Review: “Off Armageddon Reef” by David Weber

I'm a big fan of David Weber's series around his Honor Harrington character, set in his “Honorverse”. The problem is that I've already read all the books in that series. So I've been eagerly awaiting his next instalment.

So, I had been looking for something else to read while I waited for the next Honorverse book. I don't know why I never bothered to look at works by David Weber not in the Honorverse, but I'm glad I did. One reason is that his other books can't be found on webscription.net, and I wonder why that is. Probably because he has contracts with other publishers or some such nonsense.

Anyway, I found his “Safehold” series on kobobooks, and bought the first book in the series, called ”Off Armageddon Reef“ earlier this week. I finished it two days ago. I've already bought the next two books in the series, and they're waiting to be read next on my trusty Iliad. Guess I have another series by David Weber that I'll be keeping my eye on.

Science Fiction

Just like the Honorverse, Safehold is a science fiction series, and there's quite a few similarities between the two. It certainly starts out with what seems to be a fairly standard space battle situation one could expect to see in a Honorverse book. But that changes, as it is only the introduction and the setup for the rest of the book, where humanity is nearly wiped out and forced into hiding on a distant planet, where it reverts to a pre-electric and pre-electronic society to keep from being found by the technologically superior aliens that nearly wiped them out.

So, military science fiction with most of the action on galleys and galleons armed with cannon and flint-locks. Yes, it seems David Weber has managed to write a science fiction book where the meat of the story actually comes very close to being able to masquerade as a Hornblower instalment…

Naval warfare—actually on wet seas, instead of in deep space—with a strong female lead character (although, pretty soon she's not human anymore, and for most of the book she inhabits a male body – go figure), a religious struggle between good and evil, and a cast of interesting supporting characters.

I'll admit I'm a sucker for strong female lead characters, for some reason. Ayla, Mercedes Thompson, Lyra, Sabriel, Joanne Baldwin, Sonea, or even characters like Buffy, Aeryn Sun, or Sarah Connor. And of course Honor Harrington. And now, in Off Armageddon Reef I get Nimue Alban. Can't wait to start reading the rest of the series!

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