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Book Report: The Vor Game

It looks like I haven’t reported on The Vor Game, which would seem to imply that I haven’t read it in the last three years. This seems unlikely. Far more likely is that I read the thing and then forgot to blog it.

It’s quite a good Miles book. It’s got his mercenary band, which is good. It’s got some interesting stuff with Gregor. It has one bit that is very Barrayar, and another bit that is out in a galactic spot we haven’t visited yet (or after, because you can read them out of order just fine). There’s lots of Miles lying desperately, which is good stuff. I don’t much like the villain character (either of them, actually), but then they aren’t in the book much. Actually, the best bit is when Miles gets sunk under a meter of mud all by himself.

If somebody asked me where to start on the Miles books, I would definitely tell them to start with the Cordelia books. If you like those, you can jump into Miles just about anywhere. It’s reasonable to start with Warrior’s Apprentice, but you could start with this one just fine, and if you like it, you can go back. Or you could start with Komarr. Or with Memory. Or Brothers in Arms. I wouldn’t advise starting with A Civil Campaign, because I think it leads on from Komarr too well, and it would be too bad not to be able to read them together. I wouldn’t advise starting with Cetaganda, because I started with Cetaganda and I didn’t like it very much, and decided not to read the others (I changed my mind, later). I wouldn’t advise starting with Diplomatic Immunity, because it stank. I don’t know about Mirror Dance; it might not work at all if you don’t like Miles a bit going in, and therefore have some sympathy for Mark.

I will say this—if you don’t like The Vor Game, it probably isn’t worth your time trying any of the others.

chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek,


I was given very strong recommendations to read the Miles books in order, and I'm glad I did so--I feel like I enjoyed them more for having done that. But what do I know, since I can't have both experiences? I especially can't fathom starting with Memory. And I've always seen Brothers in Arms and Mirror Dance as a two-part novel, somehow.

I haven't read the Cordelia books. Or the last couple Miles books... They were on the "good stuff to save for when I need something Good" list, and now they're on the "... well, and when I next have time to read fiction for that matter" list.

I think of Komarr and A Civil Campaign as a double novel far more than Brothers in Arms and Mirror Dance, but that's just me. And if you missed A Civil Campaign, it would have been fun to read on and around Election Day, as it's very political. Too late now. And I would definitely put the Cordelia books higher up on the "when you have time for fiction" list. If I were to recommend reading the Miles books in order, it would be for the purpose of putting those books first.


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