Written by: Elizabeth Moon
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 403 (Mass Market Paperback)
The premise: once more, we're going to Barnes & Noble.com: In the fifth and final book of the series, Commander Vatta is back–locked and loaded and ready to win the fight against the marauding forces of ruthless space pirate Gammis Turek.
For Ky, it’s not just about liberating the star systems subjugated by Turek and defending the rest of the galaxy’s freedom. There’s also a score to be settled and payback to be meted out for the obliteration of the Vatta Transport dynasty . . . and the slaughter of Ky’s family. But the enemy have their own escalation efforts under way–including the placement of covert agents among the allies with whom Ky and the surviving Vattas are collaborating in the war effort. And when a spy ring linked to a wealthy businessman is exposed, a cracked pirate code reveals a galaxywide conspiracy fueling the proliferation of Turek’s warship fleet.
Matching the invaders’ swelling firepower will mean marshaling an armada of battle-ready ships for Ky to lead into combat. But a violent skirmish leaves Ky reeling--and presumed dead by her enemies. Now, as Turek readies an all-out attack on the Nexus system--a key conquest that could seal the rest of the galaxy’s doom--Ky must rally to the challenge, draw upon every last reserve of her strategic skills, and reach deep if she is to tear from the ashes of tragedy her most decisive victory.
Glad I Borrowed It: this particular book, I feel, is the weakest of the series, which is sad because it is the final book, but kind of inevitable because the book right before this one, Command Decision, is so darn good. There's a lot that frustrated me with this book in terms of multiple POVs and seemingly unnecessary conflicts, but the characters do get their chances to shine, and the overall conflict is resolved, albeit a little predictably and anti-climatically. That said, as a whole, Vatta's War is a pretty solid series, especially for readers who are looking for strong, well-crafted heroines whose stories involve more than just the men in their lives, and I would recommend the series for that alone. Though, I would recommend it also for the world-building. Moon's world-building in this series is a double-edged sword, because sometimes the details are just too much and I want her to get on with it, but as a whole, I'm very impressed with the construction of the story and conflict and how large a role the world-building plays into it. As military SF, it held my attention, but one warning to fans who absolutely loved the deep, emotional connection they found in Moon's unrelated novel, The Speed of Dark: The Vatta's War series is nothing like it. Solidly written, but the POV style alone creates a certain type of distance from the characters, and while I certainly felt for the characters over the course of the series, I never once fell in love with them (though I was often highly entertained by them). It's a good series on the whole, a solid B, but I'm glad, in the end, that I borrowed the series rather than bought it.
Review style: This one is going to be a little different, as I'll not only be talking about this particular book, but also the series as a whole. There will be spoilers, so if that bugs you, there's no need to click the cut to my LJ. If it doesn't bother you, however, then swing on by! As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Elizabeth Moon's VICTORY CONDITIONS
DON'T FORGET: The month is creeping to an end! Have you read Emma Bull's War for the Oaks yet? If you're interested in participating in this month's challenge, details are here.