Read Strength and Honor by R.M. Meluch Online


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 thCaptain 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....

Title : Strength and Honor
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780756405274
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Strength and Honor Reviews

  • Sophia
    2018-12-09 11:25

    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 who while the rest of Earth remain neutral nations. 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, gladiator in the area, 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.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-27 11:01

    This was a rousing and highly entertaining conclusion (?) to the Merrimack series. In this one, Farragut's victory over the Hive triggers Caesar Romulus to immediately declare war on the US, starting with a surprise attack a la Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, it turns out the Hive has planted eggs (or the equivalent) everywhere, and Romulus discovers his brilliant plan has a few flaws.My only quibble with this book was that I highly admired Romulus' scheme and planning for the war declaration, and thought his handling was brilliant. But everything he did from that point on was blindingly stupid. I wanted Romulus to stay brilliant -- though the trope of the powerful, arrogant, but cowardly and not-real-bright villain is an honored one, I think the book could have been a lot more fun if he had stayed politically brilliant, and I was disappointed that Meluch clearly didn't think the US could have won without the major mistakes Romulus made.But honestly, Calli's reaction to being accused of Magnus' murder was awesome, and well made up for it. And despite the references I've seen to this being the last in the series, the last page set up a beautiful premise for a whole new series that I hope she'll pursue.

  • Speedtribes
    2018-11-23 10:11

    ...I ate this entire series up like cereal. I don't really know why I love this series so very much. I pretty much dislike most of the female characters and the 'love' relationships but they seem to work better (as in palatable) in this volume than in previous ones. Steele and Blue have both become more likable, which can only be a plus, considering how much my eyes crossed whenever their segments popped up. Pretty much no one ends up where I want them to be but I can't think of any other possible ending that wouldn't require a reboot. And regardless of wishing for an entirely different ending, I still find the one we're given to be satisfying - at least in terms of how everything is entirely in character and I can see clearly why and how it ended up the way it did. That doesn't keep me from my wish fulfillment though. Hopefully she decides to write about the original, marginally happier timeline? Am I the only one that feels this way?We finally get to see more of the Romans, which is a plus. Augustus and Farragut, what little there was of their interaction, is manfully Epic in galactically Epic ways. More thoughts once I've reread the thing. I think I zinged through it a little too fast and it hasn't settled yet.

  • Jeffrey
    2018-11-25 09:02

    Coming late to Meluch's stories, its hard to judge the prior books, but this one has all the usual military sf parts that you like, big fighting starships, ground assaults, secret missions, political intrigue, aliens and gladiators -- yes gladiators, how can you go wrong when you open a sf book and end up in a colliseum fighting gladiators -- you cannot.Its a fast read and fun

  • Brownbetty
    2018-11-23 11:27

    Augh! So conflicted! Everyone was perfectly themselves, which was what I wanted from this book, but no one ended up where I wanted them to! Which is probably my fault for reading military S.F. because I fall in love with the characters.Apparently this is the last book? Boy, that ended all of a sudden for me.

  • Wealhtheow
    2018-12-10 06:08

    The tenuous alliance between the reborn Roman Empire and the United States has been broken, and war breaks out between them once more. Farragut, the American captain of the USS Merrimack, is forced to fight the Romans on one flank and the continuing menace of the Hive on the other. Meanwhile, his head Marine, TR Steele, is forced into gladiatorial games on Palatine, and must fight his way to freedom. The battles between Rome and the US are thrilling, if a bit slapdash. In the last three books, Caesar Romulus was nearly a genius--abruptly, he becomes a sister-schtupping fool. It is only *because* he suddenly starts making idiotic choices that the US manages to win. I found the other half of the plot even more annoying, because I tired of Steele after the first book. He is the most annoying, sexist, macho cliche ever, and I hate having to read his adventures, in which everyone is always astounded at his physical power and manliness. Whatever, Meluch. In the end, all the plots are resolved and all the characters marry their designated partner of the opposite sex and it's all very cheery. Non-plot but still spoilery annoyances:For four books, Meluch made a great deal of the unresolved sexual tension between Farragut and his colleague, the very married Lieutenant Hamilton. Every book, Hamilton's marriage broke a little more and her intimacy with Farragut progressed a little further. And then, randomly, in the last chapter, (view spoiler)[Farragut meets some 20 year old in a bar and marries her 9 hours later. Everyone thinks this is a great choice. The author seems to think this is a great choice. Why spend *so* much time building up Farragut/Hamilton, only to introduce a random new character in the last few pages?(hide spoiler)]I wasn't emotionally invested in Farragut/Hamilton, but it seemed so obvious that the author would get them together eventually. What I knew would never deepen, but nevertheless felt entranced by, was the relationship between Farragut and the brilliant undead patterner, Augustus. The uneasy alliance between their governments forced them to work together, but it was Farragut's unending goodness and Augustus's wary but receptive intelligence that made them bestest friends. They knew that at any moment their governments could declare war and they would be forced to kill each other, but they clung to the little shreds of friendship they had while they had them. And then (HUGE SPOILERS AHOY) (view spoiler)[Augustus randomly dies, off-screen? And Farragut marries some chick? It's very anticlimactic! Augustus was a main character for three books--why kill him in such an off-handed manner? (hide spoiler)] Very weird.

  • Richard
    2018-12-09 10:17

    I don't think that this was one of her better books in the series. I felt like she was just drawing on random events to move the story along... and the fight between the Romans I felt was kind of weak and stupid, almost contrite.However, I have never studied navy warfare or any kind of real warfare except in the books that I read, so maybe the skirmishes are based on real life events... but I highly doubt it?The ending was also kind of anti-climatic I believe. She does close up loose ends, but it still felt kind of .. rushed? or I should say that this book was definitely of lower quality than her other books in the series.

  • Noel Roach
    2018-11-26 08:02

    This felt more like a collection of short stories that each begin where the previous one left off but could easily have been read independently. If you look too closely, holes and inconsistencies become very apparent in the plot: e.g. Caesar Romulus' plan to conquer the USA relies on the Hive attacking Earth, but he does not know about the Hive until well after the war is underway. In fact it is not clear why almost anyone does anything that they do. This book seems to have been written simply to publish another story in the 'Tour of the Merrimack' series ($$$ on someone's part) rather than R.M. Meluch actually having a story she needed to tell. I'm not sure why I did not give it 2-stars.

  • Jamie Collins
    2018-11-20 07:10

    Another fun, action-packed entry in this somewhat preposterous space opera series. As Jo Walton said: “They're not good books but they’re good enough for the kind of day where what you want to do is lop the tentacles off everything in sight with a sword while standing on the outer hull of a spaceship. Don’t tell me everyone doesn’t have days like that.”There are some inspired sequences (everything to do with Augustus) but largely the action is just as wild as ever. This book is all over the place: we have battles in deep space; fighting on Palatine, including gladiators in the Colosseum; and even fighting on Earth, where I’m glad to see that other nations than the the U.S. are still worthy of a mention.I did not care for the new Roman emperor. He’s a stupidly arrogant, short-sighted mustache-twirling cackling villain, but I suppose he’s no more of a cliche than the other characters. Farragut is entirely lovable. I enjoy Numa Pompeii. Augustus is still great, even after the author has over-explained him. We still spend way too much time with Col. Steele, whose scenes are still terrible.To my annoyance, the author spins some pages recapping earlier events, something she hasn’t bothered much with before. And it’s not needed here: there is no complex plot to keep up with, and you can sum up every character in a paragraph.I’m not opposed to a neatly wrapped happy ending - that’s what you expect in this kind of series - but this one is abrupt and pretty unsatisfying, especially as regards Farragut. It feels like the author suddenly decided to draw a line in the sand so she couldn’t write any more books. Yet she did write another book in the series, and after a glance at the synopsis, I’m disappointed to see that it promotes less interesting secondary characters into lead roles.

  • Daniel Shellenbarger
    2018-12-09 11:15

    Strength and Honor meanders and then ends, sort of concluding the first set of Merrimack books (except that there's already a fifth book in the series so...). I can say I genuinely enjoyed the first three books (though there were definite flaws, especially her rather flat characters), and some of Meluch's concepts in them were quite clever (such as the weird time distortion/alternate universe thing going on between book 1 and 2), but Strength and Honor is just... a mess. It feels as if the author was plagued by a mix of editorial pressure to produce this book, a lack of new ideas, and an acute case of ADHD; the plot bounces back and forth without really delving into any one aspect to the extent that individual chapters sometimes feel more like sketches for short stories than components of the plot, there's little in the way of a central narrative, and things are ultimately resolved by Deus Ex Machina. Apart from my desire to find out how it all would end and the simple adrenaline rush of the combat (Meluch has an admitted talent for writing action scenes), there really wasn't much else that held my interest in this book and three stars is actually rather generous.

  • Marta Dulce Și Gavina
    2018-12-14 08:09

    A solid 3,5. While not as brilliant as the first three volumes in the 'Tour of the Merrimack' series, 'Strength and Honor' is a very entertaining read. Some might think its level of ridiculousness is too high to consider it a good book. To me it is still a light, funny game with the space opera topoi, put into high gear. As I see it, the author thought: "The idea of Romans in space with a mix of republican values and imperial political system is absurd and funny. Let's add something even more ridiculous!" And she kept adding those absurd ideas in such a lively whirlwind I could not help but be charmed, even by the gladiator fights chapters.True, there's not enough Augustus in there. But his presence is powerful even in his absence.

  • Kate
    2018-12-18 04:27

    I didn't care for Strength and Honor half as much as The Sagittarius Command, mainly because Strength and Honor is mostly about (view spoiler)[Romans and Americans fighting, which isn't half so interesting as fighting the Hive. Also, the new self-proclaimed emperor, Romulus, is an idiot, so it's not really an even match. It's more about Romulus being an idiot and the Romans taking a beating. The next book will probably be more interesting, though, as it looks to have more to do with the Hive, which aren't as easy to eradicate as it seemed. (hide spoiler)]I'm not sure if I'll read the next book, as our library system doesn't have it, and I'm not sure I'd like it enough to buy it.

  • Michael
    2018-12-18 09:07

    I picked this up last year at the library on a whim and I was thoroughly entertained. Excellent plot and characters, and despite being the fourth in the series, I did not find myself challenged to understand the relationships between the characters. Militaristic science-fiction, with some romance thrown in.Now I'm going back and reading The Myriad so I can enjoy it from the beginning of story arc.

  • Alexkerr
    2018-11-27 09:25

    This book was a great Outlet Bookstore find. I've been looking for a Space Adventure series for a while. Video games seem to corner the market on good space stories, but Meluch does a good job. Jumping to the fourth book may have been a mistake, but I will definitely be starting from the beginning. With an exciting world to explore and a gripping story, this book kept me hooked. If you want a sci-fi adventure, with all the excitement of any military story, the likes of "The Hunt for Red October", this you should check this out! I can't wait to start from the beginning!

  • Per Gunnar
    2018-12-02 05:30

    So I finally got through all four books in this series. If you do not mind the somewhat ridicolous back-story that the Roman Empire have been resurrected in modern times with all the things that go with it like latin, emperors, lieing down when eating etc. etc., if you do not mind plotting and scheming old rome style, if you do not mind that the author is totally clueless both in science and in military matters, then this book might please you.I didn't really like it. It doesn't deserve a one star but it's not getting more than two from me for sure.

  • Daniel
    2018-12-07 07:22

    The last book in the series is by far the weakest with the whole Caligula part 2 thing overwrote and predictable and with an ending to all the problems solved by a Deus Ex Machina in the form of the Patterner Augustus, and is even mentioned as perhaps being an agent of god in away. The epilogue was nice enough and most lose ends ties up so that was nice I guess, not my favorite in the series by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Gail
    2018-11-22 07:09

    This fourth installment is better than the third one but still can't hold a candle to the first. At least John Farrugut mostly speaks English again and there are a few clever twists. Unfortunately, like the second and third books, "Strength and Honor" has major pacing and plot-wander issues. I'm actually not sure why I'm still reading the series. I guess I'm hoping the brilliance of "The Myriad" returns in the next one!

  • Liz
    2018-12-16 11:05

    I loved this book as I was reading it but looking back it was unsatifactory the ending left me wanting more and not in a good way. I did like the perivous books in this series but I think that this one just does not live up to it's predesestors. It relied to much on cheap humor and clif hangers to keep you reading so unlike the previous books only a three.

  • John Strohm
    2018-12-09 05:05

    Ties the series up nicely. Characters continue to develop along the same lines, which is ok, and they develop a little more nuance. We get more flavor of the Roman empire than in previous books, and this book has an interesting take on war in a world where shields are generally stronger than what can penetrate them -- this leads to some odd stand-off situations.

  • Ralph
    2018-12-11 12:02

    Another great book in the USS Merrimack series. These books are not meant to be literary masterpieces, rather they are more like the Indiana Jones movies - just one action pack scene after another with very little room to catch your breath.

  • Joe Slavinsky
    2018-11-30 05:17

    The fourth, and apparent last, in "The Tour of the Merrimack" saga, this book was all you could want in a military space opera. Lots of action, fast pace, really evil villains & aliens, and lots of heroic characters. Meluch did herself proud with this series.

  • Craig
    2018-11-23 09:12

    Really love how Meluch used the glimpses of the alternative timeline from The Myriad to give insight into the main characters, and in Strength and Honor she wraps the whole series up very satisfactorily.Continued to love the whole series.

  • Timothy
    2018-12-01 05:20

    Read through this one in a day, and feel that is a good amount of time to spend on a book like this. Enjoyable adventure as always and a good break from non-fiction.

  • Jeff
    2018-11-21 12:15

    Good solid story, well written. & entertaining

  • Squeaky
    2018-11-20 10:24

    Must admit, after not caring for the first book, I read all four and enjoyed them. This one ties things up nicely.

  • Bryan457
    2018-12-07 04:21

    Pretty good greek comedy, I mean space opera.I think it's pretty cool when a character is dead, but still reaches out from beyond the grave to win a victory.

  • Tim
    2018-12-06 04:03

    Action! Action! Action! This woman writes excitement, and after checking her webpage I can understand a little better. Great book, great series, no way can it end here.

  • Bill
    2018-11-28 11:05

    Space opera that is never short of action and intrigue.

  • Pat
    2018-11-26 10:08


  • Sherwood Smith
    2018-12-08 07:24

    I loved this until the end, which I found disappointing, but the velocity up until then, the intensity of my investment, carried me right through.