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Publisher's Summary

For Kylara Vatta, it's not just about liberating the star systems subjugated by Gammis Turek and defending the rest of the galaxy's freedom. There is 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 galaxy-wide 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.

©2008 Elizabeth Moon (P)2009 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Rip-roaring action and intriguing science and tactics distinguish Nebula-winner Moon's fifth and final Vatta's War installment.... A fine and fitting conclusion to Moon's grand space opera tour de force." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lance in Surf City
  • 19-03-2009

Holloway's Narration Distracts from Space Opera

Elizabeth Moon's satisfactory conclusion to her Vatta's War series is marred by Cynthia Holloway's uninformed narration.

Come on! When you're reading a Sci Fi book, it's important--vital--to understand the words your are paid to pronounce and the context in which you say them. So, when "nanites" becomes "nan-i-tees," for example, well, it's a Sci Fi fan's nightmare.

Chalkboard, fingernails, flinch, flinch, flinch!

Her voice characterizations are quite good--I appreciate her craft. So, then, in this case, perhaps the real blame goes to the director and editor. Again, no excuses acceptable.

We SF fans are a picky bunch--it's the technical details--or at least the approximation of them--that matters. Without that, one might as well read historical fiction or something.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Alison Bailey
  • 11-05-2010

good series let down by bad narration

I had the pleasure of listening to the rest of the series in either the Graphic Audio version (very good!) or the narrator from the original tape versions (I don't have her name). This narrator is just.. bad. No sense of the dramatic, bad voices. I think I'd rather be reading it in book form!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Charlie
  • 13-08-2012

Finally, some action. But too little and too late.

This is the final book in the Vatta's War quintet, and I can honestly say I'm glad that there are no more. The reader is simply awful. Stilted, with no sense of dramatic flow and truly terrible voices for some characters. The final book should have been the most exciting and satisfying as Ky finally gets the fleet she needs and the battles happen. But instead, we get additional characters who add little to the story and yet we STILL have to hear their angst and stupidity play out. This entire series could have been quite good as a trilogy. But it simply hasn't stood the test of time. It's YA space opera, but it's not _good_ YA space opera.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 12-02-2013

The last book in the series

I got hooked on this series and am unhappy it is ending. From the first book to this one we have watch Kylara Vatta grow from a cadet in military school to the Admiral of a coalition space force. The big battle against the pirate force takes place in this book. Moon did a great job with the classic battle scenes and her engaging characters made the story and battles interesting. Kylara destroys the pirate leader Gammis Turek and her cousin Sarah has put the Vatta Transport business back together and Aunt Grace controls their countries defense, all is well with the Vatta family. I want more of the series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Larissa
  • 28-02-2015

This is a great series

Except for the mispronunciations, I love it. I have a listened to it five times now and every time I listen, I feel that same sense of adventure and triumph.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Rigsman
  • 13-08-2012

Disappointed

Would you try another book from Elizabeth Moon and/or Cynthia Holloway?

I've read the Deed of Paksenarrion by Moon a couple times and enjoyed it immensely. I then tracked down The Legacy of Gird series and thought it was hit and miss When I found this series, I was eager to buy it. Having finished it, I'd say her record is one, one and one.Cynthia wasn't the best narrator I've listened to, but she wasn't horrible either. I wouldn't track down other performances just to listen but I also wouldn't give a book a pass just because she narrated it.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect of the story and the series as a whole was the thought Elizabeth Moon put into the logistics of space travel and the battle scenes. These were by far the best parts of the story. I wish there had been more of them.The least interesting, and actually fairly annoying aspect, was Elizabeth Moon made all the characters actually explain things to each other that had happened in the other's absence. In most stories, you have a narrative... let's say a descent into a cave and an exciting run-in with a bear... and then a character not involved in the scene comes along. The character involved in the exciting part fills the newcomer in and it usually plays out like "Newbie asked 'why are you all out of breath and where'd you get this bearskin?' Hero then proceeded to fill Newbie in on the descent and the rest." Moon doesn't do this. Every character gets a fully detailed explanation of what they've missed and if someone else calls later and asks for an update, they get essentially the same several minutes of story regurgitated. By this, the fifth book, new characters were treated to long reports of everything that had happened so far not only in this installment but also the previous four books! It was as if she was trying to fill pages to reach a contractual obligation for five books. If you left these parts out and some of the other minutiae (I'd swear there was more time spent explaining the inside of some of the shops the main character visits than there was describing multi-ship space battles), this five-part series could have easily been a trilogy.

Any additional comments?

I liked the series enough to look forward to each installment. The writing was good with a strong lead female hero, although there are enough parallels between the internal struggles and backgrounds of Ky Vatta and Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter that it felt like the same narrative at times. By the end of the series, I got the impression if I broke into Moon's therapist's office and read her file, I wouldn't be much surprised. I'm not sorry I made the purchase to see how things wrapped up, but this final book was a let-down as far as the series goes and the ending was especially awful. If had bought the physical book, I would have thrown it across the room after reading the last few pages. It was such a betrayal of the character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • 07-06-2010

Live fire, live characters

Vatta's War, the series name, started slowly, with a narrator who did not vary voices much and with perhaps some unnecessary detail. This said, sticking through Book 1 got me hooked on the series. And Cynthia Holland grows on you. Her "gravely" voice is perfect for a space wardrama, I think. She got better at differentiating characters from themselves and from prose, too. Moon has a super ability to write about war and diplomacy, and she employs it to the hilt in this series. Moon's battle scenes are classic, superbly done, in my opinion. She creates engaging characters, too..people who stay with you for some time. It helps, of course, that her characters have the hero in them brought out by the action. All of this said, it would have been useful to know more about the origin of the "pirate" force. They did not seem to have a point other than greed and hatred. This said, seldom are things so black and white in real life. Book 5, Victory Conditions, brings the series to a climactic and successful conclusion...but there is room for a sequel a la Peter F. Hamilton's Commonwealth and Void Series and Moon's own Paksenarrion series. Space is a big place! Why did I rate the book a 5, when I rated the first one a 3? I use a "visceral involvement" indicator to make my judgments when I rate books. Victory Conditions was hard to put down. That's a 5 in my book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 28-03-2009

Wait, What?

I think the biggest shame here is that when we get to the point where the good guys finally get the fleet they’ve been working for since the beginning, the reader gets so little pay off. The fleet is an amorphous entity that flutters about having little consequence to the events except that the drama plays out on a greater scale in the background of the protagonists’ emotional issues. Planning and tactics are extolled but never in much detail and in a story that fixates on building up to a titanic struggle, this conclusion ultimately lacks depth in a very disappointing way.
Regrettably, this shallowness is not compensated for by a correspondingly better treatment of the characters. Quality has not improved, merely quantity, in a narrative that spreads across a fleet, and three star systems and involves more than half a dozen character perspectives. The heroes, who often simultaneously are to have undergone dramatic changes while remaining fundamentally the same, are likable enough. The resolution of what felt like a tacked on romantic tension was not as appalling as it could have been, but still felt like a vexing element of the plot.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Garry
  • 18-03-2009

Great story Line

This book had good surprises and a strong charter development with action, Sabatage and back stabing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Norman
  • 04-03-2009

A Fine Victory Indeed

If you followed the Vatta's War series from the beginning you know what to expect. as the story wraps up nicely leaving just enough open to make you want a sequel. The narrator barely falters as she keeps up her inflection based character swap. The story is a little more fast paced as the story begins to come a close. as new characters are introduced some go through changes others are swept aside and more secrets are kept and revealed. a great listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-05-2018

what a great conclusion

This book made me laugh and roll my eyes and hold my breath! and I loved how it ended! Raf's sister was my favorite character in this one.... love this universe of Vattas we need them to keep wining

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John. A. B. Berley
  • 21-09-2017

Avatars war.

One of the best series I have read. Go on indulge yourself. A very good and well paced family tail. Every book worth your time and money. John