This is the longest short book I have ever read.
Shards of Honor is a fun, easy military sci-fi with well-crafted scenes, though severely lacking on the “awesome” factor. I’m surprised how slowly the book moves for how short it is.
The story plods around with no real sense of urgency, which didn’t bother me as much as it should have. Luckily it was only an eight hour audiobook though, because any longer and I think I would have given up.
In many ways, this novel is a giant character set up for the rest of the Vorkosigan Saga. Much of the book is spent in conversation between the two leads and developing their relationship. It’s quite good in this respect, and it’s clear that Lois McMaster Bujold has more than a passing talent for writing.
Speaking of that relationship…I enjoyed the romance sub-plot, but it progressed weirdly quick. The characters meet and start to flirt and then BAM they’re married. Wait, what? Perhaps I have 21st century dating expectations, but while I appreciated the relationship between Vorkosigan and Cordelia, it never felt entirely organic because of how easily they hooked up.
Also, I know this is a small quip to have…but so many characters and places in the book start with the same letter. The two important planets start with a B and three or four main characters have names all starting with V. What the hell? Maybe it’s because I did it in audiobook, but there was confusion aplenty, let me tell you.
Overall, this is a comfortable(ish) read. I might continue with the Vorkosigan Saga since I’ve heard such good things and further, I’ve heard that this novel in particular is weak in comparison to the rest—but I’m not going crazy over it.
Think of a 3-star read and what that means to you. That’s exactly what Shards of Honor is.