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Cryoburn (Vorkosigan Saga) Hardcover – October 19, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans have been clamoring for Hugo winner Bujold to pen a new Vorkosigan Saga novel since 2002's Diplomatic Immunity, and they will not be disappointed by this thoughtful tale. Only five days after arriving on Kibou-daini for a cryonics conference, interplanetary diplomat Miles Vorkosigan narrowly escapes kidnapping. Drugged, dazed, and alone, he is taken in by Jin Sato, whose mother was the leader of a cryonics reform movement until being declared mentally ill and involuntarily frozen. Now Jin lives in a building full of squatters running an illegal cryonics clinic. Under imperial orders to investigate the shady dealings of the cryo cartels, Miles connects the far-flung pieces and exposes a sneaky plot. Bujold introduces appealing characters to join familiar ones in exploring the ramifications of a planet-wide culture of postponing death, and her deft and absorbing writing easily corrals the complex plot and softens the blow of a tear-jerking conclusion. (Nov.) (c)
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''Bujold retains the wit, intelligence, action, and great character development that have made the Miles Vorkosigan series so superior. In Komarr she proves once again that it is possible for the latest book in a series to be as good as the first.'' --Voya on Komarr
Bujold successfully mixes quirky humor with just enough action, a dab of feminist social commentary and her usual superb character development . . . enormously satisfying. -- Publishers Weekly
One of sf's outstanding talents . . . an outstanding series. --Booklist
. . . an intelligent, well-crafted and thoroughly satisfying blend of adventure, sociopolitical commentary, scientific experiments, and occasional perils . . . with that extra spicing of romance. . . --Locus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In this final book, Bujold begins with Miles, alone and drugged into confusion in an underworld. If you sense Miles will rise again into planet saving, you would be right. Bujold gives us Miles Alone -- wiithout Ekaterin, Ivan, Simon, Ellie, or his parents, We see his knight errantry, his generous genius, his famous forward momentum. This second time around I was glad to just have Miles to focus on. It helps conclude the series. (Yes, there is Roic, a latecomer in the series, who serves as a foil and an observer. "Because ... m'Lord.")
There is a parallel story of a marvelous boy, eleven years old, who would make a wonderful protagonist for a new series. I wonder if Bujold was trying him out? Even if not, he helps draw out the elements that make the Vorkosigan saga such an uplifting one. There is a Cause and there is injustice. There are powerful corrupt people and there are difficult issues.
In the end there are justice, love, and hope. We glimpse Miles' final coming of age. Bujold accomplishes this with power, skill, and simplilcity. She weaves in other voices (Miles, Cordelia, Gregor, and Mark) in a set of final musings, each 100-words -- a tip of the hat to the popular s/f "Drabble" form. Each voice wraps up something key in the series.
If you wonder whether or not the series is truly over, re-read Ivan's musings at the end. It is profoundly sad, yet lovely. It doesn't leave much room for a new Miles adventure. Not this Miles, anyway. Although I am very sad about it, this book makes it all seem right.
This is an excellent installment, albeit with a sobering end after all the shenanigans are resolved.
One planet is seriously into cryotechnology, to the point where it drives the economy. And while people are frozen, their assets- and votes- are held by the company that froze them, to their profit economically and politically. When one of these companies wants to expand to Komarr- a planet belonging to the Empire- Emperor Gregor asks Miles to look into things.
Of course, complications ensue, and Miles meets up with a lot of interesting people, solves the puzzle that brought him there, as well as solving a few more semi-related problems with his unique blend of wits, luck, good support, and unique outlook.
If you are not reading the series, I think you could start here- though it's richer if you know more backstory for some of the characters, and the ending will not be as much of a shock if you start here. Still, you don't need to know the backstories in all their intricacies to appreciate the plot.