Top positive review
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Not the best in the series, but still worth reading
on April 26, 2002
As I've grown older, I've grown more selective of the science fiction that I've read. But I still rush to the web whenever a new Lois McMaster Bujold novel comes out. I'm still amazed that Bujold doesn't have a wider following among science-fiction fans. Given her four Hugo awards, Bujold should roll off the tip of the tongue as quickly as Henlein, Asimov, or Bradbury.
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY is another book in the Miles Vorkosigan series. Like other Bujold heroes, Miles does not conform to the standard space opera hero sterotype. Debilitated by a terrorist attack while in vitro, Miles is a brilliant, devious, hyper-energetic mind trapped in an abnormally short, hunch-backed, fragile body.
In this addition to the series, the Emperor of Barryar interrupts Miles and his new wife on their honeymoon to embroil him in a convoluted diplomatic struggle involving the 'quaddies' (a race of humans genetically modified for optimal zero-G living who have arms in place of legs), the Cetagandans (the ancient enemies of Barryar), and a mysterious cargo. As Miles pulls the threads to this knot all hell breaks loose, and Miles must use his lightning wit and endless energy to somehow prevent a new war between his planet and the Cetagandans and a bio-terrorist threat on the entire quaddie race.
Bujold has chalked another of my sleepless night up to her exciting and fast-paced novels. Even though I was vastly entertained, I found this book a little disappointing. While other Miles books often had a more serious undercurrent of the difficulties of Miles living in the militaristic Barraryaran society and his unquenchable desire to succeed despite his handicaps, this book is more of a straight adventure story with little character growth. While one of the weaker books in the entire series, fans of Miles should still find this book very entertaining and a worthwhile read.
As a note for those new to the Vorkosigan books, don't start here. Instead, check out the collection of the first Miles books in YOUNG MILES or start off even earlier and learn about Miles's parents and the Barraryaran society in the collection CORDELIA'S HONOR.
Dav's Rating System:
5 stars - Loved it, and kept it on my bookshelf.
4 stars - Liked it, and gave it to a friend.
3 stars - OK, finished it and gave it to the library.
2 stars - Not good, finished it, but felt guilty and/or cheated by it.
1 star - I want my hour back! Didn't finish the book.