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Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga Book 7) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 240 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
This time around, our main character is the titular doctor, a member of a male-only society that reproduces using cloned ovarian tissues. When their stocks of female material become unviable, Ethan is chosen to go out into the universe to retrieve some more in order to vouchsafe the future of his planet.
As opposed to the self-assured, charismatic Miles Vorkosigan, Ethan is an endearingly timid and naive protagonist, who finds himself hopelessly out of his depth on a strange space station. When his mission goes drastically wrong, and he finds himself caught up in something much bigger, he is even forced to accept the help of... A WOMAN.
Said woman is Elli Quinn, a minor character from Miles's early career, now a fully-realised and delightfully snarky presence. She manages to aid the hapless Ethan while exasperating and confounding him; their interplay is frankly the highlight of the book, and makes what could be quite a flimsy plot into a highly enjoyable journey.
Ethan of Athos might not be a particularly important installment in the overall Vorkosigan saga, but it is a touching and well-written self-contained story in its own right.
My opinion: like junk food, Bujold is very addictive - but her output is much too smart, funny and wise to be junk lit. These are good books! Very easy to read, re-readable every few years, tense, puzzling, with a sustained universe (the Vorkosigan Saga, of which this is a 1986 off-shoot) and very 3-dimensional characters. Junk food for smart people with a sense of humour, I would say (rather smugly, but there you go). Recommended! 9/10
The idea of an all-male society (only possible with advanced technology) is well explored, as is the culture clash when a member of this society (Ethan) has to deal with that most mysterious entity - a woman.
This however, is merely one thread of an amusing, engaging plot involving interplanetary espionage, genetics, space station life and eels (yes, eels - I won't spoil the plot by explaining them).
If you've never read any Bujold, but you like quality writing and convincing characters, this is a great book to start on, with very little 'past history' to deal with. If you've read and liked anything else by her, you should enjoy this book.
Uterine replicators, which allow a fetus to develop outside its mother, were introduced in "Shards of Honour" having been invented on Beta Colony some two hundred years earlier to help with medical emergencies. On the wealthier planets no babies gestate in the old fashioned way.
Athos was settled by the Founding Fathers not long after the uterine replicator was invented. They brought ovaries, replicators and men and have created a society without the source of all evil: women. Unfortunately, the original ovaries are deteriating and must be replaced. The first attempt the purchase new ovaries online is a failure and a doctor, Ethan, must go out into the galaxy to inspect the product before purchase. We have both the excitement of the plot he finds himself within and the amusement of Ethan's difficulties in meeting - its the correct medical term and one should not be embarrased to use it - women.
Most recent customer reviews
Love it. I'm working my way through this series and will definitely go on to Bujold's other books/series.Published 15 months ago by Internet shopper
The only one of this series I just didn't care for. It fails to have any of the fun of other books in the Vorkosiverse.Published on 8 Feb. 2015 by N Duncan
Ethan is a young man looking to get ahead in life and start a family when his career hits a problem: the fertility clinic where he works is running out of viable eggs. Read morePublished on 30 Mar. 2013 by John Potts
I quite enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but the last 3rd let me down. The concept of an all male planet based on the idea of a monastary was well done. Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2003 by Neal Reynolds