When I first picked up Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, I thought the alliance in question would be a strategic military one. After all, what other type of alliance would a captain make? Boy was I wrong.

“Think what it would do to my reputation! Dear God, I’d never get laid on this planet again.”

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Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is far more than just a sci-fi book. It’s also a romance, with a fair bit of Barrayaran and Jacksonian politics mixed in. Oh, and there’s a hunt for buried treasure.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

It’s a nominee for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

This is the fifteenth book in Lois McMaster Bujold’s highly popular Vorkosigan Saga. Three other books in the series have won the Hugo for best novel (she’s tied with Robert Heinlein for most all-time with four), with several others receiving nominations.

(And this is my standard paragraph where I go on about it meeting all the usual science fiction checkmarks: set in the future, space travel, other planets, advanced weapons, flying cars, genetically engineered humans, etc. Basically, it’s on my bookshelf because it’s sci-fi, and sci-fi is awesome.)

Rating (5 stars)

If you go in expecting nonstop action, you might be disappointed (Although I did, and I wasn’t). Instead, there’s an incredibly well-developed plot surrounding Captain Vorpatril and a woman he is tasked with protecting from interstellar bounty hunters.

The plot does get a bit complex in spots– Captain Vorpatril is part of the Barrayaran royal family, and at times I wished I had a family tree for the emperor. Not that you end up needing one to follow the story; just my geeky fascination with genealogy.

This is the 15th book the series, but it follows a different main character from the first 14, so newcomers to the series (like me!) won’t have any trouble keeping up with the plot. Possibly a few spots where you feel like you’re on the outside of an inside joke, but nothing that affected my enjoyment of the book.