Komarr – Lois McMaster Bujold

Miles falls in love… yes, again.

Stars: Three and a half of five.

Review format: Comment plus links.
Summary: Miles Vorkosigan is sent to Komarr, a planet that could be a garden with a thousand more years of terraforming; or an uninhabitable wasteland, if the terraforming project fails. The solar mirror vital to the project has been shattered by a ship hurtling off course, and Miles has been sent to find out if it was an accident, or sabotage. But once there, he uncovers a plot that could exile him from Barrayar forever—and discovers an unexpected ally, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his own. (from the publisher’s website)
Provenance: Baen Online Store… via the containing omnibus, Miles in Love.
Date Read: Sometime in mid-late July.  Review written 3 months late. 😦

There are 15+ other novels and novellas in the same universe, most starring Miles.  Bujold does a fairly good job of writing these books as stand-alone, no matter how far along she gets in this multi-decade saga. However, you will certainly have more fun if you’re already fond of the characters. Komarr is twelvth in the series, if you do not count the novellas!

Miles is sure persistent in the romance department. There have been a number of ‘future Mrs Vorkosigan’ candidates, but Miles still has a fantastic number of gaffes hidden up his short sleeves.

What do you think of this cover compared the following?  I love Ekaterin, but Miles with his-chin-in-the-air looks a little silly, like a dog smelling bacon.  Poor Miles, such an un-cover-genic  guy. This is the cover for the Miles in Love (Omnibus) – Miles looks even worse there 😛 . This is an audiobook cover- just Ekaterin, no Miles. Here’s Miles looking odd-and-creased – as a stylistic match for the Mirror Dance cover.  This attractive cover (Miles as Val Kilmer?) is from a UK edition.

Personally, I read this book far out of order.  I mistakenly read it second, after reading only The Warrior’s Apprentice.  I realized my goof as soon as I found out that Miles was in his early thirties, instead of eighteen or nineteen… but the book’s so entertaining that I could not put it down.  Afterwards, I circled back to buy the omnibus which contains Mountains of Morning and The Vor Game, to read in proper chronological order.

Strongly-recommended for Miles fans, but others should start with Cordelia’s Honor, or The Warrior’s Apprentice.

Links and others’ reviews

Other related good stuff and reviews  (added by me, not generated)

  • Read the first Miles book for free via the publisher: Warrior’s Apprentice
  • Want the full list of books in the Vorkosigan Saga? Here’s my list: Bujold Bibliography.
  • Fyrefly gives it 4/5 stars plus commentary on the audiobook  “Lois McMaster Bujold does a lot of things well. She writes convincing mysteries, witty yet believable dialogue, stories that nicely incorporate sci-fi elements without ever forgetting the basic human drama at their core. But if I had to pick one thing that I think Bujold is best at, it’s the development of complex, sympathetic, realistic, and memorable characters, even in very short spaces. Therefore, the main highlight of Komarr is being introduced to another one of these wonderful characters: Ekaterin Vorsoisson.”
  • Mama Librarian says 6/10, shows off the nice cover, but knocks off a few points as less funny and self-contained “It does not stand alone as well as some of the earlier books, mostly because of all the spoilers Bujold throws in to make the plot make sense, but one could begin with the short story “Labyrinth,” then just read this trilogy (A Civil Campaign and “Wintergifts”) and have a relatively meaningful sequence.”  Like me, she read it on her iPhone. 🙂
  • Mervi – recommends the romance angle “The book is structured as a romance; the point-of-view switches between the hero and the heroine, and their growing attraction is a secondary plot along with the mystery. Thankfully, the story is devoid of the more toxic romance tropes”
  • Ela21 summarizes really well (spoilers though) and found my favourite of the covers.
  • Brian Jane points out that Miles in Love is 9 inches thick (eek, really? go, ebooks) and laments how many spoilers he feels compelled to include. “I feel guilty, as if I’ve simultaneously spoiled and hardly said a thing, about [this book]. I suppose this signifies how strong a writer Bujold actually is. Her characters are rich, her worlds extravagant and plausible, and the relationships she builds–well, a review can hardly do them justice.”

—.~.~.~.—

Want me to link to your review too? Let me know in a comment, and I can add the link here.

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  1. #1 by bjanecarp on October 3, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    Nice review!

    I’d just like to point out – I said it was 9 1/4 inches *tall*. 🙂 It’s One and a half inches *thick* (had to check 🙂 ) Either way, it’s a whopping 800+ pages long and definitely too much to lug around for lunchtime or breaktime reading. It’ll give you a herniated lumbar disc or something.

    B.

    • #2 by Sandy M. on October 3, 2011 - 4:13 pm

      awww, man, really? I much preferred the thickness idea. I was reading them all on my iPhone, and sometimes I did wonder how long the books were in physical form.

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