Lois McMaster Bujold’s 2012 Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is an SF adventure. It’s set in her Vorkosiverse, but unlike most of the other novels, which focus on Cordelia Vorkosigan or her son Miles, it stars Miles’ cousin Ivan Xav Vorpatril — better known as “Ivan, you idiot!”
Ivan is widely viewed as a shallow, lazy womanizer. This is in large part a well-crafted mask. Ivan eschews any appearance of dedication or boldness. He is not viewed as a threat; as a consequence, he is still alive, an achievement many bold Vorkosiverse characters cannot claim. (Well his cousin Miles is bold and threatening; naturally, he died once. It’s just that Miles being Miles, he got better.) If Ivan has his way, he will have a long, unremarkable career followed by a long, unremarkable retirement.
Ivan is not going to have his way.