I have enjoyed a number of books by Steve White written with David Weber, but this was the first individual book by him that I’ve read. My guess, after reading this, is that Weber writes all the battle scenes in their joint books. The battles here just don’t exhibit the tension and certainly not the detail that Weber presents. That’s not entirely a bad thing, either, though I tend to like those scenes myself. I do know that they annoy people. There is also much less of the “heroic people who win despite the odds” theme, and a great deal more about people who are right and yet have things that don’t go so right with their lives.
The story covers a very long period of time, though within the lifetime of the characters, and through an epilogue covers an even much broader timespan. That part didn’t excite me that much either.
At the same time, Steve White is a good storyteller, so having presented the things that irritated me, let me say that the characters are good, there is some mystery as to what’s going to take place along the way. In other words, I didn’t say “obviously” at every plot turn, a situation that makes me happy when I’m reading. There is some politics, though again in less detail that Weber tends to do, and there is some interesting strategic stuff from both the political and the military point of view.
I rate this a 3 out of 5, though I generally rate the author higher.