Brownbetty's Reviews > Mutineer

Mutineer by Mike Shepherd
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's review
Feb 28, 2008

liked it
Recommended for: People who like Feintuch

Comes under "if this is the sort of thing you like, then this is the sort of thing you'll like." I would call it "Patrick O'Brian in space," but not having read any Patrick O'Brian, I might get myself in trouble that way. From this, however, you can probably gather it's not quite the sort of thing I like. (My rating may be a bit low for that reason.) I picked it up though, because it had a female protagonist and I remembered hearing the name somewhere.

Kris Longknife is likable enough, although a bit bland; she's certainly no Miles Vorkosigan, but she's clever enough, and has a bit too much initiative for an Ensign, which is where this book starts. In fact, she rather invites comparison to Miles in more than one respect: she's the daughter of her planet's oldest political family, and her family has been deeply wounded by politics. But while this book's title informs you she will mutiny, she takes longer to get around to it than Miles would have, and does it with much more procedure: this is a navy story, not a space opera.

As female characters go, Kris doesn't do anything that a male character in her place couldn't or wouldn't have, which is fair enough: some women are like that. I guess I've just been spoiled by Bujold's exploration of gender politics. There are several places where I would have appreciated slightly more gender analysis. For example, it's remarked that women are a minority in the navy, but neither the reasons nor the implications of this are looked at. Kris' mother performs femininity like a refugee from Confederate Atlanta, and while characters remark on this, it's never explored or challenged

Worth the read, probably not worth paying cover price for.
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