I first heard about Saga a few years ago when the first two volumes were included in a graphic novel Humble Bumdle I purchased. I remember flipping thI first heard about Saga a few years ago when the first two volumes were included in a graphic novel Humble Bumdle I purchased. I remember flipping through the first few pages and didn't feel compelled to continue, so it has sat languishing on my harddrive since then.
When Volume 3 got nominated for the Hugo, I had made up my mind to not vote for it since I had not read Volumes 1 and 2, and thought there was no way I could vote for something that isn't a stand alone. So I made my way through the rest of the other Hugo noms and had pretty much decided on my vote when I borrowed this book from a friend.
And it blew me away.
So sorry, Sex Criminals. You lost my vote to Saga.
There is so much going on in this story. It's a bit strange to have this truly alien world peppered with things that are 100% human and meant to be recognizably human, and if the story had been a little less well done, would have seriously annoyed me. But I fell headfirst into the story and loved every second of it. I loved the characters. I loved the utter ridiculousness of parts of it. And I loved the bits about morality and ethics and war and peace.
Now I know why everybody had been talking about how amazing Saga is for years. Because it truly is amazing and worth every word of praise it's received....more
This is a book I find myself re-reading every few years. Even if I don't re-read others in the series, I will pick up this one. It has the distinctionThis is a book I find myself re-reading every few years. Even if I don't re-read others in the series, I will pick up this one. It has the distinction of being the first Vorkosigan book I've ever read, despite it being 12th in the series. It says something about Lois's ability to hook a reader that despite the obviousness that there was stuff that happened before, I was fully invested in the characters now.
Re-reading this, I fell in love with it again. This was Bujold at her finest. There is political machinations, romantic intrigue (of a sort), Miles being Miles, and Ivan shines and proves he is not nearly as incompetent as his much more competent relatives see him as.
As an aside, poor Ivan. He's always seen as the slow one, but that's slow in relativity to those around him: Miles, Aral, Cordelia, his mother for heavens sake! I'm sure Ivan is actually quite brilliant by ordinary standards but he doesn't often has a chance to shine given his much brighter relations. This book allows the reader to see him coming into his own.
Also, butter bugs. Gotta love the butter bugs. And Roic....more
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Hugo voting packet.
I'd been hearing good things about thisDisclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher as part of the Hugo voting packet.
I'd been hearing good things about this book for a while, and then all of a sudden, the buzz turned into a low roar. It was nominated for every major literary award in speculative fiction and won the Locus. So, I was eager to dig into it and see what the fuss was about.
This was utterly charming. The pace isn't fast. There's not a strong A-plot. The characters are many and the names and titles are dizzying to keep track of. But I still liked it a lot. (Enough to give it my vote for the Hugo? I'm not sure about that.)
I saw this as less an epic fantasy and more a coming of age story for Maia, who is thrust from obscurity into the confusing court life as he is crowned emperor after the sudden death of his father and older half-brothers. He must learn to navigate the court, politics, and society while learning who he is.
Despite the slow pacing, the book was completely compelling. Maia is thoroughly likable and sympathetic, as are many of the secondary characters. There were many times I just wanted to reach in and give him a huge hug.
The complexity of the world building was breathtaking. It was obvious that Addison had a clear handle of her world, from the different hierarchical titles, the rigid court traditions, the background mentions of other cultures and ongoing conflicts, etc. It was utterly fascinating and I really do hope she writes more in this world, even if it's not with Maia as the main character. I would love to see more of it....more