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This is, I think, the eleventh in the "Miles Vorkosigan" series, set a year after Miles's marriage to the young widow, Ekaterin Vorsoisson, and they're making a galaxy-wife honeymoon tour while their first two kids slowly incubate back home. (Pregnancy isn't the dangerous physical trial it used to be. And to get the background to all that, you can refer back to _Komarr_ and _A Civil Campaign_.) They're about to head home when Miles -- who used to be a mercenary admiral but is now in a second career as an Imperial Auditor -- gets orders to go immediately to Graf Station, off in Quaddiespace, where a commercial fleet and its escorting Barrayaran military squadron have gotten themselves in a mess with the locals. (Quaddies are a human subspecies tailored for a null-gravity environment, with two extra arms and hands instead of legs and feet, and they make a comfortable collective living in a system that's heavy on asteroids and valuable ores. See _Falling Free_ for background on their origins.) It appears to be the sort of tangle Miles is generally good at unraveling -- a diplomatic contretemps, but manageable. But one thing leads to another thing, to yet another, and then another, and before long Miles and Ekaterin are up against the threat of Cetagandan biowar. (See _Cetaganda_ for those folks.) Is Miles going to survive to attend the birth of his son and daughter? Will Ekaterin become a widow for the second time? Stay tuned!

Actually, there's a good deal more action and many more cliffhangers than in the previous couple of volumes. Some of them are a bit gruesome, too. But the plot develops nicely and the characters are, as usual, very well handled. Miles is . . . Miles. As always. And Ekaterin appears to be able to hold her own. (Well, she would have to be, given a husband like that.) And if the cross-references above haven't made it clear, this is not the first volume someone new to the series should attempt.
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on September 12, 2012
Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold is a reasonably fast-paced tale of Miles Verkosigan's first foray into service as the Emperor's Voice in the Barrarayan Empire, officially off on his honeymoon when diverted to a converted asteroid in order to solve the mystery of a murdered security officer, soothe an interstellar fracas caused by idiot military types (redundant?) and stop a war initiated by agents provocateur with a more subtle agenda. Miles is hindered by amazing and complex technology of his mostly unknown enemy and his/her/its inscrutable motives, aided by a long-time friend, accomplice and now employee/paid informant and most ably supported by his new wife.

The plot hums right along without rest, as does Miles, since everything keeps happening even when the hero should be on his honeymoon or at least have time for a catnap in the several days this adventure takes. It is kept from overwhelming by a nice sense of timing and a few of what look like breaks in the action but which are just bridges between actions, and by Miles' running dialogues with himself, which are pretty entertaining in their own right (I often have these kinds of carefully stifled thoughts myself. At least, I think I stifled them because I'm still married, still have my job, and still have all my teeth).

Another very creditable, entertaining book by Lois McMaster Bujold, who has written maybe a dozen and a half of these books.
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on March 5, 2013
Hilarious, intelligent, thought-provoking, all the ususal stuff 4 LM Bujold. LOVE the Vorkosigan series. (& all her other work 2!)

Our hero on his honeymoon gets diverted 2 Quaddiespace, a really different culture; finds some of his native Barrayaran military with unfortunately typical prejudice against & loyalty 2 troops, & oldtime typical prejudice against the differently abled (Quaddiespace!); meets an old friend from Dendarii mercenary days; works hard while being shot at ("task-oriented," praise the Quaddiespace administration!); begins 2 uncover a plot just passing through with the probable side-effect of restarting interstellar war; & has 2 make it home before his kids are decanted from the artificial womb. ("I was out of town on your birthday"... ?!)

Our heroine, the new wife, keeps up well -- it's not just anyone who could marry Miles! & crucially wraps up the diplomacy. Nice 2 see Miles with a mate who appreciates him.

I was hoping the expert genome folks (guess who) could help Miles with his health problems -- but it looks like his health is somewhat affected -- again.

Lois, sequel?: Get working on those health modalities, brother Mark!
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on January 28, 2015
The Vorkosigan books remain my favorite sci-fi series, but this one is probably my least favorite so far. I prefer the books that include most of the secondary characters - Ivan, Aral, Cordelia, Gregor, Illyan...the people that fans of the series have come to love over the last 12 books.
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VINE VOICEon June 12, 2003
On the way home from their honeymoon, Miles receives an urgent message from Gregor to proceed posthaste to Graf Station, where some of Gregor's xenophobic subjects have made asses of themselves and caused themselves and a convoy of Barrayaran and Komarran ships to be detained by the Quaddie government.

Many individuals and situations turn out not to be what at first they seem, but in the end, Miles unscrambles the complex web of deceit and treachery, engineers the capture of the bad guy, returns what was stolen, helps save the career of one who turns out not to be as bad as he at first appears, prevents a war, and restores cordial relations between Barrayar and Quaddiespace; and still gets home to Barrayar in time for the birth of his and Ekaterin's first two children. Whew!

Altho you can enjoy DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY thoroly without, I recommend reading FALLING FREE first so you will know (for example) why Graf Station and the Minchenko Ballet are so named.

Once you read any one of the Miles Vorkosigan adventures, you will surely want to read all the rest of them, preferably starting with Cordelia's Honor, and you will be eagerly awaiting the next one.
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VINE VOICEon June 12, 2002
If, like me, you did not enjoy the last two Miles Vorkosigan books as much as the preceding ones, you may be thinking of skipping Diplomatic Immunity. But if you are thinking of skipping it -- don't.
The romance and deep characterization of Komarr, which I found plodding, was enjoyed by many fans, and while the light comedy of A Civil Campaign likewise had its adherents, I found it overly slight to the point of insignificance. But subpar Miles is better than no Miles at all, so I persisted, and Dipolmatic Immunity rewarded my efforts. It is a return to the fast-paced political adventure plots of old -- the kind of story in which a character like Miles can, and does, really shine. Here, our fast-thinking hero walks into one of Bujold's trademark complicated yet comprehensible political squabbles, then finds himself matching wits with a shadowy and sinister opponent for whom no tactic is too evil or barbaric.
Diplomatic Immunity is written with Bujold's witty and quotable language, her evident love for her characters, and her cynical yet generally upbeat view of human nature. Plus, we get to see some old friends from Miles's days as a secret agent-cum-mercenary.
If you read Bujold for fast-paced, gripping adventure, Diplomatic Immunity is just your thing. And those who'd stick with Miles through thick and thin, as I have, will find this one of the best recent books in the Vorkosigan series.
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on May 21, 2008
Bujold is back in form with this book. This character has always been great, and Vorkosigan series is one of the better on the market, but the last few books lost some of the shine that Bujold's storytelling normally has. Finally Bujold has hit another winner.

This is book is back to solo Miles, without the distractions of other characters splitting the primary plot-line. Miles is, as always, a top notch character. Interesting to watch, flawed enough to believe, you can't help but root for him. The addition of Katerina is welcomed, and she manages to bolster the story without pulling it from Miles, which is always the interesting point. It is also nice to see some supporting cast from previous books back.

The story itself is a solid mystery worthy of the early Vorkosigan mysteries. While Miles does have authority this time, he still feels like the underdog and coming from behind, which has always worked for this series.

This is a quality book, and a must get for fans of the series.
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on August 22, 2005
I bought Diplomatic Immunity a while back. Knowing I will be hooked and not just satisfied with one book, I held off reading it until another new book on Miles is available. Strange reason.., maybe.

However after the disappointing Hallowed Hunt, I just need to reassure myself that Bujold is still a great writer. I am not disappointed. Diplomatic Immunity may not be the best of the Miles series but it is still a great read and definitely heads above Hallowed Hunt. And of course there is Miles. Intense and quirky, Miles is easily the most memorable and lively character in sci-fi/fantasy today. He is definitely Bujold's greatest creation and it is just so easy to plunge into another crazy adventure with this idiosyncratic but adorable character. No one is disputing Bujold's talent in fantasy. The first book in the Chalion series proves that. But after the lame second and third book in the Chalion series, it is time for Bujold to return to the enigmatic sci-fi world of Miles.
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on November 20, 2013
Lois McMaster Bujold has created smart colorful characters that you will really care about. She is a masterful writer and will have you laughing, crying and really cheering for the people in this series. Not to be missed, the best SF series ever!
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on May 5, 2002
How does she do it??!! Good stories are all about character, character, character, and LMB is *sans pareille* at creating characters that linger with us through the kids' soccer games, the dinner dishes, and all the way through the Late News.
In the classic story form of the Hero's Journey, LMB gave Miles more than his share of Achilles' heels from birth, with a twisted, fragile body in a world that only values the strong and beautiful. Then, having given us ample reason to believe that Miles has overcome those frailties and the problems that accompanied them in her earlier books, in Diplomatic Immunity, LMB gives us something new to worry about in the lingering aftereffects of Miles' misadventures at Graf Station.
Once again, in a few pages, LMB has let us glimpse a rich new character, jump pilot Corbeau, and already we can't wait to meet him again in some future Miles imbroglio. Moreover, LMB is never quite done developing a character or a relationship-Miles' heart-wrenching musings over Bel Thorne being a case in point. And what about the kids, little Aral and Helen? Do we already know who's going to be hell-raiser twin!
Would that Baen could surround LMB with armsmen, drivers, cooks, and a secure comconsole in every room so she'd have nothing to do but write, write, write! Or maybe they could send her to Jackson's Hole to be cloned. Hmmm.
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