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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Miles - hero and author in good form!
The book:Miles Vorkosigan, Imperial Auditor for the Barrayar Empire, is sent on a solo mission to a planet where he has to attend a conference on cryo-freezing people, keeping them on ice until they can be revived. Of course there is another reason, or two: vote-rigging, corporate shenanigans, even planetary plots. See the hero go from panic to reacting cleverly to...
Published on 20 Nov 2010 by Henk Beentje

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series to date..
This book takes place 9 years after the memorable events in A Civil Campaign: A Comedy of Biology and Manners (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) and Miles is well and truly a married man. He is sent to Kibou-daini to investigate some possible cryo fraud that was being set up in Komarr by a Kibou-daini company. Once there Miles finds himself kidnapped and things finally start...
Published on 8 Nov 2010 by K. Maxwell


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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best in the series to date.., 8 Nov 2010
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This book takes place 9 years after the memorable events in A Civil Campaign: A Comedy of Biology and Manners (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) and Miles is well and truly a married man. He is sent to Kibou-daini to investigate some possible cryo fraud that was being set up in Komarr by a Kibou-daini company. Once there Miles finds himself kidnapped and things finally start to get interesting for him. In this book Mile's story is told from multiple view points.....and suffers for it.

The zany craziness of the earlier books in the series that was one of the great attractions of Mile's stories mostly seems to be missing. Nearly all the other books in the series make me laugh at reasonably regular intervals throughout, something that seems to be lacking in this book much to my disappointment. That alone makes this book, for me, one of the lesser books in the series. It's real sting, and best writing, comes at the end of the story. There's no denying that this book is another turning point in the series, but as an auditorial outing, Bujold has done better with earlier books. It's hard to decide if it should get 3 or 4 stars, but it's certinaly not a 5 star outing, but is nevertheless recommended reading for established fans of the series.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The return of Miles, but not at his best, 13 Dec 2010
By 
M. Hepworth (UK) - See all my reviews
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Miles Vorkosigan is the character that made Lois McMaster Bujold's name as a writer of smart, readable, fun SF. Miles is a native of Barrayar, a traditionalist planet coming out of a period of isolation, and Miles is used to show Barrayar encountering the moden galaxy around it. The series, of which this is the 11th full novel, has taken a crippled, hyperactive, intelligent boy and, through a series of adventures and encounters, made him a man. When we last left him, he had found stability in both his professional life (working as a trouble-shooter for his Emperor) and personal life (married, with children on the way). Most major plot points, such as rival empires or Barrayan internal politics, have been resolved or drifted away.

The true brilliance of the series has always lain in McMaster Bujold's light touch in writing, and the sheer wonder of her central character. Her skills in world building are average and, as "Cryoburn" involves introducing us to a new world where countless dead lie in cryostasis awaiting resurrection, this brings the first problem. It's an interesting idea, taking an old theme of hers to an extreme conclusion, but it would be out of character for her to delve too deep into it - gritty social realism has never been her strong suit - and so it simply remains an intriguing but underdeveloped idea. Instead, we see Miles thrown into the middle of a convoluted plot about the cryostasis business that threatens Barrayar in a slightly unspecified way, which he attacks in his usual forthright and entertaining manner, producing a swift plot with some nice supporting characters, who tend to fall into familiar niches.

The usual elements of success for a Miles story are there, but never really gell. Most worrying is the decision of McMaster Bujold to use a side-character, Mile's bodyguard Roic, as a narrator. Roic is a solid, dependable character, who narrates in a solid, dependable voice, but he is simply not that interesting. The other narrator is a young native of the planet, who brings a refreshing viewpoint, but isn't given that much to do. In fact, at a pivotal point for his character, he gets almost sidelined to allow the main plot to proceed.

Ultimately, while it is very nice to read more of Miles, this adds very little to his story. The entire book has something of the feeling of an epilogue. Miles has thoroughly grown up, and it is hard to see where any further development will come from without shattering his world in a way that legions of fans will hate. It is only in the very final part that we see a hint of where McMaster Bujold may be able to send Miles next.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm..., 24 Dec 2010
By 
M. Yon - See all my reviews
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It is quite shocking to realise that, by my reckoning, this is Bujold's fourteenth Miles Vorkosigan novel, a series that since 1986 has gained Awards a-plenty (2 Nebulas and 4 Hugos). Miles' last appearance was in a novella, Winterfair Gifts, in 2004; the previous novel was Diplomatic Immunity in 2002.

Both of these were good, but, to my mind, mere shadows of earlier novels such as Mirror Dance, Cetaganda and Memory. In Wintergifts and Diplomatic Immunity I felt that Bujold's attention was clearly elsewhere, or just running out of things to say about Miles, and therefore I had prepared myself to say goodbye to the series.

But now we have this new novel, set six or seven years after Diplomatic Immunity. Miles is now nearly forty, still an Imperial Lord Auditor in the Barrayaran Empire, but when visiting the planet of Kibou-daini/New Hope, he has been kidnapped. In just five days Miles now finds himself trying to escape the clutches of people hoping to hold the Lord Auditor to ransom.

As events unfold we find that this is an attempt by terrorists, the New Hope Legacy Liberators, to bring attention to their cause. Disorientated by sedatives, Miles is found by twelve year old Jin, who lives in a seemingly disused cryogenic factory.

Miles escapes. Investigating further, he finds that the major cryogenic companies on Kibou are involved in conspiracy and subterfuge and that there is a major cover-up. One that Miles feels should be brought out to the open.

So here we have Miles `meddling' again, in events off-world from his home on Barrayar. There's lots of underhanded political machinations by the cryo-corporations with designs on setting up on Miles' homeworld, the recovery of Jin's mother, an activist frozen to keep her out of the way, and attempts to dispatch the off-worlders who interfere with the companies plans.

However for those expecting major Miles action, you may be disappointed. Though Miles is a central focus point, much of the narrative focuses upon the characters around him - his armsman Roic, the cryogenics specialist Raven Durona, the young Jin and his family. We have the tale told mainly through three points of view - Miles, his armsman, Roic, and the teenager Jin. My abiding impression at the end is that the tale seems to focus on Jin, his sister Minako and the diplomatic staff on Kibou, rather than Miles, who is surprisingly unobtrusive by comparison.

On the positive side, there's some nice mentions of earlier characters, which will be appreciated and perhaps saddened by those who have read the earlier novels. I'm not quite sure whether readers coming in cold to the series will get all the nuances, though the plot's easy enough to follow.

And that perhaps is my niggle. The tale's told deceptively well, the characters are well written and the plot's engaging. And yet, towards the end, I don't feel that we've really advanced things very far, for Miles at least. As much as I liked it, as much as I kept reading, I felt that there was nothing really new here. Though it pains me to say it, like the previous two books in some ways, this felt like a tale treading water.

Until the end. The last chapter is told in five `diggles' - views from different perspectives, of no more than one hundred words. There is a major event, which changes Miles' life and which is told through these five perspectives. And there's more changes that happens there than the rest of the book altogether.

If this was a TV episode, this would be the cliffhanger. It opens the story out, should Lois wish to take it further. Despite my reservations that Miles may have gone as far as we might wish to go, it does make the future look interesting.

In summary, this is a pleasant enough return to the world of Vorkosigan. The story is humorous, exciting and fun, and shows that Lois can still write about the world of Miles: even if Miles isn't as involved as I thought he would be.

Though I was a little disappointed, the ending in particular shows that there may be more to hear from this series in the future. Welcome back Miles.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Miles - hero and author in good form!, 20 Nov 2010
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
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The book:Miles Vorkosigan, Imperial Auditor for the Barrayar Empire, is sent on a solo mission to a planet where he has to attend a conference on cryo-freezing people, keeping them on ice until they can be revived. Of course there is another reason, or two: vote-rigging, corporate shenanigans, even planetary plots. See the hero go from panic to reacting cleverly to playing the field and in control - and back again. His strategy? ' "I plan..." Miles hesitated. He didn't exactly have a plan, yet. More of a stab in the dark. He still wasn't sure what his blade would connect with.' How people react to his way of dealing with problems? They look '... like a man staring at a groundcar wreck. In slow motion. That he was in.'

The author: Lois McMaster Bujold has won a whole string of awards for her space-opera Vorkosigan Saga (of which this is the most recent, the thirteenth!) plus a series set in an alternate Middle-ages World, Chalion; plus a series set in an alternate Mississippi-World, `the Sharing Knife'.

The CD-that-comes-with-it: has a lot of stuff - pictures of covers, interviews and speeches by the author... and *all* the book texts of the whole Vorkosigan series in 'html files! (you can impiort these onto your iPad, oh joy). Plus 'The Vorkosigan Companion' in .html too. Pretty amazing, for this price - but my five stars are for the book alone - the CD is an unexpected bonus!

My opinion: I am happy to see Manic Miles back on his karma delivery service, as he himself calls it in this book. Excellent. The usual breathless style, dragging you along willy-nilly, meeting some people you begin to care about almost without noticing; problems you start taking personally, multiplying problems you rather desperately want to see the outcome of, so you keep going - only to discover even more, and different, problems, more people who have to be dealt with, while manic miles drags you along in his wake. As usual, it is personal! Strays and waifs, evil corporate associates, lots of problems... and showing Miles a problem is worse that dangling a string in front of a cat. With a rather stunning end, this is a real corker - Miles is back, and as good a read as ever.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Miles is back!, 14 Nov 2010
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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After several years of writing fantasy, Ms Bujold is back with the SF series which justifiably made her reputation as one of the field's top writers. That said, this is one of the lesser works in the series, though no less fun for all that.

Miles is visiting the planet Kibou-daini whose major industry is cryogenics to investigate the planet's exportation of it to one of Barrayar's worlds. Naturally he uncovers skullduggery and sets out to put matters right, meeeting a couple of nice animal-loving children on the way. The enemy is, however, a bit of an Aunt Sally posing no real threat to the resourceful Miles. Indeed the tone is almost playful. Fans of the series, of which I'm one, will certainly enjoy it but those new to the series will wonder what the fuss is about. I hope this is the equivalent of Ms Bujold warming up her engines, getting ready for a full on road trip. The shock at the end suggests so.

But wait, there's more!

Specifically a freebie CD-ROM containing the entire series, including Cryoburn itself, plus the very interesting book length The Vokosigan Companion. If you haven't read the Vorkosigan books before or if you like reading electronic versions then this is one of the best freebies I've come across anywhere. I was just happy to have the Companion. Incidentally that isn't listed on the disc's onscreen menu and I had to open up the disc's contents via My Computer to find it. Once there I opened it and saved the entire thing as a Word document so it's now on my hard disc ready to dip into any time. The disc alone is worth a 5-star rating.

Now, Ms Bujold, what's next for Miles?

Note: I've recently edited this review because I stupidly called the Companion a concordance which is not the same thing at all. Apologies to the people I confused.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never work with children and animals, unless you are Miles Vorkosigan, 11 April 2012
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This, the most recent of the Miles Vorkosigan saga, is not at all disappointing in my opinion, despite what some other reviewers have said. A must read for any fan. With various twists along the way and a little help? from his brother Mark, Miles gets to the bottom of a scheme and helps reunite a family.

But at the end ... I won't say any more. This is when things change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Afrter a long wait... disapointment, 28 Feb 2012
By 
G. Bethune "Graemscifi" (Caithness, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I am gutted about this poor showing by Miles Vorkosigan novel. There has been a long time since the last book and the sparkle seems to have gone, this is a dull by the numbers boring book.

This series Has untill now been one of my absolute favorite reads, previously the books have grown stronger as it had gone on with the last books being witty, well plotted and full of well described detail. This book has, in my opinion, none of these three elements. Cryoburn plods where the others soar.

Bah! Humbug! shame on you Lois McMaster Bujold
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, if a little disappointing, 1 Nov 2011
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Starting 'in media res', we open with Miles staggering around following an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap him on the planet of Kibou-Diani (a sort of amalgam of Japan and Egypt) where the major (and apparently only) business is the storing of Cryofrozen corpses. This, we later learn, is due to one of the Cryo Companies (New Egypt) planning on expanding into Komarr and a few investers who examined the figures thought they looked "fishy" and so told their neice (Laisa) who told her husband (Gregor) who told Miles to go check them out, which brings us to where we came in.

Of course, there really is corruption on Kibou-Diani that Miles uncovers, mostly revolving around a kid called Milo, his sister and his (Cryofrozen) mother, which was remarkably fortunate as she was a rebel who had the critical bit of information on New Egypt that will blow the whole gig open. We also get told that their move into Komarr is some backdoor plot to take over Komarr, though its not really clear how since it would seem to require Komarr (and by extension, Barrayar) to adopt the same laws that exist on Kibou-Diani.

Having literally just finished "Diplomatic Immunity" prior to starting this book, I was hoping that we'd get to see what sort of a father Miles is - would his family prove as much of a source of stress to him as he doubtless did to his parents? But in fact his interactions with his family are limited to one video call from Ekaterin and his now four kids (wow, busy couple!), not including Nikki (though his interactions with his son-substitute, Milo, indicate he's a pretty decent dad). In fact, there are virtually no interactions with characters from previous novels other than Armsman Roic (except for Mark and Kareen, who appear about halfway through) - no Ivan, no Gregor, no Pym, no Cordelia, no Aral. And there's surprisingly little action - the one part where Miles attempts a guerilla raid on New Egypt it goes off without a hitch. Now that may be meant to represent the fact that Miles' planning is better than it used to be, or the fact that he's getting older (he now walks with a cane, partly thanks to the events of "Diplomatic Immunity"). In fact, death is a pretty near constant motif in the novel, what with all the frozen corpses, deaths of characters (we learn that Taura has died and is now buried in the Vorkosigan family plot) and the discussion between Mark & Miles about how a potentially life extending treatment might be really handy for their father.

I'm not going to spoil the major gamechanger that occurs at the end (though other reviews have, so read those if you want to know!), but suffice to say that things will be different for Miles in any future adventures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the place to start, but up to standard for addicts, 4 April 2011
If you don't know this series, don't start here - but do start somewhere (suggest: "Cordelia's Honour") if you like quirky science fiction with strong characterisation, wit, and excellent dialogue. If you do know the series you will enjoy this one - it is well up to standard - but it does feel slightly unfinished, as if it is a bridging novel. There is clearly something else coming up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lois McMaster Bujold hits the mark again, 1 Jan 2014
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I first started reading the Vorkosigan Saga quite by chance when I picked up a copy of 'The Warrior's Apprentice'. Since then, I have gradually accumulated all the books in the series, re-reading the entire series in my possession each time, to savour the rich dialogue and the trenchant comments included therein (such as 'My home is people, sir, not places')
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Cryoburn (Vorkosigan Saga Book 18)
Cryoburn (Vorkosigan Saga Book 18) by Lois McMaster Bujold
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