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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars my first introduction to Miles and space opera
I hadn't read any Bujold (or SF) before but this was highly recommended and so I gave it a go - and really enjoyed it. The 'space' element was less scary than I expected and I really liked the sense of a whole real universe going on in the background complete with histories, wars and conflicts that the author didn't feel it necessary to spend endless pages explaining...
Published on 2 May 2006 by Roman Clodia

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2.0 out of 5 stars Suitable Mate for Miles????? HA!!
I must be one of the readers who doesn't get the "subtler" aspects of Ms. Bujold's lastest novel. And I don't care too. I've enjoyed all of Mile's books because of his strength, humor, tenacity, intelligence and ability to overcome overwhelming odds.
Now that he growing up, he's shrinking. He's not as sure of himself. He's not as intelligence. And his...
Published on 21 July 1998


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars my first introduction to Miles and space opera, 2 May 2006
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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I hadn't read any Bujold (or SF) before but this was highly recommended and so I gave it a go - and really enjoyed it. The 'space' element was less scary than I expected and I really liked the sense of a whole real universe going on in the background complete with histories, wars and conflicts that the author didn't feel it necessary to spend endless pages explaining. Miles is a great character and I liked the fact that this wasn't a conventional romance with Ekaterin getting to know and like him without falling in love immediately. I am now intrigued to know all the back history but also want to know what happens next...so which do I read first?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Times, they are achanging!, 25 Oct. 2005
By 
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Now a proper Imperial Auditor, Miles is sent to Komarr to investigate the destruction of the solletta array designed to warm up cold Komarr.
A lot of the book is written from the point of view of Ekaterin Vorsoisson both before and after the death of her husband which gives it an unusual air. As Miles comes to terms with his appointment as an Imperial Auditor and the powers appertaining thereto, he makes a number of blunders that have serious consequences. Komarr, the book, marks a change of pace from the earlier books, changing the focus of action from fleet sized action to a more personal level of interaction (though not necessarily less intense!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Komarr Vor Wife's Story as well as Miles Grown-Up, 2 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
Komarr gives this lovely look at what Miles is like now that he's actually grown up, or at least just this side of being a true adult with all the characteristics and all the consequences of his youthful impetuousness. And all his old experiences really, really do come back to, if not haunt him, at least stay with him and give him the room to learn more, to be more, and to do better yet. Old failures leading to new successes.
The viewpoints switch mostly between Miles and that of Ekaterin Vorsoisson, the wife of a Barryaran Administrator on Komarr, and it follows Miles and his fellow Auditor (who is also Ekaterian's uncle) Vorsoisson as they investigate the destruction of the majority of Komarr's main sunlight reflector, which the planet needs as an energy source for the terraforming that is necessary to bring it up to livable standards.
Unlike the other Vorkosigan novels, there isn't quite as much action. It reminds me, in some ways, of Cetaganda, but entirely a different mystery and Miles, himself, is extraordinary in this one. One thing that Bujold said during the interviews was that the things that happened in Memory were, in part, that she felt that Miles should finally get some consquences, lasting consequences, from his actions. In Komarr I got to see Miles as he was after dealing with those consequences, facing them and trying his best to work with them, now, and not simply deny them or push them off.
Ekaterian's story is marvelous, frightening, in some ways as I've way too much empathy for it and her feelings. Her loyalty to a husband who limits her and protects her and does his level best to keep her the way he thinks she should be kept is something that resonates at some level; and how she breaks free, first in desperation, then by necessity is an amazing story in and of itself. I love her, utterly.
What's so lovely about her is that Bujold make her a living, breathing, frightened, loving, confused human being. Real in so many ways. As she does with so many of her characters, but I think the baseline of what makes Bujold's books so interesting is that she makes them real, flawed human beings that are put into extraordinary circumstances; and in those circumstances, they respond. They do the right thing, they do the loving thing, they do the loyal or the frighteningly brave thing, the thing that makes my heart go to my throat or make me cry kind of thing that usually involves showing just how much human beings are capable of doing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars If you love the Miles character, you'll love this book, 18 Sept. 1998
By A Customer
I would not give this book to someone new to the series - as a standalone book, it is very subdued, and for those people it would only rate 2 stars. However, if you have read the series and have really grown to care about Miles, then it is a teriffic book. Several reviewers seem to miss the no-holds-barred Miles, but they've missed the point. He has to grow up sometime. At one point Miles says, "I used to always fight the powers-that-be, but now I am them." That, and his new love interest, is what this book is about.
The real delight of this book is to see Miles through a newcomer's eyes, but it takes some getting used to compared to the other books. Had I reviewed the book after my first reading, I would have given it only 3 stars. But the depth of Bujold's characterizations and her gift for staging some truly incredible scenes show no signs of weakening here. With subsequent readings, you develop an even better appreciation of exactly what Bujold has wrought.
I must take strong exception to those who disdain Ekaterin as a potential partner for Miles. The true achievment here is that Bujold has crafted a character that is truly believable as a possible partner for Miles, a task that I thought impossible after finishing "Memory." Ekaterin starts as an apparently weak person, but that appearance grows from the underlying strength of her character. She is a study in contrasts, but that's nothing new for Miles lovers, eh? No "normal" woman would put up with what she does, but she stands by her committments, and above all, to paraphrase, she's Vor.
When relieved of her crushing personal circumstances, she begins to blossom into her potential. This is a consistent theme throughout this series, that Miles is the ultimate enabler of others to be their best. Even while this growth is occuring, however, she remains consistent with her core beliefs. Ekaterin is a truly remarkable achievment.
So, why not 5 stars? Because the story line is somewhat weak, and does mainly serve as a backdrop for this new character development. There are portions that flare with the same intensity of the rest of the series, but the resolution does seem a bit too simplistic, and curiously lacking in real planet-gripping edge-of-your-seat drama. Again, this is why this story is not a good one to start the series with.
If you feel you know Miles inside and out, though, then various scenes throughout the book (especially the last 4 pages) are a sheer delight to read. Ekaterin provides a perspective on Miles that beautifully sharpens the reader's picture of him. I felt I could see the intensity on his face as he says, "The next number up is one." Want to know what the heck that means? Read the book!
Relative to the rest of the series, I would place this book at the lower end, but not the lowest ("Cetaganda" claims that spot - the only book I skipped on my last trip through the series). Still, that puts it in pretty good company, since the series overall is 5-star by me...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good entry among greats., 25 May 1998
By A Customer
Every time I pick up a book by this author, I expect to be carried away for several hours, and then wonder why the story ends so quickly. Komarr is no exception to this rule. It went down like candy and I'm still hungry. The worst thing I could say is that it may be another two years until the next dessert. Bujold is an expert at creating page turning stories, and in Komarr, you cover a lot of ground in a very few pages. Those who love Miles Vorkosigan will be thrilled that he may (get that, MAY) have finally found his love. Guess we'll have to wait two more years to find out. Hint, hint!
The story is a look into the potential for intellectuals on a conquered world to rebel in their own fashion, only they make interesting mistakes. Their plot could strike a larger blow than any war in history. Miles has to use mind against mind, unlike earlier books where he uses mind against might. There are some nice new charactors, and some of the book is told from the perpective of the love interest, which is fresh, like the parts of Mirror Dance told from Mark's and Rowan's points of view. Moreover, the book shows us where Miles' charactor must be headed, given his medical issues and need to fill his father's shoes. I was quite pleased to have a potentially ongoing new female charactor to hear from, as Cordelia's tales in Shards and Barrayer were second to none.
The only minor issues in this book were that it was somewhat more 'playfully' written, and not as intense as some of her earlier works, and there were a couple of all to convient deaths.
All in all, another outstanding work from the best sci fi writer there is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A love story with political interruptions?, 2 July 1998
By A Customer
The strength of Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayaran series lies in her unique and memorable characters, in particular, the brilliant, physically handicapped Miles Vorkosigan and his equally redoubtable parents, Aral and Cordelia. This is not to say that Bujold hasn't concocted memorable plots as in the white-knuckle, roller-coaster ride of *Mirror Dance* and the more reflective, but no less eventful *Memory.* *Komarr* 's plot, however, is secondary to the introduction of another major character, Ekaterin Vorsoisson, the uneasy wife of an administrator in charge of the Komarran terraforming project. Assigned to investigate the mysterious collision of an ore ship with one of Komarr's all-important solar mirrors, Miles, now an Imperial Auditor, finds himself instantly drawn to Ekaterin, who's hiding secrets of her own. When an unexpected tragedy occurs, Miles and Ekaterin find themselves working closely together to avert a disaster of planetary proportions! Relayed through two viewpoints--Miles and Ekaterin's in alternating chapters--*Komarr* gives readers the first sustained look into the mind and heart of a Vor woman, whose feelings towards her home world of Barrayar are as ambiguous as Miles's own. Under the worst of circumstances, Ekaterin finds reserves of strength and fortitude she never dreamed she possessed, as well as an ally who delights in her transformation. Has Miles found his Lady Vorkosigan at last?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great chapter in the Miles Vorkosigan saga!, 15 Sept. 1998
By A Customer
After spending a year breathlessly hoping that Memory wasn't the last of the series, I read about Komarr here at Amazon and immediately rushed to the local bookstore and bought it.
Wow! I love Bujold's characters and this time she seems to have created the answer to Miles' dreams and prayers for marriage material in the person of Ekaterine. The end of the book foreshadows a marriage between the two of them...but with Bujold you never can tell. Miles may screw everything up, or someone (Ivan) may screw it up for him!
Nothing is ever certain in Bujold's universe, not even death. That is one of the reasons why I've not grown bored with her series.
Komarr focuses on both Miles' new associates in the Auditors and on Komarr, the planet his father conquered and the people who hate the name Vorkosigan with all their being. Miles goes with a fellow Auditor to Audit the destruction of the vitally-important solar mirror and ends up discovering a conspiracy (naturally) that takes a wrong turn and goes completely wrong. In the meantime, he falls in love with another Vor's wife! He finally discovers something that's been haunting him for years, grows a bit, and becomes more comfortable with his role as Auditor.
I would talk more about it but one of the people I lent Komarr to won't give it back so I have to buy it again. Hey -- anything to keep Bujold writing!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A mate for Miles at last?, 7 July 1998
By A Customer
I'm sure I'm not the only rabid reader of the Vorkosigan series who's felt that THE big question for the most recent books has been: who will Miles marry? Elli Quinn looked promising (and is one of my favorite characters among many), but a permanent match with Miles has turned out not to be. And he's not the sort of hero to bed his way through the cosmos indefinitely, even if that might open up hope for those of us females in his fan club who would line up on the spot, should he materialize miraculously.
In Komarr, author Bujold is clearly on a more lasting matchmaking project. I find Ekaterin quite suitable and look forward to some more cliff-hanging before the knot is tied. Seeing much of the Komarr plot through Ekaterin's eyes was especially neat, since it allowed me and other Miles-sick fans to identify with her through the beginnings of the courtship dance.
Of course, a married Miles just opens up other and fascinating plot possibilities. A space-age Nick and Nora Charles? Brenda Starr and Basil St. John? And of course Han Solo and Princess Leia. Many models exist for strong couples who work together in a book plot, dealing with problems from the outside, and from themselves and each other. We've come a long way since the lovely but insipid Deja Thoris always had to be rescued from the Barsoom baddies by John Carter.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Suitable Mate for Miles????? HA!!, 21 July 1998
By A Customer
I must be one of the readers who doesn't get the "subtler" aspects of Ms. Bujold's lastest novel. And I don't care too. I've enjoyed all of Mile's books because of his strength, humor, tenacity, intelligence and ability to overcome overwhelming odds.
Now that he growing up, he's shrinking. He's not as sure of himself. He's not as intelligence. And his love interest are going downhill in a big way.
A GARDENER!!! Not just a gardener, but a garderner who didn't have the strength to leave a bad marriage and get her son well. This is the woman for MILES!!!! Oh my god. I can't imagine a more weak character. I can't imagine someone less likely to be a love interest for Miles.
I can forgive her her hobbies(gardening). But to not have the strength to go against her husband to get her only son cured is a weakness that a Mile's love interest would NEVER have.
Lastly, I thought Miles acted more stupid than he has in any other book. I was predicting ! things in front of him (not in his other books!).
I agree that this is a transition book, I just hope it transissions to more interesting battles than the one in which Miles convinces a 4 year old to go to school. I mean, it was cute, but it wasn't exactly up to Mile's standards.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and a slightly less manic Miles, 24 Sept. 1998
By A Customer
The best thing about Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan is that he seems like a real person with many and varied dimensions as he grows older and grows up. In previous novels, his impetuosity, his driving need to prove himself, even his choice of love affairs were so clearly connected to his youth and inexperience. In KOMARR, Miles continues the journey of maturation that began in MEMORY. The terrorist/political mystery, with Miles spinning out theories and strategy was pure Vorkosigan, in my opinion. The budding romance between Miles and Ekaterin reminded me strongly of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in Dorothy L. Sayers' detective novels. KOMARR would correspond to STRONG POISON. Only a woman who can fully appreciate the sometimes damning hold of duty, loyalty and service that delineates the Vor as Bujold writes them will be able to match a man who is the Emperor's most brilliant and valued agent provocateur. Bujold has all of us who are her fans in a holding pattern until the next installment. I, for one, cannot wait to see how Miles continues to grow and unfold as a human being.
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Komarr (A Miles Vorkosigan adventure)
Komarr (A Miles Vorkosigan adventure) by Lois McMaster Bujold (Mass Market Paperback - 1 April 1999)
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