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Scherben der Ehre.

von Lois McMaster Bujold

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen / Diskussionen
2,7411133,879 (4.02)1 / 356
Commander Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony and Captain Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar suddenly find themselves at war with each other, abandoned by their respective forces on an uncharted planet and dependent on each other for their survival.
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This was another one of my series-sampling audio listens, to see if I might want to pursue it in print someday. In this case, I’m sampling the first two books in the series, going in publication order. The second book is the one that I actually wanted to get to, because it’s on the SF&F Goodreads group shelf I take most of my reading selections from. (What were they thinking by voting in the second book?! Heathens!) Some people suggested that I really needed to read this book to properly understand the second book. Since this one was free on Audible Plus and not too long, I decided to follow that advice in hopes of not judging the second one unfairly.

Audio Narration
The narrator is Grover Gardner. I had my doubts about him, but I really didn’t have any complaints in the end. When I first started listening, my initial reaction was that it sounded like I was listening to a character on a TV show from the 60’s. It hit me every single time I started the audiobook up for a new listening session, but faded quickly as I focused on the story.

I’m not sure a male narrator with an older sounding voice (to my ears, anyway) was necessarily the best choice for this book. The story is told from the POV of a female in her 30’s. I guess he narrates all the Vorkosigan books, regardless of who the POV character is, so maybe he fits the other books better and maybe they thought a consistent narrator throughout the series would be more important than a gender-appropriate one. If I listened to the entire series in audio I might very well agree, I don’t know. He read Cordelia in a normal voice, not trying to imitate a female voice at all, which I think was for the best since he would have had to carry it on for pretty much the entire book and I suspect his voice couldn’t have done it convincingly.

But despite my doubts, I really didn’t have any issues listening to his narration. I didn’t have trouble telling who the characters were, helped by the simplicity of the story and the text making it clear who was talking. He also didn’t get melodramatic or have any other odd quirks that distracted me.

Story
The story focuses on Cordelia Naismith, captain of a survey crew exploring a new planet. They’re attacked by another human faction and Cordelia is stranded on the planet along with an injured crew member. Then Aral Vorkosigan, the commander of the attacking ship, shows up. It turns out that there was a mutiny among at least part of his crew and he too was left stranded. This doesn't stop him from taking Cordelia prisoner, though. He leads Cordelia and her injured crew member on a long, multi-day trek toward a supply cache, during which their nutritional needs are sustained by the delicious combination of oatmeal and blue cheese. Yum! There's more to the story, it isn't just one long trek on an alien planet, but that's how things start.

This is a romance disguised as a space opera. There are other elements to the story, but they felt more like a vehicle for the romance rather than the romance simply being used to supplement the real story. It’s also very much the instalove sort of romance. Cordelia, trying to care for an injured crew member and survive on an alien planet with hostile life forms, all while worrying about her future fate as a prisoner of a war-like people, captured by a person she knows nothing about, still can’t keep her mind or her eyes off him. Joy.

Some more spoilery thoughts on the romance and other things: I didn’t think Vorkosigan’s very fast marriage proposal was overly sudden in the context of the character’s culture and background, and I was glad Cordelia didn’t jump into anything. However, by the time she did marry him, they still hadn’t really had any chance to get to know each other in a more normal context. She was always his prisoner, or a prisoner of the Barrayan people, however loosely held. Their romance was written pretty convincingly despite my complaints, but it’s disturbing if you stop to think about it too deeply. It only works because we’re in Cordelia’s head and we accept her intuitive leaps about Vorkosigan’s personality based on their conversations and what little she sees of his actions. I was also disturbed by Vorkosigan’s and then Cordelia’s continued support of Bothari, to the point of allowing him (apparently) to raise his own child, despite that Bothari raped the child’s mother not only when he was “forced” to, but also in a calmer environment where he was completely free to make his own choices without any outside pressures. Yes, he was mentally unstable when he made those choices, but there was nothing to indicate to me that this mental state had been cured while in Vorkosigan’s employ, or that Bothari even recognized it as wrong.

The last chapter, while certainly meaningful and a little thought provoking, seemed to come out of nowhere and left me wondering if I had missed something, or if the narrator was reading some random preview for another book. It seemed clearly related to the story, but it jumps to different characters and doesn’t continue the plot in any significant way, nor does it set up (as far as I could tell) a plot for subsequent books. I kept expecting them to discover something shocking or dangerous on one of the dead bodies, but it mostly just seemed to be ruminations on death. It felt kind of like something the author wanted to get off her chest and just tacked at the end. I would have appreciated it more if she’d saved the idea for another book and fit it into a different story in a more seamless manner.

Despite my complaints, I did enjoy listening to the story. There is a lot of humor, and I chuckled several times while listening. The oatmeal and blue cheese particularly tickled my funny bone for some reason, and I giggled madly every time that came up, although there’s certainly subtler and more clever humor than that in the story. It’s also a very simple story which made it an easy audio listen, but there are some deeper thoughts in there as well. Nothing earth shattering, but engaging. I did like that Cordelia was a relatively competent and intelligent woman. The romance didn’t usually bug me too much while I was listening to it, it just doesn’t hold up well if you give it much thought. The political backdrop was interesting, and it felt like there was a lot more depth to the setting than the reader is shown. I think I’d have enjoyed a more political story following Vorkosigan and the political machinations he was involved in. He seemed to have a far more interesting story than Cordelia did, and Cordelia’s story revolved around Vorkosigan anyway.

I’m rating this at 3.5 stars and rounding down to 3 on Goodreads. I’ll continue with my plans to listen to the audio for the second book, but I’m hoping it will have more science fiction and less romance. ( )
  YouKneeK | Jul 4, 2021 |
It is partly the title, but this book reminded me more of the Honor Harrington series than anything else. The general themes, tech/civilization advancement, cultures, and plot (including cross-cultural romantic subplots involving space soldiers). In tone, this book was much less silly and a bit more grim than David Weber's series, with generally darker situations described in more detail.

I'm was not a fan of the way that sexual assault was brought up repeatedly, but I understand that it is a part of real war, so for some readers not including it would make the book seem inauthentic. Personally I found all of the battle scenes to be a little unbelievable and more than a bit dull.

I don't plan to pick up the next book in this series, but I'm willing to give the author another chance. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this story. Cordelia is a great character, and a perfect POV to introduce this world and the supporting characters. The plot was exciting, there was a level of "scheme-iness" that was fun without overshadowing the characters, even the romance was compelling, and the ending was satisfying. ( )
  lavaturtle | Apr 14, 2021 |
Coming back to this one always hurts, but in that coming home sort of a way. Much to be said both of or for it, but I'm simply glad to read it again. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (32 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Cherry, DavidUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gardner, GroverErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gutierrez, AlanUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Youll, PaulUmschlagillustrationCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Zuddas, GianluigiÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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Commander Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony and Captain Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar suddenly find themselves at war with each other, abandoned by their respective forces on an uncharted planet and dependent on each other for their survival.

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Durchschnitt: (4.02)
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1 7
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2.5 4
3 141
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4 374
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