Right Wing Critique of the Week
The saga of a space warship officer in the year 4000.
Pros: Exciting, page turners, good escapism, better than action pulps like Clive Cussler, orbital mechanics are somewhat realistic and integral to combat tactics
Cons? Well, first of all, the situations have all the ethical gray areas of a yin yang. The characters are pure good or pure evil. The good guys, of course, are not only brave, courteous, and thrifty, but they can fight, sail, fly, shoot, and navigate delicate interstellar political intrigues with ease. The Bad Guys are incompetent commies and/or religious nuts who rape, murder, betray each other and do everything in their power to hand victory to the Good Guys. There is a satisfying amount of injury and death from all the action, though. The Good Guys don't escape totally unscathed.
The books verge on fantasy-fulfillment of fanfic levels. Money, fame, glory, medals, knighthoods, titles, promotions and prestigious jobs are showered on Honor after every major event. It's a little excessive, even considering the theme is supposed to be the rise of a legendary admiral and her absurdly awesome exploits. In the third book she just does her job, nothing particularly spectacular, and once again hosannas fall from the sky and a single shaft of sunlight illumines her. In the fourth book, she learns to shoot in about two weeks and becomes apparently the greatest duelist in known space. Oh, and everybody is young and beautiful and lives for 200 years.
The technology makes sense, sort of, but it's all clearly designed to make large 17th century-esque naval engagements necessary. I sincerely hope that 2000 years from now, battleships sailing at 3000 times the speed of light through hyperspace will not need thousands of midshipmen to trim the sails. Yes, sails.
And why are the majority of the officers women? I haven't kept count, but it seems to me that the numbers should be equal, or male-skewed, particularly since astrogators are required to do math by hand.
Elizabeth Moon is better. Just flat-out better.