No swash-buckling space pirates in this novella, but instead our beloved Miles is sent by his father up into the red-neck mountains to solve a murder-No swash-buckling space pirates in this novella, but instead our beloved Miles is sent by his father up into the red-neck mountains to solve a murder--the hideous (but all too prevalent) crime of infanticide on an infant perceived as a mutant because of a birth defect easily corrected by modern surgery. Through his detective work, Miles is forced to prove to these old-fashioned and prejudiced people that what his short and broken body lacks in physical strength, his mind more than makes up for in mental acuity.
The end of the story (as usual) is most touching, and I had forgotten how this becomes the thing that fuels Miles to serve his nation going forward....more
I love Miles Vorkosigan, the precocious, ingenious, and vertically challenged offspring of Aral Vorkosigan and Cordelia Naismith, of Shards of Honor aI love Miles Vorkosigan, the precocious, ingenious, and vertically challenged offspring of Aral Vorkosigan and Cordelia Naismith, of Shards of Honor and Barrayar. This is the first story where Miles takes center stage in the Vorkosigan Saga--his coming of age, as it were. In essence, after failing to get into the illustrious Barrayaran military academy, Miles and friends go to Beta Colony for a visit to his grandmother. But it's not long before Miles leads them into a hair-brained scheme, delivering contraband in the middle of a war zone, (view spoiler)[where he ultimately finds himself the accidental leader of a mercenary space fleet (hide spoiler)].
I really love parts of this story. I gave it four stars though, relative to many of the other episodes in this series. There are some moments, in The Warrior's Apprentice, where the pace fluctuates a bit too much and loses momentum, so that I'm not eating it up and turning pages like crazy, as in other Miles stories....more
This was definitely a story that I really enjoyed during the first read-through and didn't at all mind re-reading it when it was included again in a later omnibus collection. Miles's first meeting with Taura the genetically modified "super soldier" teenager werewolf is delightful and hilarious. Even in eight years between my first and second reads, I remembered enough about the hilarity to anticipate this meeting, although the details had certainly grown vague enough that I was as delighted my second read-through as I had been on the first....more
I originally read this short novel back in 2008. Reading it for a second time, this year, I'm surprised at my original rating of three stars. I definiI originally read this short novel back in 2008. Reading it for a second time, this year, I'm surprised at my original rating of three stars. I definitely must have enjoyed it a lot more on the second go-round. I would say it is one of my least favorite installments. But with the whole series being so dang phenomenal, that still doesn't put it on a very low rung.
Perhaps I enjoyed it more on the second reading because all this character backstory (backstory to Miles's life) means so much more to me now, having read much of the rest of the series. Like the birth of little Ivan, for example, is much more meaningful when I know what kind of role he plays in Miles Vorkosigan's future.
A woman's life-long struggles with her disfunctional mother. Something about it just did not draw me in, despite the fact that I love listening to memA woman's life-long struggles with her disfunctional mother. Something about it just did not draw me in, despite the fact that I love listening to memoirs in audio. Perhaps worth giving another chance. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood....more
This first(ish) book in the Vorkosigan series is essentially a prequel that takes place some 200 years before the true Vorkosigan story line begins. IThis first(ish) book in the Vorkosigan series is essentially a prequel that takes place some 200 years before the true Vorkosigan story line begins. It is the story of a genetic experiment by an enterprising space company with the intended purpose of saving them money on the costs of maintaining human staff on their various space stations. That experiment is the genetically modified human Quaddies. With four arms and no legs, they are meant to flourish in the harsh environment of space station free-fall. Unfortunately, news has spread that a gravity manipulation device has finally been discovered and released onto the market, meaning the days of free-fall are soon to be obsolete. And, now, so are the Quaddies. The best thing for the company is to set aside the "failed" experiment as quietly and cheaply as possible. But not all of the staff of the project agree with this plan.
Funny, light-hearted, and well-paced. I love this book and really all of Bujold's sci-fi writing. Certainly deserving of the Nebula award. A must-read.
I read this book first back in 2008 as a stand-alone, and then again in 2016 as part of the Miles, Mutants, and Microbes omnibus collection. Thoroughly enjoyed it both times and was surprised how much I didn't remember, during the re-read....more