Komarr Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Those who are new to the series should stop right here. Please, please, go back. At the very least, start with Mirror Dance. Better still, go back to Shards of Honor (the story of how Miles's parents met).
Nearly all the books in this series (beginning in terms of internal chronology with Falling Free) are about a brilliant young aristocrat turned mercenary admiral, Miles Vorkosigan/ Naismith. What is different about him, apart from his uncanny luck, is his physical disabilities. Miles Vorkosigan (the "Vor" is a nobiliary honorific on his home planet, Barrayar) was born badly crippled and stunted, thanks to a poison gas attack on his pregnant mother.
At the beginning of his career, Miles manages to pull triumph out of disaster, bluffing his way through major crises. [Read The Warrior's Apprentice and The Vor Game for details]. He later undergoes a life-changing experience after meeting his clone, who has been created by his father's enemies.
In KOMARR, Miles has shed his old career and his Naismith identity to become an Imperial Auditor (a high-ranking investigator of sorts). This book combines Miles-as-investigator with Miles-as-suitor. Except that the romantic interest Ekaterin Vorsoisson [nee Vorvayne] is already a wife, although she is married to an immensely selfish and irresponsible man Etienne (Tien) Vorsoisson. In the past, Miles has attempted to persuade at least two serious prospects to marry him and become Lady (and in the future, Countess) Vorkosigan.Read more ›
Hopefully, that shows the order of importance in the events of this novel. Yes, this is a romance. I know I keep saying this in the Vorkosigan books, but it's not your normal romance. Ekaterin, for one thing, is unattainable at the moment. There is no bodice-ripping scenes, no "I must have you!" confrontations. There is a rescue, but even that's not like normal rescues. Bujold has a way of avoiding these types of clichés in her writing and it's refreshing. It is almost cute how this romance develops. Miles has a crush on her almost from the first moment he sees her. At first, she can't get past his obvious physical differences from normal men, but she learns in time. Miles tries to do things to please her without betraying how he really feels. It's adorable.
Bujold writes her characters very well. They are all believable. This includes the main villains of the book. As Miles and the other investigators start tracking them down, their motivations are well-established.Read more ›
So Komarr is essentially two novels, one of intrigue and one of romance. In the intrigue portion, Miles is always one step behind the saboteurs reluctant to use his authority when using it would interdict the saboteurs well before the novel's climax. The romance is somewhat predictable.
Women writers typically write better about men than men do about women. If the reader didn't know that the sex of the writer then the reader might reasonably assume that a man had written the portion of the novel written from Miles vantage. However, few men could write the segments from Ekaterin's viewpoint. I found that I was in foreign territory in much of the novel dealing with Ekaterin. It was instructive to say the least.
The novel has some interesting science fiction (although it is vague), suspense and a thunderous climax. It is slow moving however. If Komarr was the best of the series, I probably wouldn't be tempted to read any more but I have read that it is one of the weaker entries. Komarr covers familiar ground but with an interesting and human perspective. It's worth the read if character and setting take precedence over action.
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed reading this book. But, I can see the writing on the wall. It looks like from now on Bujold is going to focus more on Mile's romance and personal activities instead of... Read morePublished on Aug. 13 2003 by illiandantic
It's impossible to choose a "favorite" Vorkosigan book, but a great many days, this qualifies. Superb plotting, believable characters who tug your heart. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2002
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2002 by A. Trotter
As Miles Vorkosigan novels go, this is one of my favorites... clean writing, tight plotting, amazingly taleneted and tragically flawed characters, and of course the introduction of... Read morePublished on May 30 2002 by Dave Stagner
I couldn't resist coming to see whether other readers noted the same thing that bugged me; but once here, I found I didn't have the patience to read 70-odd reviews. Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2001 by Kay Kelly
Miles Vorkosigan has been trying to get a Lady Vorkosigan of his own for a long time. But really, who would be strong enough to stand up to him? Read morePublished on April 6 2001
Once again, Bujold enfolds us in the continuing adventures of Miles Vorkosigan. This time he's off to a neighboring world, Komarr, to investigate the destruction of a solar... Read morePublished on April 1 2000 by E. A. McCombs
This book starts off full tilt with a half-destroyed solar array, then picks up the pace! There are only three problems with Ms. Read morePublished on Jan. 17 2000 by Ralph Smalley