Book 5, Victory Conditions, Elizabeth Moon
Warning Spoilers ahead… you have been warned!
Vatta’s War is a military SF series that is comprised of 5 books. This one being the last.
I will be the first to admit that I am easy to please when it comes to films or books. Its not often I have to stop watching/reading something. This book was definitely not one of these times. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books in this series and this last volume pulls together the threads that have been woven throughout the series quite well. Its generally what you would expect from a military SF series. I liked the character development and the way the plot grew throughout. The way the battles were told was really good and managed to get the ideas across without the need fo endless techno babble.
I will say that I did find some of the last parts of the book seemed to be glossed over when she was tying up loose ends. Casually mentioning that Toby’s parents had been found, and that he and Zori were going to live with them and go to school. This was a bit like telling for the sake of tying up that sub plot. It was also frustrating that she didn’t explain much of why Lew Parmina and Gammis Turek did what they did, some kind of motivation other than power would have been good. I think had she done some chapters from the antagonists point of view she could have expanded on this without losing anything else.
I have seen some people mocking Rafe and Ky’s love story but despite the distances and the time apart I didn’t find it hard to believe that they could declare their love for each other when they were not in contact, it was a result of the feelings growing and the feeling of missing each other that brought this on and I thought it was handled well. I have also seen people mocking Ky’s grasp of tactics at such a young age. Again, I don’t understand this as the books made it quite clear she was an honour student who was near the end of her time at the academy and would have finished top of her class. So, given she had all of the training and was close to leaving it isn’t really surprising that she was so good at tactics (also in this universe the implants assist with all aspects of this).
All in all the writing was really good and the structure and storytelling were really good. I powered through this series and will re-read them again at some point so if your looking for a good SF series I would recommend this one.