Genres: Military Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Brilliance Audio
Released on 6 June 2017
Pages: 12 hours 7 min
The series has been building to this point. Inter-stellar war between two human empires on one front and the ongoing threat of the alien hive on the other while standing in the middle of this hurricane is Captain John Farragut and the crew of the Merrimack. I love these ‘for all the marbles’ moments in a series and I was not disappointed.
Strength and Honor is book four in the Tour of the Merrimack series. They must be read in order as this Space Opera and blend of historical and futuristic sci-fi military adventure follows the stories of a large cast of characters both with their relationships and the action/suspense.
For those not in the know, I am totally addicted to this exciting and exuberant space opera series. I fell in love with the characters who were mostly all introduced in book one and their ongoing stories and relationships carry through the whole series. What fascinated me all along was that the combatants were the US (no surprise there) and the Roman Empire (yes, you read that right). Romans conquering worlds in space because the Empire never actually fell. Their rivals are the US.
The writing can get choppy in style and the transitions between character narrators abrupt, but it some how suits the spirit of the story. This is old style Age of Sail Navy and Marines in space stuff. The characters are mostly military though many are politicians and officials.
I’ve been impatient for the series to take the story to the Roman world of Palatine and spend time in their culture not just the battles in space and I was finally rewarded. It was political intrigue (crazy, conniving new Emperor on the throne), gladiator in the area (ever see what a Marine will do against Roman gladiators and alien beasts? Its a sight to behold), and even a mystery along with the usual military action in space. Several characters finally got some relationship closures, too.
And it was bittersweet for me with my favorite character, the Roman patterner Augustus, now that the war is back and he is the cunning enemy I thought he would be. It was great when he was verbal sparring with American Captain Farragut.
I experienced this one in MP3 audio and continue to love narrator John Glouchevitch giving me the story of this huge cast of characters and their space adventures. He does fantastic accents and I have no trouble keeping up with over twenty regular characters. He does well with the author’s writing style and catches the tone and timing of each segment of the story. Action scenes and tense moments are particularly captivating.
All in all, this was another fantastic entry in the series. The previous series arc finished with this one and now I’m curious what will come next for everyone. This is a unique sci-fi series that is a bit of everything. It feels old-school Naval military, but also will have appeal to those who want to know the whys and hows behind the science plus the human interest sides with friendships, camaraderie, enemies, and lovers like any good ‘opera’.
My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #181
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