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A vast and hostile force is attacking prosperous trade centres, destroying their space fleets then moving on, leaving death and chaos in their wake. Admiral Ky Vatta’s family was decimated by one such attack and Turek, the pirate force’s leader, will not escape her vengeance. Ky has a loyal taskforce, but the enemy have three times the ships and the firepower to match. She A vast and hostile force is attacking prosperous trade centres, destroying their space fleets then moving on, leaving death and chaos in their wake. Admiral Ky Vatta’s family was decimated by one such attack and Turek, the pirate force’s leader, will not escape her vengeance. Ky has a loyal taskforce, but the enemy have three times the ships and the firepower to match. She must offset these advantages with her knowledge of military strategy and her ace: superior ansible technology, facilitating fast and accurate in-space intelligence. The alternative to victory is unthinkable - devastation of interplanetary trading networks on a galaxy-wide scale - and the end of a way of life.


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A vast and hostile force is attacking prosperous trade centres, destroying their space fleets then moving on, leaving death and chaos in their wake. Admiral Ky Vatta’s family was decimated by one such attack and Turek, the pirate force’s leader, will not escape her vengeance. Ky has a loyal taskforce, but the enemy have three times the ships and the firepower to match. She A vast and hostile force is attacking prosperous trade centres, destroying their space fleets then moving on, leaving death and chaos in their wake. Admiral Ky Vatta’s family was decimated by one such attack and Turek, the pirate force’s leader, will not escape her vengeance. Ky has a loyal taskforce, but the enemy have three times the ships and the firepower to match. She must offset these advantages with her knowledge of military strategy and her ace: superior ansible technology, facilitating fast and accurate in-space intelligence. The alternative to victory is unthinkable - devastation of interplanetary trading networks on a galaxy-wide scale - and the end of a way of life.

30 review for Victory Conditions

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sbuchler

    Genre: Space Opera/Military Sci Fi This is probably the weakest book of the Vatta’s War series, it wrapped everything up all neat and tidy but it took too many short-cuts. Despite the relationship between Gammis Turek (pirate leader) and Lew Parmina (former head of ISC, biggest company in the known universe) being critical to the success of the pirates in earlier books, it’s never explained WHY they were working together, or even that they WERE directly working together. It’s hinted at a lot, but Genre: Space Opera/Military Sci Fi This is probably the weakest book of the Vatta’s War series, it wrapped everything up all neat and tidy but it took too many short-cuts. Despite the relationship between Gammis Turek (pirate leader) and Lew Parmina (former head of ISC, biggest company in the known universe) being critical to the success of the pirates in earlier books, it’s never explained WHY they were working together, or even that they WERE directly working together. It’s hinted at a lot, but not elucidated. The only motivation we’re given for either’s power grabs (both using extremely despicable means) is a lust for power. I feel cheated. The sub-plots were also somewhat weak. The sub-plot of Toby falling for the teenaged daughter of a pirate was interesting, but the resolution was a cop out – instead of slowly discovering that the dad was a traitor over the course of the book and having that interact with the larger story, everyone simultaneously intuits the fact that he’s a pirate. (Oh, and everyone – political authorities included – condemn this as vehemently as the Vatta’s who have personal cause for a vendetta.) To make matters even more black-and-white, he’s got to be suddenly revealed as an abusive spouse as well. Totally unnecessary vilification, in my opinion. It would have been much more interesting if he was a likeable fellow. The result of this sub-plot is equally incredulous - it doesn’t even cause a stutter in Toby’s romance! Speaking of romance, I found the romance between Rafe and Ky completely unbelievable. Yes, it’s been foreshadowed ever since we met Rafe, however, they both independently decide they’re in love with each other without ever talking after he leaves her 2 books ago! Not believable. Especially when there is a lot of pressure against a relationship, and they’re both deeply busy with other things. Partiality for each other I have no trouble believing. Deciding the other person is the love of your life without any communication what-so-ever is too much for me to swallow. Especially when Moon set up a perfectly reasonable way for them to keep in secret contact; she could’ve developed that plot/relationship over the course of the book in a much more believable and less melodramatic way. It was still a fun book, full of action and adventure and amusement. However it could’ve been so much MORE then it was.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Captain

    Ahoy there me mateys! This here be a combined review of the fourth and fifth books of the Vatta’s War series. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read books one through three and ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . Well book four started out in an odd fashion. Book three ended suggesting a certain direction and then that didn’t happen. I really wanted to visit a specific planet. Alas. I also know I said that book three felt like a p Ahoy there me mateys! This here be a combined review of the fourth and fifth books of the Vatta’s War series. While I try to post no spoilers, if ye haven’t read books one through three and ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . . Well book four started out in an odd fashion. Book three ended suggesting a certain direction and then that didn’t happen. I really wanted to visit a specific planet. Alas. I also know I said that book three felt like a placeholder but this one did too. That said I actually enjoyed this one better. This book follows primarily Rafe and Ky. But the other favourites still make appearances. I continue to adore Aunt Grace. I love the flamboyant ship captain. He makes me so happy. Those who have read prior books will know exactly which one. Ky of course remains the highlight even though she doesn’t get all the page time. This book certainly picked up the pace! As for the final book, I adored it and thought it be an excellent conclusion to the series. Ky truly is a fantastic leader and I loved watching all of her experience and hardships come together and led to success. Part of the fun of this installment was watching the author’s surprise resolutions for many of me favourite characters. Three in particular made me incredibly happy. Which three ye ask? Spoilers matey, spoilers. I did want to point out a specific aspect of these novels which is how post-traumatic stress gets dealt with. First of all people actually have realistic issues after experiencing horrible things. Secondly, suffering people are supported and get help to deal with their problems. Characters actually take time to process their situations and talk about feelings and emotions. The emotional toll doesn’t just disappear magically. Now granted it is an advanced society where there is medical treatment that current science cannot provide. But there are also meds, therapy sessions, and taking time to heal, reflect, and rest. It was a refreshing viewpoint for military sci-fi. I am so very glad to have read this series and highly recommend it to me crew. I have already made plans to get the companion series, vatta’s peace, in me mitts. Arrr!!! Side note: Much thanks to me matey, Sarah @ brainfluff, for pointing me in the right direction in terms of the recommended readin’ sequence for these books! Check out me other reviews at https://thecaptainsquartersblog.wordp...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    “Victory Conditions (Vatta’s War #5)” concludes the epic military scifi adventure story of Ky Vatta as she builds a unified space force to stand against pirates, and as her friends and family try to rebuild the economic empires of Vatta and InterStellar Communications Corporation (ISC) . Politics, personalities, space battles, abductions, killings, deceptions, betrayals, declarations of love and fade to black (hetero) sex….this book covers lots of ground! Raf still annoys me for some reason, but I “Victory Conditions (Vatta’s War #5)” concludes the epic military scifi adventure story of Ky Vatta as she builds a unified space force to stand against pirates, and as her friends and family try to rebuild the economic empires of Vatta and InterStellar Communications Corporation (ISC) . Politics, personalities, space battles, abductions, killings, deceptions, betrayals, declarations of love and fade to black (hetero) sex….this book covers lots of ground! Raf still annoys me for some reason, but I’ve grown to like his sister Penny. Ky really comes into her own, and is an admirable admiral. Nearly everything is wrapped up with this book, and various secondary characters generally get what we hoped for…mostly good…and one bad. There is a very interesting teaser at the end between Master Sergeant Pitt and a character. I wouldn’t call it a cliffhanger, exactly, but I wonder if that teaser plays into what became the next book in the extended series - “Cold Welcome (Vatta’s Peace #1)”, published in April 2017, eight years after “Victory Conditions”. Happily, the audiobook is already out, so after I catch my breath from Vatta’s war, I won’t have to wait for Ky’s next adventure! “Victory Conditions” is an entertaining and satisfying end to a terrific series, and the narration is excellent. Highly recommended with a 5* rating. BTW, part of the reason for author Elizabeth Moon’s ability to write convincing details of the tedium, the adventure, the politics and the personalities of military life undoubtedly is that she served in the United States Marine Corps from 1968-1971!

  4. 4 out of 5

    erforscherin

    Somewhere - belatedly - around the halfway mark of Victory Conditions, I started wondering what exactly I was trying to prove by slogging through this series. I'd already given it a second and third chance to redeem itself, and each book seemed worse than the one before: characters behaved erratically, the plot made no sense whatsoever, Chekhov's whole freaking armory lay forgotten and gathering dust... I'm sorry to report this one isn't any better. I don't know that I'd say it's the weakest inst Somewhere - belatedly - around the halfway mark of Victory Conditions, I started wondering what exactly I was trying to prove by slogging through this series. I'd already given it a second and third chance to redeem itself, and each book seemed worse than the one before: characters behaved erratically, the plot made no sense whatsoever, Chekhov's whole freaking armory lay forgotten and gathering dust... I'm sorry to report this one isn't any better. I don't know that I'd say it's the weakest installment of the series - mostly because that would mean actually remembering what happened in the other books for comparison, and my brain has apparently taken the last few weeks to reclaim those neurons for more useful things - but it's certainly not something I'd care to reread, either. Under different circumstances, I think the glaring flaws of this series... would still have been glaring. It's generally never a good sign when you start wondering whether the characters would make any more sense if you could just assume they were all robots who are very bad at pretending to pass as humans. ((view spoiler)[If your love interest who had been presumed dead for months suddenly called you up out of the blue, for example, I'm pretty sure the correct response would *not* be "let's have a totally normal-sounding conversation about military tactics, and I will *never once* express astonishment that you are, in fact, alive after all." Or anger, or relief, or... any kind of emotion at all, really; and the whole thing is pretty much never brought up again, despite it being supposedly a big plot point. "Robot logic" is the only explanation I've got. (hide spoiler)] ) Part of it was probably just a "wrong book, wrong time" issue too, to be fair: I was hoping for a "merchant's disgraced heir reluctantly learns the family business and at last finds she's pretty good at it after all" story, but instead I got a "military golden child stuns everyone with implausibly advanced knowledge of tactics at a young age, and is also always right and is beautiful enough to get all the men, effortlessly"... which may, in fact, be the polar opposite kind of story. And the "oo-rah, military is always right, and also awesome, and everyone else is disposable scum"... was, for various reasons, a message that managed to hit a remarkable amount of my personal red-alert buttons at once. In any case - I'm glad this one's over with. Here's to happier ventures ahead... and better choices of reading material. I think it's going to be quite some time before I try anything military-SF-related again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Thomas

    No, this isn't a blog entry about my Swedish campaign game in Empire Total War. Rather "Victory Conditions" is the name of the 5th and final book in Elizabeth Moon's "Vatta's War" series. This is a science fiction series that I started unexpectedly last year. You see, I was on a business trip and had run out of reading material. Now that's not a bad thing in my brain because it means I get to go to the bookstore and buy something that looks good to me right then and there. Since I have such a ba No, this isn't a blog entry about my Swedish campaign game in Empire Total War. Rather "Victory Conditions" is the name of the 5th and final book in Elizabeth Moon's "Vatta's War" series. This is a science fiction series that I started unexpectedly last year. You see, I was on a business trip and had run out of reading material. Now that's not a bad thing in my brain because it means I get to go to the bookstore and buy something that looks good to me right then and there. Since I have such a back load of unread books in my house, I sometimes feel like I "have" to read such and such because I've had it for so long. Many times I'll open a book that I have long anticipated only to feel like this is "old" stuff. So, there I was at the book store in...San Diego I think, and I had the chance to buy something "fresh". I spent a lot of time browsing trying to narrow down my choices. I really wanted to try a new author. I finally settled on the first book of this series, "Trading in Danger". It appealed to me because I really wasn't looking for hard science fiction but I figured a nice space opera would be fine. And it wasn't a straight military science fiction story either, more about traders and merchants. So I read that book and loved it, forcing me to buy the rest of the series. Although I do like to mix up my reading with different genres all the time, I still like to read an entire series during the course of the year. It makes my cataloging easier when I write my "Year in Review." But to my chagrin, the final book of the series wasn't yet published! I had to wait until this year, at least for the paperback version and so there has been a bit of a gap from my reading of the first four to this one. But you know what? That gap didn't matter. These books are so well written that I easily slipped back into the story line. Ms Moon writes with an easy, familiar style, that makes complicated situations much easier to comprehend. And the plot of this series is a wonderful progression of adventure. The characters interact delightfully and drive the action of the novels. I really enjoyed the way the protagonist, Ky Vatta, was thrust into very difficult circumstances and was able to bring a different way of thinking to the situation and resolve it. I also liked the behind-the-scenes action. In other words, take a different space opera universe like Star Trek. You get lots of info on the main plot, action, etc. but in Ms Moon's books we get to see how "normal" people deal with everyday situations. It ain't easy trying to get basic supplies from a trade depot when you don't have security identification. This last volume of the series wrapped it all up in fine style. My only complaint is that the ending seemed a little rushed, as if the author was trying to wrap up too many loose ends. There was, however, a definite resolution to the main conflicts and an overall satisfying ending. I definitely plan to check out Elizabeth Moon's other books.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    "If there's been a completely honest government in the history of humankind, no history book's ever mentioned it." Excellent. Moon drew all the essential threads into a satisfying climax, and left enough to remind the reader that life goes on. Moon's forte is interpersonal relationships over interstellar distances. It's easy to get out of sync, and she explores many of the ways complex, if-bigger-than-life people get cross ways with each other and the world(s). A good read of the space opera varie "If there's been a completely honest government in the history of humankind, no history book's ever mentioned it." Excellent. Moon drew all the essential threads into a satisfying climax, and left enough to remind the reader that life goes on. Moon's forte is interpersonal relationships over interstellar distances. It's easy to get out of sync, and she explores many of the ways complex, if-bigger-than-life people get cross ways with each other and the world(s). A good read of the space opera variety.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    Reread..

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lexxi Kitty

    I rather dislike Rafe. December 5 2017 --- I rarely reread - much more so recently, but still I rarely reread. So the number of series I've reread, completely, can be counted on one hand. There's this series here - the Vatta War one (yes, it continues in Vatta Peace, but I've never read that one). Then, hmms, Jae's Hollywood series. Oh, heh, that's it. Those two. I came really close to rereading Jae's Shape-shifter series, I've read all but the last book and last two short stories, but . . . my ene I rather dislike Rafe. December 5 2017 --- I rarely reread - much more so recently, but still I rarely reread. So the number of series I've reread, completely, can be counted on one hand. There's this series here - the Vatta War one (yes, it continues in Vatta Peace, but I've never read that one). Then, hmms, Jae's Hollywood series. Oh, heh, that's it. Those two. I came really close to rereading Jae's Shape-shifter series, I've read all but the last book and last two short stories, but . . . my energy ran out I guess. So - I reread every book in this series here and Jae's Hollywood series. 'Vatta's War' had never been my favorite series by Elizabeth Moon, that'd probably be either the Deed of Parksenarrion or Paladin's Legacy series. Both fantasy, and, chronologically, Deed is second and Paladin's is third in the same fantasy universe. I've never read the first series in that universe, The Legacy of Gird - not exactly sure why though Parksenarrion isn't in the first series, and does pop up on occasion in the third series (plus, the story of Gird is basically told over the course of the other two series). So it is easy for me to say that I've always liked Moon more as a Fantasy writer than a Science Fiction writer, though I also did like The Serrano Legacy series. One of the things I had forgotten before the reread was the part where the series does not actually follow Ky Vatta. Though I probably should have realized/remembered that, since that’s something Moon likes doing in her series – follow a bunch of characters, not just one. Still, I forgot. Most of the books in the series do include significant sections devoted to Ky’s point of view, but there are books, and sections of books, that are almost exclusively devoted to other characters – like, if I recall correctly, both book 4 and 5 have significant time spent with Rafe and his family/business issues, with book 5 having a large chunk also devoted to Toby and his ‘stuff’. There’s still significant Ky action in book 5, but, by the end of the series, I kind of forgotten the character amongst all the others. Though I did see and recognize the character growth curve. So, what did happen in book five? Plotline 1: Toby, the youngster (13? 15?) from prior books, does stuff on the space station he lives on, like go to school, invent stuff, date a girl his own age, have to deal with the parents of that girl, be kidnapped, etc. Plotline 2: Rafe continues reluctantly guiding his family and business affairs. Though in terms of family, mostly just his sister (who he is kind of condescending to until he realizes she’s not ‘just’ his young sister but an actual individual who also happens to be an adult). The business part involves him dealing with being ‘temp’/’acting’ CEO for his ill father’s company. Oh, and he is also still lusting after Ky. Plotline 3: Ky continues work on creating a fleet to defeat the ‘pirates’. Reminds me – there’s a ton of talk about ‘traitor’s’ that seemed very misplaced. How exactly were all these people traitors? Sure, some of them are, but just because someone is your enemy doesn’t magically make them into ‘traitors’. Sorry, that came up a lot, that word, though more in other people’s sections than Ky’s. Where was I? Oh, right, Ky continues creating fleet, gets into battles, matures, continues being condescended to because of her age and gender (‘of course she’s going to be distracted by pretty pretty boys!!!’ bah). Plotline 4: Aunt Grace & her boy toy McRoberts (or was that MacRoberts?) doing stuff important related to the defense of Ky’s home system (what was that again, Slotter Key or something like that?). Right, so, that’s the series. Relatively interesting and well written. Certain melodramatic parts (like the villain literally poses as a kind of soap opera villain, though there are no sections devoted to him and it is explained why he is acting that way – purposefully, so, okay). I liked the books well enough. Though my purpose was to set myself up to read book 1 of the follow-up series before book 2 appears shortly. But I somewhat failed since I’m kind of burned out now on Vatta issues. *shrugs* Happens. Rating: something around 3.75, since that’s the shelf I put it on on the 5th of December. December 7 2017

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    A great end to a fun series. All the threads are drawn together into a fairly predictable, but nonetheless satisfying conclusion. The characterization remained good. Overall, it's pretty much more of the same of the previous 4 books which really should be read in order to appreciate fully. They do stand well enough alone that if you happened to pick up any one, you'd still have a fun read, though. A great end to a fun series. All the threads are drawn together into a fairly predictable, but nonetheless satisfying conclusion. The characterization remained good. Overall, it's pretty much more of the same of the previous 4 books which really should be read in order to appreciate fully. They do stand well enough alone that if you happened to pick up any one, you'd still have a fun read, though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    short review of the series (huge novel split into 5) under Trading in danger https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... short review of the series (huge novel split into 5) under Trading in danger https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    Nice wrap up book to the series. Overall a nice SiFi story. Good characters and plots. Enjoyable read. Recommended

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Bottom line: I really enjoyed this series. Not ground-breaking, but everything about this series is solid. The character development, plot, action, and military/political setup are solid, and this consistently better-than-adequate "quality," combined with how fun the series is, and fantastic (and discernibly different an believable) female characters, makes this a great read. I binged these suckers like I would marathon sci-fi television. Vatta's War doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's n Bottom line: I really enjoyed this series. Not ground-breaking, but everything about this series is solid. The character development, plot, action, and military/political setup are solid, and this consistently better-than-adequate "quality," combined with how fun the series is, and fantastic (and discernibly different an believable) female characters, makes this a great read. I binged these suckers like I would marathon sci-fi television. Vatta's War doesn't take itself too seriously, and it's not trying to be DEEP, though it does have both poignant moments and interesting space opera politics sometimes. The series has a pretty standard trajectory, more commonly seen with female protagonists in fantasy series (which makes sense, since Elizabeth Moon killed the fat fantasy genre before writing this space opera series), of a young girl with a lot of potential maturing as she's thrown into circumstances bigger than herself. There's a love interest thrown in, but it's not a huge element, and everyone likes a rogue-ish space spy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Choko

    I know I am going high with the 5 stars, but it is for the all-together feel of the series. I know it is light, I know it is a bit corny, and I even know it is no where close to perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am sad it is finished... I hope Ms. Moon gives us some sequels, for which the structure of the story is perfectly set up.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sonic

    MOAR SPACE BATTLE PLZ. What's this Vatta's Peace I have to deal with next?? I hope she means peace like Peacekeeping missiles. MOAR SPACE BATTLE PLZ. What's this Vatta's Peace I have to deal with next?? I hope she means peace like Peacekeeping missiles.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kat Hooper

    Originally posted at FanLit. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ Victory Conditions is the fifth and final book in Elizabeth Moon’s VATTA’S WAR saga. This has been a solidly entertaining story with appealing characters and an unpredictable plot but it never quite pulls itself past its classification of “space opera.” If space opera is what you’re looking for, VATTA’S WAR delivers and this last installment, Victory Conditions, brings the Vatta story to a satisfying end. If you haven’t read the first Originally posted at FanLit. http://www.fantasyliterature.com/ Victory Conditions is the fifth and final book in Elizabeth Moon’s VATTA’S WAR saga. This has been a solidly entertaining story with appealing characters and an unpredictable plot but it never quite pulls itself past its classification of “space opera.” If space opera is what you’re looking for, VATTA’S WAR delivers and this last installment, Victory Conditions, brings the Vatta story to a satisfying end. If you haven’t read the first four books, go find the first book, Trading in Danger. If you’ve read Trading in Danger, Marque and Reprisal, Engaging the Enemy and Command Decision, there’s no reason to stop now. The pirate responsible for knocking out the ansibles and targeting the Vatta family has been identified — Kylara Vatta finally knows who her enemy is. Working with her competent crew, beautiful cousin Stella, formidable Aunt Grace, and a couple of unexpected allies, Ky sets out to take down Gammis Turek, freeing the universe from his tyranny and getting revenge for what he did to the Vatta family. Meanwhile Rafe is still on his home planet, trying to run ISC and helping his family through their ordeal. Rafe’s sister Penny, a grieving widow and mother, turns out to be another of Elizabeth Moon’s competent women. When the pirates target their planet, Rafe and Penny get involved with the government’s response. We all know that our heroes will be successful, but at what price? Despite the book’s name, there’s lots of loss in Victory Conditions. Our heroes will have to make hard decisions and deal with the consequences and the guilt that follows. All of this is piled atop the trouble and grief that’s been stacking up since the first book. Elizabeth Moon successfully shows us that war is a necessary evil and an ugly business — the thrill of victory is more bitter than sweet. The “flaws” in Victory Conditions are mostly the same ones I’ve noted in the previous books: a few dodgy plot elements, too many meetings with too much dialogue, and way too many plot rehashings (often in the guise of Ky once again explaining her leadership credentials). I also had trouble believing in Ky and Rafe’s romance. It’s been clear for a while that Moon was setting this up, but she never shows us enough evidence of their feelings for each other. Most disappointing, though, is that Moon’s universe never feels substantial. It seems small (it’s easy to find your friends and enemies even when communication has been shut down) and the cultural differences between planets seem silly rather than significant. I am fairly certain that Moon wants them to seem silly (it’s social satire a la Jack Vance) but it doesn’t quite fit the tone of the story. On the bright side, Victory Conditions includes exciting space battles, a kidnapping, espionage, political and corporate intrigue, assassination attempts, and even a budding romance for teenager Toby Vatta. Some of these subplots — especially the kidnapping and espionage — are resolved way too quickly and I found myself wishing that Moon had stretched them out for more tension. But it all works out okay if you don’t take it too seriously. As “space opera” it works quite well, in fact. If you’ve enjoyed VATTA’S WAR up to this point, I think you’ll be satisfied with its conclusion. I listened to VATTA’S WAR in audio format. Tantor Audio produced these a few years ago. The narrator, Cynthia Holloway, has a pleasant voice and excellent pacing. She brings Elizabeth Moon’s characters to life. I recommend this version.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Vatta's War series 1 Trading in Danger 2 Marque and Reprisal 3 Engaging the Enemy 4 Command Decision 5 Victory Conditions These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!) Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business Vatta's War series 1 Trading in Danger 2 Marque and Reprisal 3 Engaging the Enemy 4 Command Decision 5 Victory Conditions These 5 books are not so much a series as one long novel - there's one story arc, and you really need to read all five to get to the (satisfying) conclusion. (I somehow had the misapprehension that there were only 4 in the series - luckily the public library came through and got me #5 expediently!) Due to a misjudgement, Kylara Vatta, scion of an interstellar shipping business, gets kicked out of military academy shortly before graduation. She's pretty crushed by the end of her hopes for a military career, but there's always the family business to fall back on... or is there? Someone's apparently got it out for her family, and before Ky knows it, she's catapulted into the midst of a space war, seeking justice and vengeance against an unsavory alliance of pirates. These are first and foremost action-adventure books, with plenty of shoot-em-up scenes and an uncomplicated moral compass - you know who the 'bad guys' are, and although Ky is normally affected by the trauma of war (even seeking therapy at one point), she's always clearly on the side of right. The one thing I wished the story had was more exploration of the bad guys' motivations - OK, we know they're racist, and bigoted against 'modified' humans (people who've had either genetic or physical/technological augmentation), and of course they want power - but what's the story behind it all? However, the characters of the 'good guys' are well-drawn, and the story's definitely recommended for those who like strong female characters: there's Ky, with her military and strategic brilliance, her cousin Stella, who has the financial and business acumen to bring Vatta Enterprises back from the brink - and there's their grandmother, Grace, who is far from being the harmless old lady people might assume. (Grace might be my favorite character - it's wonderful to see an older woman portrayed with such verve.) As many have mentioned, there are some definite parallells here with Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. I'm not sure these are *quite* as good, but if you like one, I'd guess you'll like the other.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Miki

    I read this entire series over the past week, and, until the final volume, it was acceptably mediocre. Victory Conditions, however, is just terrible. Space Opera inevitably descends into munchkin power gaming, and this is a prime example of how not to do it. Dei ex machina, painfully predictable plot coupons, and, when a whole bunch of minor characters who had spanned much of the series die violently, a three page gesture towards sorrow in an attempt to give the lead character some depth. Feh.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aildiin

    Well I am finally done with Vatta's War and it's time to say what I think about it. I would not recommend the serie, it's not bad but it's not an earth shattering read that absolutely needs to be done. The whole set of books gets a 3 stars rating for me, maybe I should qualify this. This is not really a set of 5 disconnected books but more a story told over 5 relatively short books. Character development is not really great and action is sometime sparse. All in all an average read, it will keep y Well I am finally done with Vatta's War and it's time to say what I think about it. I would not recommend the serie, it's not bad but it's not an earth shattering read that absolutely needs to be done. The whole set of books gets a 3 stars rating for me, maybe I should qualify this. This is not really a set of 5 disconnected books but more a story told over 5 relatively short books. Character development is not really great and action is sometime sparse. All in all an average read, it will keep you busy if you need something to read on a plane but there are a lot of better books out there...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A remarkably fast read, with all the ends tied up nicely. Moon is the first author I've read whose space battles include discussions of debris fields and how shields help with that. I was also intrigued by the idea that the brain implants could become overloaded with unmaleable memories that, over time, become a problem for regular human consciousness. The very end seemed a bit sparse, but I'm probably just being greedy. A remarkably fast read, with all the ends tied up nicely. Moon is the first author I've read whose space battles include discussions of debris fields and how shields help with that. I was also intrigued by the idea that the brain implants could become overloaded with unmaleable memories that, over time, become a problem for regular human consciousness. The very end seemed a bit sparse, but I'm probably just being greedy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    An excellent book & a good way to wind up the previous 4. I love that. The plot works itself out & the characters are just where they should be. There are some loose ends, but they're not bad ones. We know the survivors have a future. I was very impressed. As good as the Honor Harrington series & similar in many ways. An excellent book & a good way to wind up the previous 4. I love that. The plot works itself out & the characters are just where they should be. There are some loose ends, but they're not bad ones. We know the survivors have a future. I was very impressed. As good as the Honor Harrington series & similar in many ways.

  21. 4 out of 5

    piranha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Two major things really "elevated" this book to a failure over the rest of the series (there were many other annoyances, but these two stand out)" 1. The entire series is chock full of deus ex machina moments to help Ky out in ways only lazy writers could find acceptable, one of which is when Ky magically gets a person-to-person ansible embedded in her implant, through which she and Rafe can chat in secret directly with each other, superluminally. But when that would be really damn great to confir Two major things really "elevated" this book to a failure over the rest of the series (there were many other annoyances, but these two stand out)" 1. The entire series is chock full of deus ex machina moments to help Ky out in ways only lazy writers could find acceptable, one of which is when Ky magically gets a person-to-person ansible embedded in her implant, through which she and Rafe can chat in secret directly with each other, superluminally. But when that would be really damn great to confirm that Ky has died when her ship blew up, does it even occur to Rafe to call her up? Nope. He doesn't give it a single thought. Not even a hint that maybe he's just too damn scared to confirm it, and as long as he ignores it, it's not real (like why some people don't go to the doctor if they fear they have cancer); no, he just doesn't think to do it, he ends up accepting the horrible news as factual. 2. Everybody else on Ky's ship dies. Martin, Hugh, Lee, Mahar; everyone who has been with Ky forever (those who're not with Stella, that is) and who one might assume mean something to her, beyond her family. Now, Ky didn't ever really mourn her dead family members either, which never sat right with me, but Ky doesn't even bother to recall the names of the dead at their memorial service. She spends more time musing about the shipyard workers at another service, people whom she didn't even know. Oh sure, later Moon tells us Ky can't sleep because the dead won't let her rest, but it's all so much tell-don't-show I didn't even believe it. And hey, a few days of intensive psych treatment and it's all over. Somebody should have told Rafe's sister Penelope about that; she mourns for nearly a year for her dead husband and baby; what a waste of time, eh! It's just overall a garbage book. Nothing except for Rafe's stuff is at all exciting; I skipped through the battle scenes because oh, who cares, we all know Admiral Vatta is gonna win and it doesn't really matter how she gets there. The Big Bads are incredibly one-dimensional too, both of them. And the romance sucks. Oh, Grace and MacRobert are fine, and even Toby and his teenage love are not disgustingly besotted. But the Ky x Rafe thing? Would have been nice if Ky had ever shown some adult emotion instead of pure denial. Heck, even Rafe managed that, before he turned into a tarnished white knight acting like a bellend, that is.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kes

    Happy ending for Ky. Having read the series, I guess it's a good way to pass the time - but it didn't feel amazing. Happy ending for Ky. Having read the series, I guess it's a good way to pass the time - but it didn't feel amazing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Text Addict

    Our copy of #4 of this series has gone awol, so I'll have to re-read that when it turns up again. Naturally, given my mood, I've started on one of Moon's other space opera series now. Our copy of #4 of this series has gone awol, so I'll have to re-read that when it turns up again. Naturally, given my mood, I've started on one of Moon's other space opera series now.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Lots of open ends and unresolved story-lines. I am hopeful for another volume....

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    02/2012 The conclusion of the Ky Vatta series. A satisfying conclusion to a good sci-fi series. You'll probably like this series if you like lot's of action. Moon is sparse enough with her space battles that they are never boring. The battles are well written and well conceived, factoring in spaceships that have lightspeed communications as well as those that can communicate faster than light. Moon also understands many of the possible problems inherent in space battles, and conveys them clearly 02/2012 The conclusion of the Ky Vatta series. A satisfying conclusion to a good sci-fi series. You'll probably like this series if you like lot's of action. Moon is sparse enough with her space battles that they are never boring. The battles are well written and well conceived, factoring in spaceships that have lightspeed communications as well as those that can communicate faster than light. Moon also understands many of the possible problems inherent in space battles, and conveys them clearly. There's also the political and social layers of misunderstanding and intrigue, which add to the complexity of the series. One thing I didn't care for on this re-read, though, was Rafe. (view spoiler)[He annoyed me. I'm not entirely sure why, but when he first shows up in the earlier books, he is a somewhat ambiguous but mostly likable rascal. By this book, he is mostly annoying. I found the ending particularly annoying, as I didn't want Rafe to end up with Ky by that point. I would rather she had ended up with the decorative, flamboyant, but likable Teddy Ransome (who does have some sense by that point). Rafe's idea of proving his love to Ky was to embarrass her in front of multiple planetary governments, defending her honor when she was quite capable of doing it herself, and do it at the time when it would be most remembered. And then he doesn't apologize. (hide spoiler)] 07/2014 I still don't like Rafe. This time around, I disliked him from the beginning, and my dislike only grew the longer he was around. Fortunately, this is still a minor complaint, since (view spoiler)[the book focuses on space battles and barely deals with the romance element. But, really, what is up with that lime? I liked Ky better when she was flipping Rafe onto his back instead of falling for him. (hide spoiler)] Moon's space opera (including Vatta's War) remains some of the best space opera I've read. Well worth the time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I'm glad there are more books: as satisfying as the ending was, I still have questions. I'm glad there are more books: as satisfying as the ending was, I still have questions.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    This is so like me--to read the last book in a series first. This novel totally rocks; no one writes action sequences--eg battles, stuff blowing up, etc.--better than Moon. I mean that literally; if I didn't think she'd find it insulting, I'd dub her the Tom Clancy of hard SF; she may be even better at action sequences than he. I read this book embarrassingly fast, getting into the war, the political instrigue, and the great battle scenes. It's vintage Moon. You have a galactic society based larg This is so like me--to read the last book in a series first. This novel totally rocks; no one writes action sequences--eg battles, stuff blowing up, etc.--better than Moon. I mean that literally; if I didn't think she'd find it insulting, I'd dub her the Tom Clancy of hard SF; she may be even better at action sequences than he. I read this book embarrassingly fast, getting into the war, the political instrigue, and the great battle scenes. It's vintage Moon. You have a galactic society based largely on commerce, each planet has its own "product" that contributes to the economy, and a space force to protect it. Usually, one family associated with a company provides the main cast of characters. Moon usually has one character involved in the running of the family business, another politician, and another, usually the protagonist, involved in the military. This may be the time to mention that Moon herself was an officer in the Marines. It's these women, the military ones, who are most interesting. They are proud of their families, but life on board ship interests them more than live in the board room does. These women are often black sheep, occasionally disgraced, and usually triumph through courage, recklessness, and a bit of dumb luck. If you like butt-kicking women heroes, you'll love this tome; if you don't know Elizabeth Moon, you have a who new "galaxy" of reading to enjoy, although I'd recommend starting with the Herris Serrano series first. Warning--one of the maddening things, and one of the things that makes her a good writer, is that she ends series. You won't get the 22nd novel in some series; I started with Moon on the Serrano series and got caught up, and am still a bit pissed there haven't been more. She's now ended this series, called "Vatta Wars," so I'm going to have to get to know a whole new set of characters in the future.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mardel

    The final installment to the Vatta's War series is one of the best books of the series. I found the ending satisfying, if a bit heartbreaking. Ky has earned quite a reputations as a commander of a space force, yet it hasn't come without some tragedy. She's also been dealing with grief from family death, the loss of a way of life and being the cause of death of others - even though they may have been enemies, it doesn't feel that great to know she's the cause of so many deaths. She's also been a b The final installment to the Vatta's War series is one of the best books of the series. I found the ending satisfying, if a bit heartbreaking. Ky has earned quite a reputations as a commander of a space force, yet it hasn't come without some tragedy. She's also been dealing with grief from family death, the loss of a way of life and being the cause of death of others - even though they may have been enemies, it doesn't feel that great to know she's the cause of so many deaths. She's also been a bit bothered by how much she enjoys the kill at times - something that's come up since the first book in the series. She finds herself perilously close to a breakdown, just when she needs most to keep herself sharp. She is going to be in charge of a multisystem force to fight the pirate, which have also grown in force. The odds seem too high. Rafe has his own difficulties, his father has been damaged, his sister has been depressed and his mother isn't quite the same. On top of that, the board of ISC seems to be growing suspicious of his intentions, though at first they were glad of his help. He's chafing at having to be in charge of everything - and fighting not only his own board, but the government to take the threat from the pirates to their planet seriously. Besides dealing with many spies, there has been mismanagement on all levels by many people at the family corporation. Stella and Toby have to deal with a kidnapping attempt, and Toby is also dealing with a first love situation - Zori comes from an important family and they're suspicious of Toby's family. And there's something creepy about Zori's dad... With a great mix of espionage, relationship issues, war strategy and heroics from unexpected places, Victory Conditions was a great final book to a fun series about space traders, pirates, tragedy and family.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maddalena

    With this fifth volume Elizabeth Moon’s series Vatta’s War reaches its conclusion, and a very satisfying one at that. Until now we have been following Ky Vatta, heir to a family of interstellar traders, who was expelled from the Space Academy because of a mistake in judgment and who tried to re-build her life inside the family business. Faced with increasing challenges, including a vast network of pirates trying to take over space routes with the complicity of moles planted in various government With this fifth volume Elizabeth Moon’s series Vatta’s War reaches its conclusion, and a very satisfying one at that. Until now we have been following Ky Vatta, heir to a family of interstellar traders, who was expelled from the Space Academy because of a mistake in judgment and who tried to re-build her life inside the family business. Faced with increasing challenges, including a vast network of pirates trying to take over space routes with the complicity of moles planted in various governments, Ky manages to gather around herself a fleet of former merchanters and privateers to fight the pirates, while gaining precious experience and skills that force her to grow well beyond her young age. As Victory Conditions starts, Ky is ready for the next step in her difficult mission, that of taking on board various planetary governments and their fleets to repel the coming assault from Turek, the leader of the pirates and the man responsible for the massacre of most of her family on their home planet of Slotter Key. This series is not, however, a one-woman show, and the action is equally divided between other characters we have met along the way: Ky’s cousin Stella has taken over the running of a company’s branch on the planet of Cascadia and is successfully juggling the family’s shipping business with the thriving new activity of manufacture and selling of a new communication device. Once Vatta’s black sheep because of a few youthful indiscretions, Stella is growing into her role of businesswoman and shrewd manager, earning the respect of surviving family members and associates alike. On a different part of the galaxy, Rafe Dunbarger – estranged son of the CEO of ISC, the leading communications firm – went back into the fold once he discovered the takeover attempt from his father’s closest associate, attempt that included the kidnapping and possible extermination of Rafe’s own family. Taking control of the company, and trying to eradicate the complex web of traitors (some of whom are in collusion with the pirates) and “simply” greedy executives, forces Rafe to discard his disreputable persona and to morph into a more stable, more dependable individual, even though he somewhat pines for the old days of freedom. All the while, the constant threat from the pirates, whose infiltration of governments and manufacturing facilities speaks of a long, careful planning, escalates to open conflict, one that the “good guys” are not so sure of winning… The constant change of point of view between characters and situations makes indeed for a fast-paced story, one that fulfills all the promises of the build-up carried on by previous books. And if the narrative is sometime slowed down by reiteration of well-known plot points (which for some instances happens more than once in the course of the story), it’s easy to forgive this misstep because the events succeed each other at such speed that glossing over these writing ‘hiccups’ requires no effort at all. Vatta’s War is above all a space opera whose main goal is that to entertain the reader, and in this it reaches its goal quite successfully. Where this novel works very well is in character exploration and development: Ky, for example, is not at all the kind of Mary Sue heroine who’s able to troubleshoot every problem just by batting her eyelashes. She has to work for what she obtains, and work very hard, more often than not leading an uphill battle against prejudice, not so much because she’s a woman (there are plenty of capable women in positions of responsibility in Moon’s world), but rather because of her young age and (wrongly) perceived lack of experience. Ky Vatta is not afraid of shouldering heavy burdens, knowing that she will learn from them, and being aware that nothing comes without a price: there is a segment of the story here where we see her dealing with the aftermath of all that happened to her until that moment, a combination of the experiences that matured her and the painful losses that shaped her psyche even as they hurt her. It’s an important part of the narrative, from my point of view, because it stresses Ky’s basic humanity and fallibility, while showing the potential for inner strength and emotional stability, the qualities that make her a convincing leader. My opinion of Rafe changed considerably with this volume: where he earlier looked like the proverbial rakish adventurer, here (and partly in the previous book) he shows great determination to bring ISC up to speed, removing all the elements that leeched funds and credibility from the company and taking very seriously his duties to it and to his family, especially where his traumatized sister Penny is concerned. In a sort of parallel with Ky, he needs to overcome the wrong image the world wants to paint on him, one that is only in part the result of his swashbuckling life and instead owes much to the deceptive bad publicity artfully circulated to keep him away from his home world and the company. The only segment where his characterization falters a little is in relation with Ky: while their mutual but unspoken attraction has been a subtle thread throughout the last three books, and it comes to the fore here promising future developments, it’s also at the root of a scene that demeans his maturity placing him on the same level as a hormone-crazed youth. Still, like I said, it’s one of those elements readers can take in their stride when considering the entertainment value of the story, without being too troubled by it. I’m glad that when I started reading Elizabeth Moon’s Cold Welcome, the first installment in the new series Vatta’s Peace, I decided instead to explore this first foray into Ky Vatta’s adventures, so that now I can move forward to the next books “armed” with the knowledge necessary to enjoy the story as it deserves. The journey continues, and it promises to be equally enjoyable… Originally posted on SPACE and SORCERY BLOG

  30. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    A satisfying conclusion to the series, that wraps almost everything up neatly. We never do get to figure out what the relationship is between Lew Parmina and Gammis Turek. Why are they working together? Lew seems to want power over ISC's monopoly; working with Turek seems sort of detrimental, especially once they start taking out ansibles, as that eats into ISC's profit significantly. Also, there was some really odd foreshadowing with Pitt (the Mackensee soldier) at the very end of the book. The n A satisfying conclusion to the series, that wraps almost everything up neatly. We never do get to figure out what the relationship is between Lew Parmina and Gammis Turek. Why are they working together? Lew seems to want power over ISC's monopoly; working with Turek seems sort of detrimental, especially once they start taking out ansibles, as that eats into ISC's profit significantly. Also, there was some really odd foreshadowing with Pitt (the Mackensee soldier) at the very end of the book. The narration seemed to be suggesting that she was spying on Ky/the Vattas/the SDF for some nefarious purposes? But I was also pretty tired by the time I got the end so maybe I misread. I also think the cranial ansibles were a huge missed opportunity. I mean, yes, they came in handy once or twice but...for such a powerful tool, they were pretty neglected. Aside from those issues, the book was lots of fun to read - lots of ships to blow up, lots of action. Some interesting development of certain characters. Satisfying - but not perfect.

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