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Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon
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Victory Conditions (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Elizabeth Moon

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8782316,431 (3.82)36
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.… (more)
Member:dennymeta
Title:Victory Conditions
Authors:Elizabeth Moon
Info:Orbit (2008), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
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Victory Conditions by Elizabeth Moon (2008)

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Ky Vatta finally has a chance to meet all the new captains she'd been sent by the new government on her home world of Slotter Key and starts to tie them into her growing fleet but is faced with some personal issues as she sees what had happened to her family through her father's inherited implant. ( )
  JohnFair | Dec 13, 2019 |
To preface: I have very bad experiences with end-of-series novels.

Unfortunately, this book is no different. While Moon's prose is neither overly embellished nor embarrassingly bad, her book's readability cannot save itself from its trite plot and ending. ( )
  treehorse | Nov 7, 2019 |
Sort of the conclusion to the series, as Ky finally accumulates enough support (more or less) to begin thinking about taking on Taurek. However she's somewhat shocked when she learns the total size of his fleet and has to start making both sacrifices, and clever tactics. Stella and Grace are just about present around the edges as Rafe takes on a full character to try to cope with the corruption within the ISC, and repair his family life.

There's nothing clever about the writing, but Moon does a reasonable job of trying to describe and understand the position of several parties of ships in a changing 3D space, where both lightspeed lag and momentum/positonal error have an impact. Thus cna be a quite a tricky concept that few authors attempt, but Moon manages to make it clear enough, even if she gets away with just letting the opponent not act intelligently.

A worthy conclusion. ( )
  reading_fox | Jul 20, 2019 |
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 ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Rating: A very satisfying ending to a great series.

Ky Vatta, failed student and one of the few Vatta survivors after her family is attacked at home and in space, has morphed into a cool and calm not to mention deadly enemy to the pirates attempting to take control of her world. They should run while they still can.

Really interesting characterization, a fully imagined world, and complex plotting has made this a great series. ( )
  majkia | Jun 5, 2018 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Moonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeley, DaveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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