- Series: Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
- Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Baen (October 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067187845X
- ISBN-13: 978-0671878450
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 178 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1997
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Miles turns 30, and--though he isn't slowing down just yet--he is starting to lose interest in the game of Wall: the one where he tries to climb the wall, fails, gets up, and tries again. Having finally reached a point in his life where he can look back and realize that he has managed to prove his courage and competence, he can move on to bigger and better things.
Depending on how you count it, this is the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh book in a series--not all are about Miles or even his extended family. A good place to start is with the first Vorkosigan story, Shards of Honor.
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I wish more authors would allow their characters to naturally evolve the way Bujold does. Maybe that's a sign of a master author. She doesn't allow Miles to stagnate, but instead pushes him, sometimes ruthlessly, sometimes gently, forward. Who is Miles, when he's lost almost everything? Who does Miles become when he's no longer a brash 17 year old with a chip on his shoulder? We get to find out, and it's a joyous ride.
Miles Vorkosigan is one of the most engaging characters in all of science fiction. Until the surgery following his cryorevival, he had lived as a hunchbacked dwarf with a limp and bones so brittle a punch can break them. Now he is merely a straight-backed dwarf ("a couple more centimeters in height"). His bones have been "almost completely replaced by synthetics throughout his body." But no matter. He may be a little guy, but most people regard him as a giant. And the ladies love him.
A brilliant commander with a taste for tall women
What Miles lacks in physical strength he makes up for with a brilliant, strategic mind. Taking on undercover missions as Admiral Naismith, he has won "his way to premier status as Barrayaran Imperial Security's most creative galactic affairs agent." And despite (because of?) his appearance, he has had no lack of sexual experience. Miles has a taste for tall women, and they flock to him. One, a genetically engineered supersoldier, is eight feet tall. How that would work is beyond me. Whatever happens, they both seem to enjoy it. However, the supersoldier is simply a distraction from Miles' second-in-command in the Dendarii Fleet, Commander Elli Quinn. She's also tall. And they're in love.
A science fiction saga that's endlessly entertaining
The Vorkosigan Saga richly deserves the many awards it has won from both fans and writers. It easily ranks as one of the all-time favorite sci-fi sagas. Author Lois McMaster Bujold is inventive to a fault. Her writing is laced with humor. Although the circumstances about which she writes may stretch the imagination, her characters act in entirely believable ways. In this tenth book of the series, Miles' career as Admiral Naismith may have run its course. But this is not a big challenge for the author. Miles' transformation in this book is a perfect setup for subsequent volumes in the Vorkosigan Saga.
If you haven't started it yet, you might want to begin with _Shards of Honor_ , the very first of the Saga, or _Warrior's Apprentice_, which starts Miles' story. (Those are also my favorites.) Even if you choose to embark on your discovery of the Vorkosigan Universe at this point, you will encounter characters you will want to spend time with again and again. You will be absorbed by the history and culture of a world you can't wait to visit again. You will become involved in stories that are layered, intriguing, humorous and wistful.
I cannot recommend this book and this series enough.
Other books have needed to have divergent POV for plot reasons and have suffered in my opinion because of it.
The characterisation of Miles comes through without having to see his relentless personality from other people’s description. His inner monologues of doubt and despair are what makes this saga so special.
Characters who get their turn in other books are often resentful of Miles, dismissive or just plain don’t appreciate him or his actions. They only see the surface.
Yet secondary characters come through well in his eyes, Ivan, Gregor, Illyan and Galeni are all seen for who they are, even if he doesn’t analyse their strengths and weaknesses.
This is definitely not the place to dive into the Vorkosigan saga. The emotional impact of this story derives from an understanding of the complicated life that series protagonist Miles has built for himself over the preceding years and books. Read in internal chronological order, it packs quite a wallop.
There was one point at which I thought Miles was being uncharacteristically dense (though not nearly as dense as prior to the start of Mirror Dance, #9 in the series) -- but emotional factors might semi-plausibly explain his being a bit slow on the uptake.
The resolution is both satisfying and intriguing.