March to the Stars (Empire of Man Book Three)
We Few (Empire of Man Book Four)
David Weber and John Ringo, 2003, 2005
Parts three and four of this series, one and two reviewed here.
Premise: Prince Roger, the rag-tag remnants of his Marines and their new Mardukan allies continue to fight their way around the planet, trying to get the prince home. There's only one more major political area between them and their goal, but they are ogranized and hostile. There's another new wrinkle too: it looks like he wasn't the only member of the Imperial Family who was attacked, Roger's being blamed in absentia, and now they have to capture the spaceport, get off planet, and get back home in time to save the Empire...while hiding their identities.
I have trouble with March to the Stars. It has some of the best character-based scenes, and some great action, but it also has excessive infodumps, weird tangents, and plain boring parts. Particularly the first third of the book is pretty dull, but the last half or so is necessary for the fourth book. It's just frustrating when a book varies wildly like that.
The fourth book I loved when I first read it, but it didn't impress as much on re-reading. There are quite a few odd complications, more annoying infodumping, and it starts to pile up short-lived secondary characters at an astonishing rate by the end. This really does a number on the plot momentum, which seems to meander far more than necessary. It's still decent military sci-fi, and if you followed the characters this far, I think it's pretty satisfying in the end. Just be prepared to skim a little when you get to the space battle.
March to the Stars – 2 Stars – An Okay Book
We Few – 3 Stars – A Good Book