The Oncoming Storm (Angel in the Whirlwind Book 1) by Christopher Nuttall
Ok, I really enjoyed the beginnings of this space opera. A tad midshipman Honor Harrington meets a young Herris Serrano.
I know the plot is somewhat familiar but that didn't lessen my enjoyment one iota.
It's 2040 and war is on the horizon for those with eyes too see between two empires, the protectionist Commonwealth, a loosely democratic empire espousing free trade, and the Theocracy governed by religious fanatics whose main object is to convert the masses to their religious beliefs at any cost including of course mass death and destruction. (Nuttall's comments on social engineering were illuminating.)
Katherine 'Kat' Falcone, daughter of a powerful industry magnate has fled the family trappings to carve out her own destiny as a naval officer. Kat suddenly finds herself in command of the navy's latest warship 'Lightning' having been leap frogged over others higher up the rung by her father's machinations. Her command is being sent to Cadiz, a nation recently annexed by the Commomwealth for its own protection from the Theocracy. Before leaving Kat's father has secretly given her data about the situation at Cadiz. What she finds is chilling. The naval battalion stationed there is in virtual stand down and not at all battle ready thanks to incompetency or the deliberation of the assigned Admiral.
Kat has to lead her ship, convince her officers that she's capable of command, look for a way around the Admiral to bring the stationed battalion up to scratch, and investigate the battle readiness of the Theocracy's fleet. Of course things quickly go to 'hell in a hand basket' and Kat is faced with huge command decisions that might see her drummed out of the service--if she survives.
I am certainly wanting to see how things evolve and the forthcoming challenges that face Kat and her crew.
A NetGalley ARC