I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
Lois McMaster Bujold???s Vorkosigan Saga is a set of space opera novels and stories featuring various interstellar human civilizations intertwined in political rivalries and alliances oriented around controlling the wormhole nexus points vital to space travel, expansion, and trade. The main protagonist, Miles Vorkosigan, is, to superficial people, a figure of contempt or envy because he looks like a mutant dwarf and because he is the scion of a powerful aristocratic family. Miles??? curiosity and spunk often land him in impossible situations from which he must employ all his wits, guts, luck, and ???forward momentum??? to extract himself.
In The Vor Game (1990), the sequel to The Warrior???s Apprentice (1986), Miles graduates from the Barayaran Academy for officers and receives an outrageously inappropriate post as the infantry meteorologist of ???Camp Permafrost.??? He has been given the position as an opportunity to finally learn to obey his commanding officers. Soon enough, Miles finds himself caught up in a mutiny, which launches him on another course of improvisational forward momentum, this time involving a sadistic and vengeful commanding officer, an amoral and sexy leader of a space mercenary company, his own former Dendarii mercenary company, a depressive and AWOL emperor, and a sneaky and dangerous grab for a crucial wormhole nexus.
While The Warrior???s Apprentice is an entertaining and surprisingly dark and moving novel, The Vor Game is less humorous, substantial, sad, and fresh. In the sequel Miles??? crises seem less crazy and his improvised solutions less interesting. Even allowing for the Barayaran Emperor Gregor, the supporting characters are less compelling, too, none of them achieving the interest of Miles??? bodyguard Bothari and his daughter Elena in The Warrior???s Apprentice.
Nevertheless, given Grover Gardner???s usual effortless and appealing reading (he IS Miles), The Vor Game was witty and entertaining and is a cut above run of the mill space opera (though it is nowhere near as sublime as anything by Iain Banks or Alistair Reynolds). I really do like Miles and will surely listen to more books in the saga to see how he develops as he ages, and because I like Bujold???s fantasy novels like The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls so much, I have faith that her later novels about Miles will turn out to be stronger than this early sequel.
This is the 2nd book chronologically with the story of young Miles, a hero with great skills and great handicaps. I realized I had to get it when I laughed out loud just listening to the 5 minute preview. Narration was very good. However, toward the end I had trouble keeping track of who was working for or against whom with all the different political entities.
Omg I'm gushing. Ahem. I listened to this one first not expecting much because the lead is not the usual fantasy figure and it's about soldiering - I thought - in the vein of the usual tight knit unit fighting enemy insects on a moon, NOT! Instead I'm laughing out loud at the wit, the clever set ups, the smart Marx Brothers cons and all in good (mostly) cause! It's Ocean's Thirteen but way cooler faster funnier tense page turner and Big Screen. Who knew a genius politician with a labyrinth brain in the disguise of an aristocratic officer soldiering for his world and honor could be such fun! Mile's short legs caused by his not genetic bone condition surprised me in arousing sympathy and longing for his character to be healed that made me realize I had connected to this character in a real way. The other characters are also handled in similar fashion. Excellent book.
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
In this installment, Miles accidentally reprises his role as Admiral Naismith and proceeds to lead a hostage rescue. In the end, he proves that he is very much his father's son. This is a great series by an amazing writer. If you haven't listened to it, start! Also, excellent narration.
Unabashed book junkie
I re-read and re-listen at least once a year, and the stories still have the power to move me.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This book has a bit of a mystery, a bit of science fiction, a bit of military fiction, and a lot of fun, but is not just light fiction. I really cared about the characters and enjoyed the story. This is one of the best series in science fiction. This is not the best book in the series, but it is still much better then most in the genre. The narration is excellent. Read the series in order (see the Audible series feature). The first two books are good, but are not at good as the rest of the series, and are better when read again after reading the rest of the series. This is as good as the best of classic science fiction.
This isn't the first Vorkosigan audiobook I've purchased, nor the longest, nor even the best. But this was still an entirely enjoyable experience with plenty to recommend it, even though I was approaching the Vorkosigan saga outside the conventional chronology.
Lois Mcmaster Bujold has created a cast of characters who both antagonise and compliment each other, and the story is rich and at times unpredictable. To me at least. But I don't pretend to have any great insight to the structure of military or even fictional intrigue.
I just enjoyed the way it unfolded and the complex but clear path the story took me on.
The narration was great and I can recommend this to anyone, whether they are a science fiction fan or not.
Bujold is a highly versatile writer, and Miles Vorkosigan is one of her strongest characters. This action adventure set in a future world of space travel and interplanetary intrigue is often tongue-in-cheek, refusing to take itself too seriously. Miles is a not-so-heroic hero who manages to overcome physical handicaps and long odds to do what needs doing. Great fun, and highly recommended.
Another engaging read by LMB, who incidentally has a myspace space for. fyi for fans like myself who were curious about her - she seems to check it every few weeks heh :)