walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Torch of Freedom_, David Weber and Eric Flint

Baen Books published ebook, available in numerous formats.

This entry is set in the Honorverse and Honor Harrington makes a very brief cameo. The story, however, has a planet as the hero. The planet in question has three names: Congo, which is what the universe at large referred to it as, Verdant Vista, which is what Mesa and its various transtellar companies referred to it as, and Torch, which is what the ex-slaves who successfully revolted against their creators and masters renamed it. There are a lot of people on Torch, and more every day, as ex-slaves form around the universe converge on their new homeland. Officially, the planet has renounced the terrorist tactics of the Audubon Ballroom, but Mesa hates what Torch represents (freedom for their products) and the Mesan Alignment also has plans for the mysterious wormhole terminus in the system.

A lot happens. Anton Zilwicki (spy from the Manticore side, now based on Torch with his adoptive daughter Berry who is now the Kingdom of Torch's Queen) and Victor Cachat (Super Secret Super Spy on the Haven side -- and remember, Haven and Manticore are contemplating a summit as the novel gets going, but an assassination sponsored by Mesa but which Haven is made to look responsible for puts an end to that; in any event, Haven and Manticore are enemies), along with Yana go off to Mesa to try to figure out what the hell is going on there. They've determined that Manpower, slaver and creepy transtellar, can't possibly be motivated by economic self-interest, and in fact is probably fronting (along with Jessyk and other Mesan companies) for some larger, Mesa based governmental or pseudo-governmental entity. They want to find out what that is.

When they get there, they collide with another plot thread that involves a scientist working on the Super Secret Streak Drive, the Long Range Planning Board (Eugenics Central on Mesa), an autistic kid the LRPD decides to terminate after having the scientist adopt her, and the very high level security guy who is supposed to keep the scientist working after his world falls apart and simultaneously keep him from becoming too large a security risk. Jack (security guy) has decided that Life in Apartheid South Africa has become too morally problematic for him and he wants to defect and bring the scientist with him.

There's a plot thread involving a gypsy-like clan and their amusement park. There's a plot thread involving Hugh Arai and Queen Berry. There's an assassination attempt on Berry that results in the death of one of her close friends. Oh, and Rozsak and Barregos, in conjunction with some help from the Erewhon (yeah, I know; Weber and Flint spell it wrong) put together a fleet so there's a meat grinder of a battle when a fleet made up of the People's Navy in Exile, some mercs and a bunch of hardware from Mesa attempt to destroy Torch.

It looks like we're all lined up for the next Honor Harrington novel to have Honor taking on the Mesan Alignment. The suspense will, presumably, include things like: will Hauptman be killed? Will Stacey be killed? Just how rich is Skydomes going to get? Will the streak drive get to Manticore in time? How many new rebellions like Jack's will spontaneously erupt as the Mesan Alignment comes out of the closet and reveals their Sordid Plans to the universe at large? What the heck have they been doing in Darius, anyway?


I'll keep reading. Especially at these prices.
Tags: book review

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