CHANGER OF WORLDS by David Weber
Baen, March 2001
CHANGER OF WORLDS is a collection of short stories set in the universe of Honor Harrington with several staring Honor herself. Weber begins CHANGER OF WORLDS with Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington, an obvious nod to the C.S. Forester classic MR. MIDSHIPMAN HORNBLOWER. In Midshipwoman, Honor is faced with her first assignment out of school--an assignment her enemies have decided she must fail. Through her usual pluck, her ability to win influential friends, and good luck, Honor outwits her foes, takes temporary command of her ship, and validates the confidence her high-level supporters have placed in her. Author David Weber (see other BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author) wisely avoids his overused device of equipping Honor with a secret weapon (see our review of ASHES OF VICTORY for an example of this device). Instead, Honor relies on leadership, bravery, and intelligence.
The very short story Changer of Worlds, from which the collection takes its title, concerns itself almost exclusively with the treecats. Young readers who are in love with Nimitz and the other treecats will thrill to this story. Everyone else can pass it by quickly.
From the Highlands is a contribution by Eric Flint. This novella is excellent. Captain Anton Zilwicki has lost his daughter to kidnappers and will do anything to secure her concern, even take a stand against his superiors and risk a charge of treason against the Queen. Zilwicki is a fully developed character put in a situation that will naturally generate reader sympathy. His superior officers are members of the conservative alliance which has created so many problems for Honor so their come-uppance can be relished.
Nightfall, the last segment of this book, takes place in Haven. McQueen finds herself pushed to the edge when word reaches her that Saint-Just is finally making his move to destroy her. She throws all of her strength into an attack, hoping to beat Saint-Just to the punch.
Fans of Honor Harrington will not want to miss this novel. Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington and Nightfall provide important information about Honor and the universe she lives in. From the Highlands is an excellent novella (although not directly in the main story line of the Honor saga). Only Changer of Worlds disappoints.
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