Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

Vertigo

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Now we’ve got the romance stuff behind us this series has, at least for non-romance lovers such as myself, definitely improved. It’s also interesting to see how it has morphed from distinctly military biased SF to SF mystery thrillers, and quite successfully so. In fact I’d go so far as to say Bujold does mystery thriller better than she does military. In the earlier books I found myself frequently taking exception to the ‘military’ decision being taken in the stories; finding them frequently implausible and, in some cases, outrageous.

Cryoburn is very much a mystery thriller and a very good one at that, though it seems she still can’t resist engaging in a certain amount of heart string pulling with the inclusion of two youthful characters – one of which is a major POV – providing major doses of ‘ahhhh’ factor! The book doesn’t quite slide fully in YA but is very close to it and certainly could be comfortably read as YA unlike many of the previous books which definitely could not, particularly the torture scenes in Mirror Dance (if I remember correctly).

With a good story, good characters (despite the heart string pulling) and great pacing Cryoburn delivers a fast easy read. However this is the last of the series that I picked up on a deal a while ago and I’m just not sure whether I will continue as further new additions appear (the next one is due this month); 16 books in, I’m just not sure how much more Miles I want to read.

4/5 stars
 
Dammit, I'd quite happily given up on this series :confused:
 
Well as I said although I enjoyed this book I think I've now became a little jaded with Miles and probably won't go further. Especially as @Jo Zebedee has warned me it goes back into romance mode again!:)
 
I'll stick with the Foreigner series, I think! :)
 
Well as I said although I enjoyed this book I think I've now became a little jaded with Miles and probably won't go further. Especially as @Jo Zebedee has warned me it goes back into romance mode again!:)

It does, but Ivan's book is also a fast moving thriller-mystery and huge fun. As for Cordelia's book - it is slower than others but entirely reflective of one of the strongest female characters in sf. It is, I think, the book I found richest and which brought out elements of the series (mostly on a character level) which enhances it very much. I think to not read Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is to miss the most important book of them all, if not the best. @TheDustyZebra liked it very much, too - I wonder if she feels similarly?

Oh, and Miles is in both very, very little.
 
I'll stick with the Foreigner series, I think! :)
I have the first in that series coming up in my wish list very soon! :)
It does, but Ivan's book is also a fast moving thriller-mystery and huge fun. As for Cordelia's book - it is slower than others but entirely reflective of one of the strongest female characters in sf. It is, I think, the book I found richest and which brought out elements of the series (mostly on a character level) which enhances it very much. I think to not read Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is to miss the most important book of them all, if not the best. @TheDustyZebra liked it very much, too - I wonder if she feels similarly?

Oh, and Miles is in both very, very little.
Well I won't write it off for now. But it probably won't happen in a hurry... :)
 
Oh dear. I've not reached the end of Shards of Honor yet and I'm already put off by all the romance stuff.
 
To be fair it's only really bad in some of the books. Though I seem to recall Shards of Honor was a bit heavy...
 
Yeah I agree with Jo and Vertigo - Shards is definitely heavy on the romance side of it which does seem to get dulled down a lot when Miles gets centre stage.

Gotta love Miles.
 
Though it does come back pretty heavily in Komarr and A Civil Campaign.
It does, but it's handled completely differently and much more adeptly. Komarr also has plenty of action and political intrigue - and massive character development - and A Civil Campaign is a really clever take on the comedy of manners (which I think @Toby Frost might dig, actually) and is more comedy than romance. Neither is a conventional romance and definitely stay more on the sf side of the equation - which I'm not sure Shards manages. (But it was her first book and, as such, I think it's good to see where growth comes in)

Plus, the compendium they're in is called Miles in Love, so easy to know which books to skip.... :)
 
It does, but it's handled completely differently and much more adeptly. Komarr also has plenty of action and political intrigue - and massive character development - and A Civil Campaign is a really clever take on the comedy of manners (which I think @Toby Frost might dig, actually) and is more comedy than romance. Neither is a conventional romance and definitely stay more on the sf side of the equation - which I'm not sure Shards manages. (But it was her first book and, as such, I think it's good to see where growth comes in)

Plus, the compendium they're in is called Miles in Love, so easy to know which books to skip.... :)
Agreed! :)
 
That does sound interesting, Jo.

I think my main problem with romance as a genre imposed on another genre (so SF romance, say) is that it squashes characters. It turns rounded characters into "the person who is in love with X". This is undoubtedly my prejudice, but Cordelia seems like an interesting and exciting person of the Ripley variety until she's doing all the "Do I like him?" stuff. I'm fine with romance as a subplot - it usually feels more convincing to me like that, anyhow - but to me pushing the romance to the fore loses so many other interesting aspects of a novel.
 
That does sound interesting, Jo.

I think my main problem with romance as a genre imposed on another genre (so SF romance, say) is that it squashes characters. It turns rounded characters into "the person who is in love with X". This is undoubtedly my prejudice, but Cordelia seems like an interesting and exciting person of the Ripley variety until she's doing all the "Do I like him?" stuff. I'm fine with romance as a subplot - it usually feels more convincing to me like that, anyhow - but to me pushing the romance to the fore loses so many other interesting aspects of a novel.
Cordelia ends up as probably the strongest character in it - Shards does her such a discredit.
 

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