Saturday, April 12, 2014
Cauldron of Ghosts--Third book in the Crown of Slaves series taking place in the "Honorverse" of David Weber
Action--fights on a small enough level to follow individuals--space ship takeovers, urban fighting in defended and booby-trapped buildings, and cargo "truck"-jackings gone sideways.
Suspense--will the characters be caught or will they succeed? Will they die? Will they Die AND succeed? The reader in the moment is kept guessing.
Favorite characters--Anton Zilwicki, Victor Cachat, and others from the Crown of Slaves segment of the Honorverse are all here doing their characteristic mannerisms; dangerous, insane plans; and forlorn hope actions. The one exception to known character similarity is Andrew Artlett who acts younger yet more thoughtful than his appearance in Torch of Freedom.
In any case, there's a lot to love in this volume and a reader's favorite villains to hate as well--from bit-part slavers to (literally) evil genius father & sons.
Full four stars from me! The only thing that kept it from being five stars for me is that (as other reviewers of the David Weber Honorverse books have complained about a couple of other titles) is that in this book several paragraphs are taken word for word or nearly from the second book in the Saganami Island series, Storm from the Shadows. Since the scene takes place in both books, it's understandable, if not justifiable. I found it only a little disconcerting.
Nevertheless, for readers who enjoy the Honorverse or for readers who just enjoy good space / spy / military adventure stories, this is a four-star read that they will want to dive into. Like a number of individual books in a series, it may not be the best volume to jump into from a standing start, but it does read well on its own, and for first time readers, the repeated paragraphs won't even be noticed, because they fit perfectly in this story.
For fun and adventure, read this book!