Haven warship sale.

It's quite tense and fun writing. And it zags where main honorverse zigs a bit. I took particular interest in that space really is dangerous here and pushing ships past tolerances really does lead to disasters. And the oft talked about Naval politics in Honor's time are much more on display here.

The second book... isn't quite living up to my hopes. There's been a time skip but the main character hasn't matured much, nearly everyone is shitting on him from a great height. And the villain who spent the first half of the book being very competent and sensible just did something incredibly stupid. But I am still interested in how it goes.

But that's just how I happen to feel. What do you think?
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30102
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-18 12:05am

I felt pretty good about the books. They're not perfect, but I think Zahn's participation improved some of the problems with Weber's writing. The villains aren't uniformly and without exception smart or anything, but they do at least look like plausible characters to me.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Nari
Redshirt
Posts: 31
Joined: 2013-04-21 08:45am

Re: Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Nari » 2017-11-12 02:24pm

I've read them as well. I'd agree with Simon that Zahn is probably helping these books a lot; I generally enjoyed his EU stuff back in the day.
I liked them for much the same reasons you've outlined; space is dangerous, the tactics are interesting. I don't recall your concern with the 2nd book (I read them about a year ago) but I am waiting for the third!

User avatar
Crazedwraith
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10451
Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-11-13 12:24pm

I actually enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. This Battle of Manticore is actually better than the one in the main series, much more tactics and desperate gambles rather than tech one upmanship and massive numbers.

I particularly liked the scenes with Travis' half brother having a moment of realisation of what his actions had done and then slowly rationalising and going straight back to trying to kill the RMN.
To the brave passengers and crew of the Kobayashi Maru... sucks to be you - Peter David

User avatar
Nari
Redshirt
Posts: 31
Joined: 2013-04-21 08:45am

Re: Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Nari » 2018-06-22 07:46am

Read the third book and I thought it wrapped up the storyline pretty well.

Introduced some new intrigues and ideas, as well as filling in some some back story from the main book line.

More of Manticore being a scrappy underdog, it’s internecine political struggles and space tactics that have become obsolete early in the Honor books but are still fun to read about.

Travis ends up in an interesting place at the end , and some of why his career wasn’t doing so well in the second book is explained.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30102
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Manticore Ascendant Series (minor spoilers)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-06-22 09:05am

Honestly I didn't think it needed further explanation. He's very big on following regulation to the letter, to the point of developing a reputation among senior admirals as "that jerk who wrote up my friend's son for not properly attaching the cover sheets to his TSP reports."
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Post Reply