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on 29 January 2003
Following his death in 'Mirror Dance', Miles finds that there are complications to his recovery - complications that lead to near-disaster on a Dendarii mission. Rather than revealing all to Simon Illyan, Miles attempts a cover up. Found out, he is released from military service. The 'little admiral' must now cease to exist.
It is time for Lord Vorkosigan to come into his own, as a crisis develops over the life of Simon Illyan, as Simon's memory chip appears to go into meltdown. Miles is forced to take drastic action, with the aid of the Emperor, action which ultimately leads to his redemption. And finally Lord Vorkosigan gets a little of the respect that is due to him for his service.
Much less action in this book than previously in the series, the main point of interest aside from trying to work out who if anyone is the baddie here, is the internalisation of Mile's struggle to integrate Admiral Naismmith and Lord Vorkosigan into 'Miles'. The battle is internal and at one hilarious point also external. It is something very different from the previous books in the series, and clearly key to the next phase in Miles' life. He really comes into his own here, and the conflict is ultimately resolved peacefully, if not without losses.
A fantastic addition to the series, if a little slower paced and with less external action than usual. It's about time Miles matured - it will be interesting to see where he goes next.
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on 22 February 2006
In terms of plot and character development Memory is the book which for me best sums up Miles Vorkosigan. Written in the wry and often very amusing style which has become Bujold’s hallmark, ‘Memory’ unfolds at a tremendous pace, starting in one direction and taking an abrupt turn which, if possible, seems even more satisfying than the first. For the almost the first time we see Miles make a mistake, one from which not even his hyperactive imagination can save him. ‘Memory’ brings Miles back to his planet of birth, almost a homecoming, and Bujold brings out new aspects of her characters that we’ve not seen before.
In many ways I felt that Memory marks the point at which Miles Naismith Vorkosigan begins to grow up, we finally find out what the adult Miles’ is like, and satisfying though the younger Miles’ was the adult is even better, this has been well worth the wait. This is possibly the best story she has written, it is difficult to stop reading, even on th 10th re-read!
While technically this is a stand alone volume in the Barrayar series there is so much development done in earlier works that readers won’t get the full benefit without reading those books. That’s just not a problem! Bujold writes real stories, with real characters and plots which are enjoyable.
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on 14 October 1998
I don't regret buying this book.
As the latest book that I've read of Miles's adventures, perhaps it is a wee bit flat. Not very exciting overall. BUT I totally love this book as it expands and (conversely) encapsulates the Vorkosigan world approx. 230 odd years since 'Falling Free'. Similar to Asimov's style - for the series portraying the possible future of a (rather) roboticised world - of not making a continuous character the continual central character, Miles Vorkosigan is subsumed in the events surrounding his life, i.e. the intrigue against Illyan, rather than causing chaos (as in the Little Admiral's adventures). Bujold treats Miles as she did Ethan of Athos, as eyes to tell a greater story and yet a character in his own right.
I enjoyed reading the little digressions from the central theme, relating the details of other people in Miles' life, such as his Emperor, and Miles' friends from previous adventures. I also enjoyed the method by which new and interesting characters are introduced into "our" Vorkosigan world. (Analogous to past Pratchett 'Discworld' books, where the most laugh-on-a-bus of the story is a mere footnote.) Wait 'til you meet Zap the cat.
Dare I say that Miles grows up? I believe that 'Memory' is more than a mere sci-fi mystery wi' a bit of psychology thrown in. It is a good story set in an interesting world, populated with believable characters. Miles' personality becomes more complex (as we all should when we grow), and Miles learns to know himself better (as I wish I could), and a sub-theme throughout seems to be "life goes on".
I wouldn't catergorise 'Memory' as puff pastry, but maybe puff savoury (as only Miles' new cook can make it - with perhaps a side dip, or a filling of dairy products after it passes through the cook's domain ). That's the way I see it, that's the way I call it.
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on 23 November 1998
Mad Miles continues continues his breathtaking dance along the edge of insanity. His is the most delicate and convincing brush with psychosis since that by the Prince of Denmark. But Miles Vorkosigan is a deeper and more subtly crafted character than Hamlet.
This book sees Miles explore his Barrayarran personality - indeed the author implies that Miles Naismith is dead. That would be a shame, but she certainly proves that she can develop superb plots around Miles Vorkosigan, a character she deepens considerably in this book.
Bujold continues to demonstrate that the supernova brilliance of "Mirror Dance" was not a fluke. Her style has matured since her earliest works, and is more consistent now. She is not as prolific as Asimov, as grounded in Science as Clarke, or as imaginative as Heinlein, but she is a better writer than any other, in this genre or outside it. It is her characterisation that defines her genius. Its like has not been seen for centuries.
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on 22 September 1997
by Don Lowry.

Bujold has done it again! This series of books about the Vorkosigans keeps getting better and better . How this latest addition to the ongoing saga would strike someone who has not read its predecessors is hard to say. (Start with Shards of Honor, if possible.) But for those who have read at least most of them, this has to be one of the three or four best of the bunch. It does not have as much action as many of the others, but makes up for that lack in plot, and especially in characterization. This is not just space opera. This book is "literature!" (And I liked it anyway!) Halfway through this book, her central character, Lieutenant Miles Vorkosigan of Barrayaran Imperial Security, alias Admiral Miles Naismith of the Dendarii Mercenaries, ceases to be an adolescent out on a lark, and becomes a responsible citizen of the Empire. And yet his story remains highly entertaining to follow. Bujold showed from the start an ability to create characters of unusual depth and reality, and yet she has greatly outdone herself here. If you have read all of the prequels, by all means, do not fail to read this book. If you have not read the prequels, what are you waiting for? SF doesn't get any better than this.
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on 22 January 2004
Bujold is my favourite author for characterisation and this is Bujold at her best. Miles's character is fully rounded and in this book he complete's his journey to knowing and being comfortable with himself.
Bujold once said she came up with her plots by asking herself 'what is the worst thing I can do to Miles now' and you can really see this premise at work here.
BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT. It is a definate 'keeper' and 'rereader'.
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on 29 August 1997
By Ed Burkhead

Memory brings Miles Vorkosigan to a new crisis, catastrophe, and disaster which makes it an opportunity as good as any he has encountered before.

This story stands alone well enough that it could be read before any others in the series. In it, Bujold brings a change of pace that invigorated me. When I bought the hard cover copy, I not only read it quickly, but I re-read it within weeks. Bujold tells of people I would like to have as friends and places I would like to live. In this story she places the people in events that continually catch me by surprise yet remain "believable."

Bujold packs more characterization, observation, wry humor and pathos in a paragraph than most authors get in a page. While she does that, she keeps the book light and fun to read.
Are you getting the idea I'm trying to recommend this book without taking away any of the surprises? Do, please, get that idea.
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on 23 October 2005
After Miles' death and reanimation, he's left with a few holes in his memory and a depressing tendency to throw fits. Unfortunately he'd not told subordinates or, even more unfortunately, his bosses. When his cover up was uncovered, he found himself out of a job and nothing to do. Not a natural position for Miles to be in.
When I first read this book, I was about the same age that Miles is in this so I had a greater degree of fellow feeling with him than is usual. This book also marks a change in Ms Bujold's exploration of the Vorkosiganverse. Miles is no longer a soldier leading his people into action as in the earlier books but is becoming a detective, though one who is more, ah, hands on than someone like Sherlock Holmes.
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on 31 March 2014
This is most definitely a sequel and needs to be read with background knowledge of both of Mile's personae. A true tale of triumph out of tragedy. Used up hard and fast, betrayed by his own body, led into tragedy by fear of losing himself or his alter ego. I love the sense of internal battle as much as I despaired for its need. Yet this is not the whole of the book and a plot for power in ImpSec that topples the mighty Illyan reignites Miles sense of purpose. Old characters are brought back and dusted off, Dr Canuba is a linchpin in the problem solving process. Miles comes back from his funk mentally stronger than ever, the Dendarii are now forever denied him but he has a new persona in his pocket!
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on 27 August 1998
An excellent story of our hero, Miles Vorkosigan, maturing from field hero and covert operations master to a more cerebral role befitting a maturing individual. I greatly enjoyed his altering perceptions and relationships with his family. Ivan is finally getting a begrudging respect and Ma and Pa Vorkosigan and being treated like the parents of a 30 year old with a touch of distance in the relationship. Ms. Bujold has wrapped up the escapades of a young man and has set Miles on the road of a new life. I can't wait for the new challenges she sets for her character. I just hope that once in awhile she "back-fills" a few "Little Admiral" stories for our enjoyment.
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