Monday, October 24, 2011

A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber

* * * * 1/2

“A stellar introduction to a new YA science-fiction series set in the “Honorverse” of Weber’s popular adult novels…It’s rare to find teen science fiction that strays beyond dystopian fare. The environmental messages, human-animal friendship, humor, action, and inventive technology will make this series starter an easy hit with teen SF readers” – Booklist starred review

Hello – XO here. When my wife/boss/Captain, Nat, told me that my favorite author was going to release a YA novel, I squealed like a 12 year old girl. At which point, she decided that I had the correct qualifications to write a guest review for the Bibliojunkies. With that said, be gentle, I’m nowhere near as good as these ladies at writing reviews. Fortunately, they love me, and I can still read so…

I’ve read all of Weber’s Honorverse novels, actually ALL of his novels, usually within a few weeks of their release, so I was standing at the mailbox waiting for this one to arrive. I was a little cynical since this story was already released in a short story collection, but obviously the book was longer (Yeah, I can count too, usually). Weber made a few modifications to the original short story, and used it the lead off the book, with added story line following. I’ll also throw a plug in for the adult Honorverse series, if you are a fan of sci-fi, please check it out, and be sure you give it a chance; it starts out a bit slow with book 1, but book 2 and on are amazing.

The story follows young Stephanie Harrington, Great-Great-Great –yadda-yadda-yadda Grandmother of the Hero of the Honorverse books, Honor Harrington. Stephanie is smarter than her peers, as grown-up as most adults in town, and as curious as a, well, as a tree-kitten. She meets her companion while trying to solve the great celery mystery of 1518 DP (don’t ask, read it, it’ll make sense) and they instantly form a powerful, unexplained bond. This is a 12 year old, stuck on a planet that has seasons 15 months long, and she is the frst person to find and meet another member of a sentient race of non-humans. Not too shabby for someone who hasen’t even started high school (And for my daughters, just note, she’s set the bar pretty high, but I expect each of you to somehow do at least the same). What follows is an adventure that neither of them expected, but both of them are going to see through, regardless of the cost. I apologize in advance to Nat, Shel and Bel, but this book ROCKS the other YA books out there ! I can honestly say this is the BEST YA sci-fi book I have ever read (Number of YA sci-fi books read prior to this = 0).

There are no vampires, or werewolves, or love triangles, in fact, at 12ish, Stephanie still finds boys a bit “yucky”. There is no depressing dystopian world where everything is morose and sad. There is a bright young girl, her new friend, the sentient arboreal treecat Lionheart, some dastardly evil doers, and a supporting cast of furry, ferocious, friendly, fascinating treecats (see what I did there, chuckle at my hilariousness). I, for one, am now going to annoy my wife on a daily basis, asking when the next book in the series comes out.

~ The Executive Officer (a.k.a Nat's husband)

1 comment:

  1. What?! When did you learn to count?! :-) Welcome to the madhouse...