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Memory [Mass Market Paperback]

Lois McMaster Bujold
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1997
Military genius, Miles Vorkosigan has been lying about his weaknesses and is summoned home to face the Barrayan security chief, Simon Illyan. But when things begin to go wrong inside Imperial Security itself, Miles finds that guarding the guardians becomes both necessary and potentially lethal.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

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. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Miles Vorkosigan, secret agent extraordinaire and hero of six previous Bujold novels, has made a serious error. Not entirely recovered from the near-fatal injuries sustained in Mirror Dance (1994), he has a seizure while in combat, nearly wrecking the mission. Worse yet, fearing that he will be removed from active duty, he has falsified his report to Simon Illyan, the chief of Barrayaran Imperial Security. Illyan, who has perfect memory due to a computer implant, catches Miles in a lie and so must dismiss him from the Service. Devastated, Miles contemplates suicide. His career as a secret agent has propped up a damaged psyche; can he now live on his own? The Vorkosigan series started out as fairly lightweight space opera, but Bujold has matured as a writer over the years, and in such novels as Barrayar (1991) and Mirror Dance has both moved away from straight action and shown increasing skill as a delineator of character. Now, both Miles's strengths and his weaknesses come into play as he must struggle first with his own failure and then with a mystery that may have a potentially devastating effect on Barrayar itself. Not long after dismissing Miles, Illyan, who holds the safety of the Empire in his hands, begins to forget things and make serious mistakes himself?and only Miles, now a civilian with a serious medical disability hanging over his own head, has the knowledge needed to deal with impending disaster. Three novels in this series, including Mirror Dance, have won a Hugo for Best Novel; expect a nomination, at least, for this compelling new one. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow June 4 2004
Format:Hardcover
Fans of Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan saga will probably enjoy the personal growth of the series' hero in "Memory." Miles, cashiered from his beloved military for lying about a serious incident precipitated by one of his seizures - an aftereffect of his cryo-resurrection - falls into a depression on his home world, the rigidly class-conscious Barrayar.
And then nothing much happens for the next 200 pages, until the precise and unflappable Simon Illyan, head of Imperial Security, begins acting peculiar.
Miles' self-appointed task is to get to the bottom of what has happened to Simon and who is responsible.
Bujold invests her characters with plenty of wit and charm, and Miles' investigation uses standard mystery techniques against a space-opera background, but the solution to the mystery will be obvious to most at least a hundred pages before Miles gets it.
Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable read and Miles reaches a major new turning point in his career before it's over.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Be still my pounding heart... July 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This goes into my favorite of Bujold's books (and they're all great) along with _Barrayar_, and _Mirror Dance_. A great book for anyone just starting to read about Miles or those who are continuing the saga from earlier books. A book you'll want ot read again and again! It has a great complex plot, deep and unique characters who will get you attached, a bit of romance, and a great who dunnit mystery!
The suspense is just... outstanding. It's one of those books where you'll stay up all night attempting to finish it, and when you can't you'll allow yourself a few hours sleep before you begin your mission anew. So suspenseful you'll want to flip ahead just to ease the pounding of your heart.
It's also deep. Like Bujold's earlier books, it's not just about plot. It's about each character striving with his/her own demons and discovering new things about him/herself. Both Miles and Illyan are thrown down further than they thought they could go and have to find that they can go on, even if it hurts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Be still my pounding heart... July 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This goes into my favorite of Bujold's books (and they're all great) along with _Barrayar_, and _Mirror Dance_. A great book for anyone just starting to read about Miles or those who are continuing the saga from earlier books. A book you'll want ot read again and again! It has a great complex plot, deep and unique characters who will get you attached, a bit of romance, and a great who dunnit mystery!
The suspense is just... outstanding. It's one of those books where you'll stay up all night attempting to finish it, and when you can't you'll allow yourself a few hours sleep before you begin your mission anew. So suspenseful you'll want to flip ahead just to ease the pounding of your heart.
It's also deep. Like Bujold's earlier books, it's not just about plot. It's about each character striving with his/her own demons and discovering new things about him/herself. Both Miles and Illyan are thrown down further than they thought they could go and have to find that they can go on, even if it hurts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Miles grows up Jan. 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Following his death in 'Mirror Dance', Miles finds that there are complications to his recovery - complications that lead to near-disaster on a Dendarii mission. Rather than revealing all to Simon Illyan, Miles attempts a cover up. Found out, he is released from military service. The 'little admiral' must now cease to exist.
It is time for Lord Vorkosigan to come into his own, as a crisis develops over the life of Simon Illyan, as Simon's memory chip appears to go into meltdown. Miles is forced to take drastic action, with the aid of the Emperor, action which ultimately leads to his redemption. And finally Lord Vorkosigan gets a little of the respect that is due to him for his service.
Much less action in this book than previously in the series, the main point of interest aside from trying to work out who if anyone is the baddie here, is the internalisation of Mile's struggle to integrate Admiral Naismmith and Lord Vorkosigan into 'Miles'. The battle is internal and at one hilarious point also external. It is something very different from the previous books in the series, and clearly key to the next phase in Miles' life. He really comes into his own here, and the conflict is ultimately resolved peacefully, if not without losses.
A great addition to the series, if a little slower paced and with less external action than usual. It's about time Miles matured - it will be interesting to see where he goes next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story, a step above her others Nov. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all the Vorkosigan books and there's always been enough going on to raise them above simple space opera fluff. So many authors that write multiple books with the same characters can't manage to keep them fresh. But Miles continues to evolve and grow. I think this book will be more meaningful to people who have read the others but it's much better than her first couple of books, so I'm not sure what to recommend as a starting point. Barrayar maybe which won a Hugo.
I've been a fan of these since grade school (I'm 14 now) but this book amazed me so I just had to give it a review. If you read for characters read these books. This one in particular is a deeply character-based story and I was surprised I liked it so much. I usually like things with more action but I was riveted as I watched Miles screw himself over. It was just so utterly human. So many authors don't get how to make their characters human but Bujold is a master of this. When her characters mess up you cringe. When they triumph you cheer. Her ability to evoke that much passion in me is what makes me give this 5 stars.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles screws up! Another brilliant novel by Ms Bujold
Miles came away from Jackson's Whole with a couple of minor problems. It turns out they were more serious than he thought, and yet he rises above them once again.
Published 3 months ago by Robert T. Boyter
4.0 out of 5 stars The transition of Miles
Miles returns to the living but suffers from seizures that effectively ends his life as Admiral Naismith. Read more
Published 20 months ago by shirley chan
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant !
I started the Miles series early this year. At the end of Diplomatic Immunity, I just need to choose my favorite. Memory is definitey my choice. Action may be light in this book. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by R.Parklane
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but shouldn't be your introduction to Miles
The previous and subsequent reviews seem fairly comprehensive. However, I urge any new Vorkosigan readers to begin with an earlier book - either Cordelia's Honor (about Miles's... Read more
Published on May 14 2004 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The big 30 hit back
One of the darker books in the series but none the less its a Bujold book and that means "the best" the 4 stars is compared to her work, compared to others it would bea... Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by LaughingLion
5.0 out of 5 stars When in doubt
I've owed a review on this book for years. Just this past week, I realized that when I'm scared, I read Dick Francis for reassurance and when I face an ethical decision, I read... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by Peggie Duggan
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Vorkosigan Novel
When I first figured out what Miles was going to do to resolve the initial dilemma of the book, I started yelling at the book "NO! NO! DON'T DO IT! Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2003 by David A. Lessnau
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites
While this book could probably stand on its own, I think it's best suited for those who have followed Miles through all his earlier adventures. Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by Jo Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Bujold forevermore
Mrs. Bujold has two great strengths: 1) Letting her characters deal with a various assortment of highly interesting situations (and they will not necessarily make the best choices,... Read more
Published on July 25 2003 by Andrea Mayer
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Character, Mediocre Detective Story
You can start with this book in the series, although I strongly recommend reading some of the prior books first.
The main protagonist gets a rude and overdue wake-up call. Read more
Published on April 18 2003 by "khryindle"
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