Shop now Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Voyage Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

9
4.2 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2003
Ah, the space opera of old, with ray guns sizzling and the Patrol just waiting for the sub-space yell for help to come high-tailing it through hyperspace to the rescue! (Exclamation points optional, but rarely left out). But that was the old days, and this is now the 21st century, and a new brand of space opera has arisen, championed by Ms. Bujold. Somehow the ray guns and exclamation points have disappeared, but not the sense of breathless, pell-mell, don’t stop to smell the roses action.
This is the latest in her long line of books about Miles Vorkosigan, nimble of mind, short of stature, often subject to seemingly irrational urges towards rash actions. For this book, he is somewhat toned down, perhaps a little more mature, being now a happily married man, as well as having been promoted to be Imperial Auditor. When his honeymoon is interrupted by a request to go straighten out a diplomatic mess in Quaddie space, about three pages into the book, you just know you’re in for another wild ride through Miles’ version of how to solve a problem, which is never by just diplomatic means. The ‘problem’ in this case quickly turns into something of a murder mystery (sans body), and Miles must deal with how to gather pertinent information amongst a group of people who are not only antagonistic, but feel that anyone with two arms and two legs (as opposed to four arms) is sub-human and has criminal tendencies.
Bujold, as usual, keeps many threads spinning in this adventure tale, from Miles’ relationship with a hermaphroditic old friend to a possible all-out war hanging on the resolution of this problem. But perhaps because Miles must now operate very much in the open, rather than as a clandestine undercover operative, there seems to be a little less excitement to this tale than some of the prior works, with Miles only able to operate as a one-man desperado army near the tail end of the book. The tongue-in-cheek humor that suffuses earlier books is not nearly as prominent in this novel, a definite detriment as this was one of the series’ basic charms. Characterization for anyone other than Miles is fairly sparse and often rather stereotypical. And the resolution of the murder mystery struck me as somewhat far-fetched, as merely a way to bring in even more far-reaching consequences and complications.
Still, a nicely entertaining book, another entry into this new breed of space opera that shows that this type of fiction still has life left in it.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
I've been a fan of the Miles Vorkisigan books for many years and have been eagerly awaiting this book. After reading the last one (A Civil Campaign) I didn't think she could top it, and she hasn't, but I still thought it was a good (albeit short) read.
As usual the title is a clever play on the plot and develops throughout the story, Miles and his lovely new wife, Ekaterin are charming and funny together and we get to meet a few old friends as well as make new ones.
Bujold also develops plot lines that were laid down many years ago (Falling Free)so we can finally see Quaddie Space and her description of a night at the free-fall ballet was excellent.
After reading the latest from Bujold I have immediately picked up one of her older ones (Memory, in fact)and will reread it before going back to reread Diplomatic Immunity.
Thank you Ms Bujold for writing about someone who has become like a personal friend after all these years, I look forward to your future writing with eagerness and interest.
GO Miles!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
If you haven't met Miles Vorkosigan yet - and he's probably the most interesting of any scifi character in the techno line of writing - then do so IMMEDIATELY! This, the latest in the series, keeps up Bujold's usual the high standard of writing, although it isn't quite as good a A Civil Campaign (which gets a six-star rating for being one of the most stylishly comic books ever). This novel sees Miles finally on honeymoon, saving the galaxy with his usual incredible strategic genius and full-on maniac energy whilst still finding time to whisper the odd sweet nothing to his bride. The two plots strands of love and imminent war are tied together with elegance,and to readers familiar with Miles there are some nice in-references to previous characters (particularly from Cetaganda). I saved this one for three weeks and the worst of the rainy days. Instant smile on the face.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2012
With the action mainly set on a space station rather than a planet (it belongs to the Quaddies, humans genetically engineered to live in free fall, shortly before artificial gravity was invented, see: "Falling Free") this is as much about Miles Vorkosigan, his wife and his armsman, adapting their thinking to that environment, as it is to Miles having to tread a very fine line whilst trying to extricate a Barrayan fleet from a diplomatic impasse, for which they are not as completely to blame as it looks. For once, this isn't something which Miles Vorkosigan gets involved in off his own bat: he's ordered to sort things out by his Emperor.

Any form of genetic abnormality is a problem for Barrayans, due to the use of nuclear weapons in an attempt to put down their revolt against Cetagandan occupation, and deliberate genetic engineering is a bigger problem still, largely because their former Cetagandan oppressors base their culture around genetic "improvement" of the human race by the ruling "Haut" Caste, and genetic manipulation of animals and plants, usually for "artistic" reasons by the Cetagandan's military "Ghem Lords".

It gradually transpires that there's more going on, and more at stake, than Miles could ever have imagined, and the increasingly impossible mess on Graf station is actually an expression of Cetagandan, rather than Barrayan or Quaddie politics. His past is coming back to haunt him: even as his children are growing in their uterine replicator and he has to scramble to prevent an imminent war that threatens to snuff out their lives before they even begin, along with all Barrayar.

To save his own children and people, Miles must save an entire generation of Cetagandan Haut children: the ultimate expression both of Cetagandan power and ambition -and of all that makes Cetaganda's vision of the future completely incompatible with Barrayar's.

Is Miles a hero, the part he always likes to play, or the ultimate traitor?

Along the way, we're shown how Quaddie culture has changed (and how it has stayed the same in other respects) since "Falling Free" several centuries and many novels ago. And Miles meets up with an old friend to anyone who's read the earlier novels of the saga. There's also a tantalizing glimpse of Cetaganda and Barrayar as partners rather than enemies, despite the vastness of the gulf between the two cultures.

There's an interesting link here with "Captain Vorpatril's Alliance" too: dancers and musicians are central to Quaddie society, just as they are important assets to the crime barons of Jackson's Whole. Quaddie dancers are perhaps as important as Barrayar's Vor lords, or Cetaganda's Haut.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 10 March 2015
This has all the positives one has come to expect from Lois McMaster Bujold's "Miles Vorkosigan" stories. The vulnerable damaged body contrasts with the piercing intelligence housed in it, that allows Miles to slowly extract critical data from superficially conflicting statements. The book describes how that same intelligence adds structure to turn the data into information, the flash of intuition that links with the information to give Miles insight into the perpetrator's motivation, and the realisation of the impending peril for Barrayar because of the perpetrator's plots. Running through the whole story is the steadily deepening relationship between Miles and his wife Ekaterin, and her development into a person who I think will be able to operate on Miles' own level.

If you're looking for wham bam action, you won't find it here, but of its type, this is as lovingly crafted a story as one could wish for. It's a slowly developing scenario in which the main plot is beautifully intricate without being overcomplicated, and there are enough subplots to broaden interest and keep the story moving. As already stated, a lovely piece of work.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 26 November 2007
This is standard fair for the series with quite a bit of action and plot twists. Unfortunately unlike the earlier books this one has only a tiny bit of humour, to some extent the humour was what made those books better than the average space-opera and the last few have suffered without it.

Unlike the previous books this one has a really weak plot with lots of holes.

The central premise is believable but nothing else that the villain does is, the variety of back up plans and twists he is supposed to have set up, in complete secrecy with no one to help him, are ridiculous especially when coupled with his actions during the live events in the book which display no such deliberation and there were also much simpler options available at nearly every turn. This gives the book a forced feel and a rubbish ending.

The characters and writing are ok but the plot is so poorly constructed you get the feeling she is lazily milking the series for the money.

"A Civil Campaign" was poor fare but this is by far the worst book she has written.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 27 August 2013
While it's very much part of the series (Vorksigan/Barrayar) this is an enthralling read. Knowledge of what's gone on before is recommended to enhance your delight. Strong characters placed in dynamic and dramatic situations with depth and feeling - admission; I've got this in hard and kindle editions.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 19 April 2010
Not sure about this one - will need to read it again I think before I make up my mind. On face of it does not seem to flow so well as previous books in Saga & plot manipulations are more obvious
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 18 September 2014
Yet another gem in the Miles saga
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.