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Throwing in the towel on one of my favorite authors’ novels

December 13, 2011 20 comments

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, and it pains me to do so, but…I just threw in the towel on a novel by one of my favorite science fiction authors, maybe even THE favorite: David Weber.

I picked up the latest in the Honor Harrington series, Mission of Honor, a few weeks back and finally had the chance to dig into it around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (you know, with all of my free time…) And just last night, reading in bed, I closed it, and I don’t think I can go back. Why? If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I was reading the minutes of a political meeting, or maybe a House floor filibuster transcript.

Weber has always had a knack for incorporating political maneuvering into his works very well, and I’ve found that my writing picked up some of that. (A friend remarked to me about my first book, Gabriel’s Redemption, having more politics that they thought I was in to – my reply was yes, but they’re all bad guys). And the Honor Harrington series is one of my all time faves because of the excellent action, technology, and characters. But after hitting page 310 last night (of 880), absolutely nothing had happened. The only battle that took place was before the book started, told in a past tense report. The other 298 pages were so terribly mind-numbing I had to stop – which kills me.

I really love Weber’s writing, and this might just be me as I age (not very gracefully, as my wife would say), but his last few books have really bogged down with narrative, and all of the action has almost completely disappeared. The first book in the Safehold series, which was a big departure for him away from the space settings, blew me away. The next two? Glacial pace. I have the fourth one (A Mighty Fortress) but I don’t know if I’m going to start it any time soon.

In any case, I jumped into Michael Hicks’s In Her Name: Confederation, the second in his INH series. I loved the first one (Empire), some of the best scifi I’ve read, and book 2 starts off with the same great style and action. So Mr. Weber, if you’re listening, please get back to towed missile pods, hyperspace bands, and planetary invasions…

I can’t figure it out. Is this just me? Anyone else finding the same thing with Weber, or others? I took a look at some online reviews and I don’t think I’m alone, but I’m also hoping I’m not picking up some late-blooming ADHD!

Any favorite authors of yours that caused you to pick up the towel and consider tossing?

 

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