walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Captain Vorpatril's Alliance_, Lois McMaster Bujold (kindle)

I used to adore the Vorkosiganverse. I'd reread the whole series whenever a new one was about to come out. I don't even really know why I stopped, altho possibly because there were long breaks in between and I lost track.

In any event, I think I still haven't read _Cryoburn_ or _Diplomatic Immunity_, and my recollection of many of the later books has dimmed. And while I really enjoyed Ivan, and this is a fun romp, the usual warnings apply. This is late in a very long series/universe and thus not a great entry point, for example.

But there are bigger problems. When the series was new, the Betans and their ideas about human sexuality seemed refreshingly open -- now, I mostly notice that the terminology is unfortunate (use of "hermaphrodite", the mockery associated with a trans or gender fluid relative of By's) and many of the ideas handled with little nuance, almost mechanical (Illyan's visit to the orb and the Betan's method for making sure they provide an appropriate level of surveillance/support for visitors).

If I let that pass (hey, I've already ordered _Cryoburn_, so on some level, I have), I'm still up against the idea that House Cordonah seems populated by a bunch of fools. Successful people in the Vorkosiganverse have a tendency to make it all work using forward momentum -- few people succeed by dint of anticipating and accounting for Bad Breaks. But House Cordonah is _so_ foolish that they cease early on to be plausible and they just become more cartoonish as the book goes along. Are there successful, powerful people who are this risible? Probably. But meh.

Good luck -- this is always a risk with a long series.
Tags: book review
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