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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