I would actually rate this a 2.5 stars.
I have enjoyed other books by this author, and I believe she is an excellent writer/storyteller. Unfortunately, Ms. Bujold is inconsistent.
I really enjoyed the first third (approx.) of this book. The characters and plot were well developed, consistent, and rich ... and quite honestly, I thought this book might become a new Favorite.
However, after about 3.5 hours the entire novel fell apart.
Added Characters were transparent or cookie-cutter stereotypes. The plot became trite and wandering - almost as though the author had run out of excitement for the story - or was rushing to meet a last minute deadline.
If you are already a fan of this series, I would recommend this book - narration and presentation were excellent.
If you are looking for something on a par with "The Curse of Chalion" - definitely pass on "The Vor Game".
Not the worst book I have ever downloaded, but far from the best. The story line is dragged out with boring details. No real plot ever developes. The main character changes identities so often, you forget which side he is suppose to be on. Kept waiting for it to get better - it didn't.
Good story line, despite being book #3 or 4, still interesting. narrator does a really credible job of bringing the characters to life (although I had to listen at 1.25 speed to really enjoy it.
Some books are fun from first to last. Bujold has a special talent for drawing the reader in quick and not letting go. The Vor Game is no exception, and it’s no surprise why it was selected as the first of her Hugo Award winning novels. (I think it’s just because enough people realized that there was a good series here. The Warrior’s Apprentice was just as strong of a book.) Returning to the unlikely hero of Miles Vorkosigan again, this fast paced adventure begins on an arctic island on Barryar and ends with the fate of this edge of the galaxy being decided. Bujold does not tell small tales when grand ones will do better.
Miles, now a little older and maybe a slight bit wiser, is getting his first assignment as an officer. Unfortunately, it’s to an arctic weather base – where he is to be the weatherman. His dreams of interstellar heroism seem to be smothered by boredom until he starts to uncover a mystery that could end his career as quickly as it started. Plots, political intrigue, and pirates propel Miles to take up his old persona Miles Naismith of the Dendarii Mercenaries. The real mystery is can he ever let it go again.
There is nothing bland about The Vor Game. Even the exile of Kyril Island is given depth and menace as Miles spends his time there. Without giving anything away, the interactions between Miles and the Emperor were fun and engaging. Especially well done is the grandiose figure of Miles Naismith. How he waltzes back to the head of the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet is a tightrope act that Bujold carefully maneuvers him though. In fact, the special talent of the novel is finding the knife’s edge and staying there. As a reader it makes for many a tense page – all the while being immensely enjoyable. Commander Cavilo is Miles’ match, and a beautiful young woman is hard for a young officer to resist. How the web untangles is fun the whole way.
Don’t miss out on this series. It builds with every novel and The Vor Game is a gem.
Audible listeners: Great narration by Mr. Gardner. You'll enjoy listening.
7 stars out of 10
This world fits so well and is so believable to my brain I feel like I'm listening to a future biography. Listening on my hour commute absolutely transports me to work and back. The only thing is I'm going through them to fast. I bought the series
The writing is excellent. Story details explained so that one can follow. Characters consistent through out the book. Lots of humor. Once you start you can not put it down. Recommended to all those that like a space opera adventure mixed with politics and social structures and well defined characters. Wonderfull.
I thought I had read all of Bujold's Max Vorkosigan tales-- missed this one, and it's a good rip-roaring adventure. Ensign Max annoys three successive superiors and by breaking just about every promise a Vor makes, allows his emperor to.. Nope, not going to tell you. Read it- or listen to it on Audible.