The hardcover edition of David Weber’s At All Costs includes a CD-ROM containing the full text of all the previous Honor Harrington novels (and a bunch of other stuff Weber wrote), which is pretty nifty. But when I first put it in the computer and read Weber’s intro, the thing that popped out at me was where he claimed that At All Costs was the best Harrington book since In Enemy Hands. That’s not exactly the same as him saying, “Yeah, you’re right, the last couple of books were kind of padded, weren’t they?” but it has a sort of implication to it.
It’s also right. This is a rip-cracking book that moves along with startling pace, and — like the early Harrington novels — makes every other aspect of your life seem somehow less important than finding out what Honor’s up to next. How much sleep do you really need anyway, I found myself asking more than once.
At this point, I’ve lost all critical distance from this series. I can sort of remember that there was once a time when I found elements of the books to be kind of bad, but I can’t bring myself to care about that any more. All I know is that I want to read these books, and I want there to be more of them to feed my insatiable appetite.
All that to the side, I will note that this isn’t the eleventh book of the series, it’s the twelfth. The series listings pretend that The Shadow of Saganami is a separate series existing off to the side, but they lie. The events in that book take place chronologically before this one and are referenced frequently. It didn’t make this book incomprehensible or anything, but I suspect it will diminish my enjoyment of the other book. Alas!