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Cryoburn (Vorkosigan Saga) Mass Market Paperback – September 27, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews
Book 16 of 15 in the Vorkosigan Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


''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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Product Details

  • Series: Vorkosigan Saga (Book 13)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reprint edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451637500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451637502
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I first read Ms. Bujold's Vorkosigan series when I was in high school in the 1990's. I have reread those books and was eagerly awaiting this next saga. I was not disappointed. This is a book about death, how we deal with it and growing old.

Once again we are again pulled along Miles' wake as he first tries to figure out what is so fishy about the cryonics deal Kommar has with New Hope II otherwise known as Kibou-daini. Kibou is a planet obsessed with death and with trying to beat it and old age. Miles, in the course of resolving his assignment from Gregor and helping 11 year old Jin (two birds one stone kind of thing) must think of his own views on death and aging. In the end these things are easily skimmed over the first time you read this novel. Easily skimmed that is, until the end when Bujold hit you with a train you didn't even see coming. Now those issues Miles and the reader skimmed over are even more profound and I felt a compulsive need to reread the book.

I know this sound like a cryptic review, but you can read a plot summary above before you purchase and any spoilers will truly spoil the book. I can tell you we see a different side Miles who can seem cold even unattached in this book due to the perspective of new characters, who truly have no clue who Miles is. Readers are reassured that the Miles we have come to know is still the same (older & wiser) when the story switches to his perspective. We also see how Miles has grown into his job as Imperial Auditor and Bujold's prose is as witty as ever. I can only give you my best recommendation for a story; it was engrossing, it made me laugh, think and cry. All the things a great story is supposed to do.
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By Vanessa Lyman on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've waited for this book for eight years, and just finished reading it, and... For readers of the entire series, it feels like the lightest book of the Vorkosigan universe. Funny, enjoyable, lots of chicanery and a heap of trouble with a squiggly-minded little man on top. But then you hit the end, and you realize that reading it lightly was a serious mistake. It was never light. Not once, though it may seem that way. Jin does not get his fairytale, though he is is given his life anew. And Miles isn't given his fairytale. Just his life, anew. I'm not sure whether to start reading this book over, or start reading the entire series over. It's one or the other, though, because one reading was not enough. I took it too lightly the first round.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the umpteenth Vorkosigan Saga novel, long salivated after by all right and proper fans (whose ranks do include me, as fair warning), and like all books in the series it functions as a stand-alone and even would serve as a decent introduction to the series. It's not the best introduction, but anyone who comes to the series through this novel will have no trouble keeping up with the plot here and will also not be spoiled on any major events from earlier on, except for Mirror Dance (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) -- but to be fair, just knowing that the series continues is a spoiler for Mirror Dance.

What makes the Vorkosigan Saga unique in my experience (and if there are any other series that share this quality, please, let me know!) is that it is a very long-running series where each book does stand-alone yet which carries the same set of characters throughout (with the occasional addition or subtraction) and in which the characters undergo fundamental change throughout, significant, life-altering experiences that can't be brushed off or reset in the next volume. The best volumes in the series are, in fact, those that deal with those life-altering experiences.

Cryoburn does not fall into that category. Instead, it falls into the slightly-less-satisfying but still exceptional category of Vorkosigan Saga novels that use the science fiction setting to explore the effect of technological innovation on human society. Unlike many science fiction writers, Bujold has little interest in the physics of her universe; she hand-waved some wormhole-aided space travel technology and then never gave it another thought.
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11 Comments 135 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lois Bujold's strengths are, as usual, on display with this book. Her strong characterization is on prominent display, with the two characters we know a bit older and more mature, but still the comfortable characters fans of the series have grown to love. The new characters, primarily Jin, are well fleshed out and believable, and we quickly come to care for him. The returning minor character(Raven Durona) gets a good fleshing out.

Ms. Bujold's fascination with medical/life technology and it's effect on society is once again on display, and once again she creates an interesting society based on those changes. How would easy, convenient cryogenics affect society? This is something that could happen before long, and it could have a large impact on society. While the scenario she paints in this book is far fetched, it does a good job of illustrating the kinds of things society will face at some point.

The story is fun, the action exciting, the humor laugh out loud. Pacing is perfect. So why does it fall short? Well, to be honest it really doesn't, except in comparison to her own earlier work in the series. The first thing to note is that except for Miles and Roic, the rest of the large cast of characters we love to read about simply are not there, or only there briefly. No Cordelia, no Aral, no Ivan, no Simon, no Alys, no Gregor, no Ekatrin, no Pym. Mark and Kareen show up, but briefly. This is very frustrating to longtime fans, as [art of the pleasure of the Vorkosigan books is seeing how all those characters grow and interrelate.

More importantly, while the story is fine, it's not up to the standards of most of Bujold's books.
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