Honor Harrington: On Basilisk Station by David Weber
From 1993, this space soap started so promisingly but was followed by endless sequels and spin-offs so crammed with techno babble and padding that franchise fatigue set in.
This saga is massively indebted to ‘Hornblower’ and not in a good way. The Manticore Navy is menaced by the People’s Republic of Haven (aka evil welfare loving Frenchies) in a time centuries after interstellar colony ships departed Old Earth. Honor Harington is to captain HMS Fearless and her six legged Treecat comes along for the ride.
Cue techno babble, exposition dumps, snotty fellow officers, ridiculous politics and space battles all depicted in overwritten fashion. This was just bad.
“My, isn’t she, um, healthy looking!”
“Case Zulu had one meaning, and one only: ‘Invasion Imminent’.”
Honor Harrington: The Honor of the Queen by David Weber
The 2nd in the unending series sees Honor sent to the planet Grayson to recruit it as an ally against the war mongering People’s Republic of Haven. Grayson and its sister planet Masada are run by Taliban style governments, cue Weber’s clumsy take on gender politics. This was worse than book 1.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Cassie is alone struggling to survive in a post-apoc world. Once upon a time she had a family and friends but then the aliens came. They obliterated humanity and now a desperate Cassie wants only to survive and locate her lost brother. She cannot trust any other survivor and then she meets one. This is very good, a dark tale of an unstoppable genocidal alien invasion. Far superior to worthless books like ‘Survive’ or ‘Heart-Shaped Bruise’. However the homages to ‘1984’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket’ are unsubtle and why do disembodied aliens need a mothership or a planet to colonise?
“You can smell a town from miles away. It smells like smoke. And raw sewage. And death.”
“Dying towns were ringed by the constantly smouldering bonfires of the dead.”
“Hi there, ten-inch, wicked looking knife.”
“We’ve been watching you for six thousand years.”
“You’re beating plowshares into swords.”