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Komarr (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
Book 12 of 15 in the Vorkosigan Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lois McMaster Bujold comes through again with another sharp Miles Vorkosigan novel. Komarr can be read as a standalone, though it is part of a whole series. (Komarr brings the total to 16 books!) Miles is a hugely popular character with fans--and they won't be disappointed with his latest adventure.

The planet Komarr is undergoing centuries-long terraforming when one of the orbiting mirrors crucial to the effort is smashed by an off-course ship. Miles Vorkosigan is sent to Komarr to investigate the incident; once there, he becomes embroiled in political and scientific battles. To make matters worse, the name Vorkosigan is anathema on Komarr. But our intrepid hero can't be put down easily. While trying to save Komarr, he manages... maybe... to find true love at last! Bujold's original and intelligent blend of politics, science, and cliffhanging-good space opera makes this book a satisfying adventure and a charming romance. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Rendered unfit for military service by incurable seizures resulting from his having died, been cryofrozen and then revived, Miles Vorkosigan has managed to land on his feet once again, this time as an Imperial Auditor handling top-secret investigations of the most difficult and vital sort. When a gigantic solar-powered satellite necessary to the terraforming of the planet Komarr is damaged in a collision with an ore freighter, Miles and another Auditor are sent to determine whether the collision was an accident or sabotage. Conquered within living memory by the Barrayaran Empire, which Miles represents, Komarr has a history of rebellion. Worse, Miles's father, Lord Vorkosigan, who put down the last revolt, is hated by many Komarran patriots. Miles eventually uncovers what is apparently a straightforward scheme involving bribery in high places, but a darker and more dangerous plot is brewing below the surface, one that could destroy the Empire. In addition, he falls in love with the unhappily married wife of the government official who is his host. As usual, Bujold (Memory) tells a fast-moving story that combines just the right amount of action and wit as Miles continues to mature in a manner unusually complex for a series protagonist. Breaking new ground, Bujold tells much of her story from the viewpoint of Ekaterin Vorsoisson, the woman Miles falls in love with, and the portrait that emerges of a good woman stuck in a loveless marriage is both believable and intensely painful. Bujold continues to grow as a writer, and her work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary SF. (June) of the year and was a finalist for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671578081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671578084
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #883,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Trotter VINE VOICE on August 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't the first book. Have you read the first book? If not, you should immediately drop everything and order it. Now. Immediately. Right away. Read the whole series.
Ok, ok. Here's the series:
Shards of Honor
Barayar
(these two books are also combined into "Cordelia's Honor")
The Warrior's Apprentice
Short Story: The Mountains of Mourning
(all short stories are contained in "Borders of Infinity")
The Vor Game
Cetaganda
Ethan of Athos
Short Story: Labyrinth
Short Story: The Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
The Borders of Infinity
Mirror Dance
Memory
Komarr
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity
Now, go start at the begining and read them all the way through to the end.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One thing Lois McMaster Bujold never does is keep doing quite the same thing each time. Miles' predicament in this novel reminds me of a scene in Farley Mowat's "Dog Who Wouldn't Be" where the dog is trying to sit on five wounded ducks at once. He has four paws and five ducks... Here, Miles has to solve a mystery, discover true love for the first time in his life, learn a new profession and a couple of other things that I'll let you find out by reading the book. At the same time, we get a fascinating glimpse of what it's like to watch the "Dwarf Tornado" as our favorite hyperactive tries to play whack-a-mole in real time. As always, I had an awful lot of fun reading this book and I absolutely can't wait for the next one, "A Civil Campaign."
Incidentally, I've seen some complaints that Miles seems a bit thick-headed as an Imperial Auditor. I don't agree. In the earlier books, Miles was leading the band. Here, he's essentially a cop, and, as somebody once commented, cops are historians. They come along *after* the deeds are done and try to cope with the mess. That's a lot harder than combat. I've read this book three times, and expect to read it a few more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing of Lois Mcmaster Bujold is unique in her ability to blend comedy, deep thinking and adventure. Some of her early novels starring her protagonist Miles are space opera. They are very funny while containing accute observation of the follies of war and the failures of politics. Within the series we are introduced to Miles before his birth and and are privy to glimpses of his hyperactive childhood. Miles goes from adolescent to maturity encountering different milestones along the way. In this novel the former military strategist and sometimes space admiral has begun a new career as an imperial auditor. He and his fellow auditor have arrived on the planet Komarr to investigate the damage to solar mirrors that are part of the planetary terriforming reshaping Komarrs ecology. Miles is in a process of ajustment to the very broad powers of his new position. The auditors are to be guests of Ekatrine and her family. Ekatrines husband administers a part of the terriforming project and is stressed by the arrival of auditors who intend to examine the workings of his department, even though one of them is his wife's delightful uncle. The unfolding story is seen partially through the eyes of Ekatrine, and partially from the viewpoint of Miles.
The auditors are tasked to discover and resolve the puzzle of the solar array. Who damaged it and why? Is it sabotage or accident? Is it meant to destabilize positive relations between Barrayar and Komarr?
While the underlying elements of plot are deadly serious, elements of character are immediately funny. By chapter two Miles knows he is uncomfortably attracted to his lovely and very married hostess. Through Ekatrines narration we already know that her marriage is challenging, and her husband difficult.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this one before it came out, courtesy of a friend in publishing, and it was wonderful to see an SF novel that, for once, lets its hero grow up. Miles has undergone more than enough physical and psychological trauma to drive a person mad; having him continue to run around swashbuckling after being killed, having most of his organs and bones replaced, etc., would be as ridiculous as having Admiral Nimitz lead a boarding party. As Dorothy Sayers put it when a reader complained that Lord Peter Wimsey no longer had "elfin charm," "Any man of that age who has 'elfin charm' should be euthanized."
It's also nice to see a heroine who's an adult woman who attempts to deal with the consequences of her decisions, not a stereotypically beautiful woman-child or a Heinleinian superwoman who only wants to have babies. Dr. Laura's excoriations(she's an exercise physiologist, not a psychologist, BTW) really don't apply. And why should they? Would it be better to have Ekaterin be a Friday clone?
Regardless, I look forward to the next book. It's easy to write space opera. God willing, Bujold can take Miles (and herself) to the next level.
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The deep insights into a woman unhappily married, with all the regrets, repression, pain, and extinguished hopes are relayed with intense feeling. The writing about the woman Miles falls in love with is really remarkable.
Unfortunately, it throws the book off-balance. We get nowhere near the depth of insight into any of the other characters, including Miles. They're two-dimensional, comical, in comparison. And the woman's husband is a lout through and through, which makes it too easy to take her side. Plus the woman turns out to be highly intelligent just in the nick of time.
There's also a mystery in the story but much of the story is told from the unhappy woman's point of view, as she comes into her own and falls for Miles.
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