Review: Strength and Honor by R.M. Meluch

Review: Strength and Honor by R.M. MeluchStrength and Honor by R.M. Meluch

Narrator: John Glouchevitch
Series: Tour of the Merrimack #4
Genres: Military Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Brilliance Audio on 6 June 2017
Pages: 12 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      two-flames

Captain John Farragut and the crew of the U.S.S. Merrimack face their greatest challenge as Caesar Romulus declares war on the United States of America with a direct attack on Earth. The Merrimack retaliates with an assault on the Roman capital world of Palatine, and in the midst of the chaos, the Hive descends on Earth. With the battle raging, Farragut finds himself in the middle of a final deadly showdown.

The Delight

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.

Review

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.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #181
Sci-Fi Rom
New Release #95
Audio #43
COYER #15

Recommendations

   
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • That sounds really good and very different from what I usually read.

  • Oooo, space opera! The cover looks like one of those old-time sci-fi novels, so I was a little surprised to see to see a 2017 pub date. The political intrigue sounds good to me! I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

    Have a fantastic week, Sophia. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Thanks, Alyssa! It is fun. The paper copy release was a while ago and this is the audio release, but yes, definitely old-style cover.

  • Ah this time I’m quite sure it’s not something for me, this kind of books is tricky for me but I’m glad to see you had a great time with it!

    • Thanks, Melliane! I know it’s not for everyone with all its sci-fi elements. I did indeed have fun. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Some one is really enjoying this series. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we just happily stumble on a new fave! Thanks Sophia Rose

    • You know it, Debbie! I have two more left and I’m stretching it out with other books in between because I love it so much. 🙂

  • Karen

    I love when a series is still exciting four books in. That’s rare.

    For What It’s Worth

    • I have a few long-time commitment series, but you are definitely right about how many more just don’t grab me, Karen. 🙂

  • I enjoy space stories but don’t seem to read very many of them. This sounds good and I am glad you enjoyed the audio.

    • I don’t get to read many either though I do love them. This series jumped out at me and I’m glad I gave it a try. Oh yes, the audio was definitely a plus. 🙂

  • RO

    Everyone knows I pretty much fall asleep with audios, but I can tell you really got into this one. I like a military romance , but not sure about the sci-fi piece of it, Sophia. Great review and glad you enjoyed it! Hugs…RO

    • Yeah, audio is not for everyone. I listen with my chores and sometimes on walks to combat the falling asleep part, but I still manage to do it sometimes when I just sit down ‘for a minute’. LOL

      Thanks, Ro! 🙂

  • LOL, yes, who can resist, Evie! Thanks! 🙂

  • I don’t usually get excited with military-themed romance but I’ve read some before and I totally loved them. I dunno why but the idea of fighting scenes with guns etc just loses my interest, but seeing the rating above and reading your review, I’m curious. I guess I’ll be checking out this series soon. Great review Sophia Rose 🙂

    • Glad I could tempt you to give it a try, Vanessa. 🙂

  • oh I definitely want to pick this one up, since I love the mix of sci fi and military romances. You have me very curious about this series.

    • It’s wild, Renee. I never would have thought this was my thing, but yeah, totally addicted. Hope you enjoy it if you get the chance.

  • Oh this series is new to me, but glad to see it was a good addiction and a good listen! I’ll have to keep this one in mind! Great review, Sophia Rose!

    • The first book just sort of caught my eye and I fell in love and kept going. Thanks, Cyn!