To Honor You Call Us: Surprisingly good military science fiction

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsTo Honor You Call Us by H. Paul Honsinger military science fiction book reviewsTo Honor You Call Us by H. Paul Honsinger

The term “military science fiction” has, at times, been misused. The military part of the science fiction gets lost, and in essence you have something that loosely approximates combat in the future. To Honor You Call Us, book one of H. Paul Honsinger’s MAN OF WAR series, is not cut from that cloth and it was almost shockingly good.

Max Robichaux is a young Union Space Navy Lieutenant with a history. He’s made mistakes in the past, both in terms of his military career and some extracurricular activities. The great thing about Max is that he is not afraid to fight and take chances. The bad thing about Max is that he is willing to take chances.

The human race is engaged in a war with an alien species known as the Krag, a zealot race determined to exterminate us because of an insult to their faith. The war has raged for many years and the casualties for the Union Space Fleet have been catastrophic. With our back to the wall, we are fighting to hold onto the star systems we have because the Krag form of conquest is basically genocide.

After repelling a boarding attempt by the Krag and destroying the enemy ship, LT Robichaux is rewarded with something he has always wanted: command of his own ship. Promotion to Lieutenant Commander and assignment as the Captain of the Cumberland is a huge opportunity for Max to make a new name for himself and change his future.

The Cumberland is a troubled ship. The previous Commander and Executive Officer were relieved for cause, but the lingering effects of their toxic command environment are far from abated. Max has been given some very special warning as part of his new assignment and has had new officers assigned with him who are spectacular, if a bit quirky. The challenge of transitioning the Cumberland from soulless show pony to motivated combat vessel is going to be hard in addition to the mission Max has been assigned.

The Hunters of Vermin Kindle Edition by H. Paul Honsinger (Author)

Prequel

The Krag are short of certain strategic elements and have been circumventing certain embargoes to buy them from the free trading planets of the galaxy. The Cumberland’s mission, for which they are well suited, is to interdict enemy shipments and basically scramble their supply lines. It’s a rough mission and they will be operating far from the safety of Union systems, but they chances for achieving greatness are immense.

To Honor You Call Us is the most interesting military science fiction I have read in a long, long time. The author has done a ton of research into military tradition and he does a great job of using the real traits of military life to extrapolate a future that seems very tangible. The personnel issues, training issues and tactical issues within the story are all well orchestrated to deliver an interesting tale. I am getting ready to buy the next book ASAP.

Publisher: The Terran Union is engaged in a vast interstellar war against the Krag, ruthless aliens intent on exterminating humankind. In 2315, the wily Max Robichaux is given command of the USS Cumberland, a destroyer with state-of-the-art capabilities but a combat record so bad, she’s known as the “Cumberland Gap.” Capt. Robichaux’s first mission: to take his warship to the Free Corridor, where the Krag have secretly been buying strategic materials, and to seize or destroy any ships carrying enemy cargo. Far from the fleet and under enforced radio silence, Max relies only on his determination and guile…and the support and friendship of his chief medical officer, the brilliant Dr. Sahin. Because even as he deals with the ship’s onboard problems and the stress of carrying out her risky assignment, Max and the doctor discover that the Cumberland and her misfit crew are all that stands in the way of a deadly Krag attack that threatens to end the war—and humanity—once and for all. A far-future story in the tradition of “ships of wood, men of iron” novels, To Honor You Call Us and the Man of War series combines the adventure of exploration, the excitement of war, and the dangers of the unknown through the eyes of a ship and her crew.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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2 comments

  1. One of my reading resolutions is more military SF. This looks like a good one to start with!

  2. I am so glad you’re reviewing these kinds of books, John. We need these reviewed, and you’re the most qualified. I trust your opinions about them.

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