Diplomatic Immunity Audio Cassette – Jan 1 2008
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|Audio Cassette, Jan 1 2008||
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Fans won't find this surprising in the least, but Miles Vorkosigan--the plucky, short-statured hero of Lois McMaster Bujold's beloved series--is uniquely incapable of having an uneventful honeymoon. Between a racially fueled diplomatic dispute, the appearance of a hermaphroditic old flame, and a bizarre Cetagandan genetic conspiracy, Miles just can't seem to get a minute of peace with his new wife, the lovely and resourceful Ekaterin (whom Miles courted in A Civil Campaign).
Miles had hoped to give "hands-on op games" a rest once and for all, but when the Emperor urgently calls on him to resolve a "legal entanglement" in Quaddiespace, diplomacy alone might prove inadequate. (Quaddies, you'll remember, are the no-legged, four-armed free-fallers introduced in Falling Free.) Our newly minted Imperial Auditor almost immediately forgets all about "Baby's First Cell Division" (after the assignment comes in, Ekaterin quickly observes "You know, you keep claiming your job is boring, Miles, but your eyes have gone all bright"), but even Miles feels the heat after his diplomatic attempts devolve into a series of flattering assassination attempts.
Vorkosigan (and family now!) is as winning as ever, with Bujold offering up her usual fun mix of space-opera action and droll social commentary in a character-centered plot. And here's a bonus for Milesophiles and Vorkosiga novices alike: a book-by-book timeline detailing what trouble Miles got into and when. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Those who have followed Bujold's superb far-future saga about the undersized and unorthodox warrior, Miles Vorkosigan, will heave a sigh of relief as our hero and his beloved Ekaterin enjoy wedded bliss (including looking at "baby pictures," i.e., a sperm fertilizing an egg) on a belated galactic honeymoon until a diplomatic crisis intrudes. As a Barrayaran Imperial Auditor, Miles must look into a murder whose investigation is complicated by the boorish behavior of the Barrayaran military. When the case develops a host of new angles, Miles wonders, "How many angles can dance on the head of a pin?" A seemingly straightforward crime leads him to mass murder, kidnapping, hijacking, biological warfare and Cetagandan genetic politics, all on an orbital habitat of the quaddies (the genetically engineered four-armed humans introduced in the author's Nebula Award winning Falling Free). Preventing interstellar war is a tough job, but fortunately Miles has his lady working beside him, in the best tradition of Nick and Nora Charles or Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. As usual, Bujold is adept at world-building and provides a witty, character-centered plot, full of exquisite grace notes such as the description of quaddie ballet (hint: four arms and no gravity make many things possible). Established fans will be thoroughly gripped and likely to finish the book in a single sitting. While this isn't the best place to start for new readers, they'll be helped by a concise chronology at the end that neatly sums up Miles's earlier adventures.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The major disappointments are that it's so short, that we don't get to see any of the story from Ekaterin's perspective, and that, uncharacteristically for Miles, he doesn't manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. (Survival, yes, but I wouldn't exactly call it a victory.) There are also some subtle indications here and there that Bujold was paying less attention than usual to canonicity. In particular, she has Miles and another character reminiscing about their "dim and distant past", which was, I'll grant you, four books back, but only about two years ago in internal chronology.
Still, this is Bujold, and Bujold at her worst is still better than 90% of the stuff on the shelf.
The book begins with Miles' and Ekaterin's honeymoon (see previous two books on the bizarre and hilarious development between the two), and we find out that they are about to have twins - in replicators, of course, Barrayar no longer being barbaric since Miles' mother set foot on the planet. It is not long, however, before Miles gets a direct order from Emperor Gregor to deal with a "situation" that has developed in Quaddiespace, concerning Barrayaran soldiers and a Komarran merchant fleet.
Miles, as Lord Auditor, begins investigating into the strange events of a missing soldier, and a subsequent jailing of a bunch of Barrayarans and the Quaddie space committee's decision to freeze all port activity on Graf Station. Miles arrives in his usual style: arrogant, self-assuming and nosey - all the characteristics that have (sort of) kept him alive so far.
Unexpectedly, he meets up with Bel Thorne, Miles' previous right-hand man/woman of the Dendarii Mercenaries who has taken up a position as Port Master to be with her lover Nicol. Strange events begin to take place when they meet another Betan hermaphrodite and an odd genetic mutation from, where else, Jackson's Whole.Read more ›
I think by this stage in the series you should have read more than one of the Vorkisgan books proceeding this one, but I suppose it could be read as a stand alone tale, as references to Mile's former Dendarii career are brief - with the exception of the fact that Bel features throughout the book, in a new role. However there are many such references, and there is no doubt that the back knowledge of events added to my reading.
Two family themes - Miles is expecting children of his own, and the ongoing collection of those that he regards as his family, blood ties or not. When his life is in danger, there is now a real sensation of loss for Miles, and in a way (until it is dealt with) this interferes with his performance. He has so much to lose, and with each family addition it grows even more...
The book ends on a real high, and I have the uncomfortable impression this may be Mile's last story! No, please no!
Miles is 32.
Many individuals and situations turn out not to be what at first they seem, but in the end, Miles unscrambles the complex web of deceit and treachery, engineers the capture of the bad guy, returns what was stolen, helps save the career of one who turns out not to be as bad as he at first appears, prevents a war, and restores cordial relations between Barrayar and Quaddiespace; and still gets home to Barrayar in time for the birth of his and Ekaterin's first two children. Whew!
Altho you can enjoy "Diplomatic Immunity" thoroly without, I recommend reading "Falling Free" first so you will know (for example) why Graf Station and the Minchenko Ballet are so named.
Once you read any one of the Miles Vorkosigan adventures, you will surely want to read all the rest of them, and you will be eagerly awaiting the next one.
Most recent customer reviews
When fate and ImpSec intervene to send them off to resolve difficulties in Quaddie Space. Old friends appear surprisingly, and the puzzle is complex.Published on May 28 2014 by Robert T. Boyter
If you aren't already a fan of Miles Vorkosigan, please, please, do yourself a favor and start earlier in the series. Read morePublished on July 8 2004 by Amazon Customer
I have been reading this "series" for years. Ms. Bujold writes in great depth on multiple complex levels - politics, leadership, relationships, diplomacy, and of course... Read morePublished on June 10 2004 by Amazon Customer
I've read most of the series, and despite disagreeing with some of Ms. Bujold's political and social views I find her books universally compelling and entertaining. Read morePublished on April 22 2004 by Jon L. Jacobi
A friend of mine has been recommending this series to me for several years now, but recommended starting with one of the other books, which my library didn't have. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2004 by S. Petty
Love A Civil Campaign & the book right after it, Diplomatic Immunity? Through the magic of out-of-order authorship, we can now go back and enjoy the period *between* those two... Read morePublished on Jan. 24 2004 by tahl2
In *Diplomatic Immunity*, Lois McMaster Bujold returns us to Graf Station, scene of her early non-Vorkosigan novel, *Falling Free*. Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2003 by jimnypivo
While I love Miles books, this one had a bonehead error: Miles is looking for someone who can produce synthetic blood. Read morePublished on Oct. 26 2003 by Deirdre Saoirse Moen
Let me begin by saying I am (& remain) a huge Miles fan. I have enjoyed (& occasionally re-read) every one of the previous books. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2003
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