Storm From the Shadows
Baen, Mar 2009, $27.00
The Republic of Haven and the Star Kingdom is at war and Rear Admiral Michelle Henke is in the middle of a pitched battle. On board her flagship the Ajax, Michele knows the Manticore Navy is losing the fight; she and others go to escape pods before blowing up her vessel so the technology does not fall into enemy hands. She wakes up in a Havenite medical facility before being sent to an island with other POWs. She is shocked to meet Haven President Eloise Pritchett.
Pritchett is willing to free Michelle if she agrees to no longer fight against them and if she passes on a message to Queen Elizabeth III for a summit meeting to discuss peace. After coming home, Michelle is sent to the Talbott Quadrant which is far from the war zone to patrol the newestt star systems of the Star Empire. On the planet Monica, Solarian ships were going to be used to remove Manticore from the new system, but a Manicoran captain destroyed their fleet. In the cluster New Tuscan which did not want to join the empire, they deliberately try to push the Manticorans into a war with the Solarian League. The peace talks end abruptly when the Havenites kill two high profile officials. No one understands that the Havenites, Manticorans, and the Soalarans are being cleverly maneuvered by a fourth party with plans to take over the stars once each group devastates one another.
Nobody writes better military outer space fiction starring heroic females than David Weber has consistently done for years. The protagonist is Michelle who is as honorable and courageous as Harrington is as her tale which fills in the blanks in the story arc and provides a differing perspective to AT ALL COSTS. Both are strong-willed and do what they believe is right regardless of what others might think. There is plenty of action and suspense leading up to the military engagements. Yet with so much going on, the cast is solid and most significant realistic as fans will consider whether the Weber mantle of greatness has moved the torch from Honor to Michelle proving there is life after a hero “falls”.