Book Review – Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold
My Rating: 5 Stars
I do not know if this is the last, Miles Vorkosigan story Ms. Bujold will give us, but it provides a satisfying conclusion. What I like most about these books is that her characters are given admirable human traits. They are not comic book action heroes; they are good people.
In this book, there is, of course, Miles. He is noticeably more mature in this book than in previous ones in the series but no less willing to take on a seemingly quixotic task, pursue it with manic obsession, or bend rules to see that right is done. You still don’t want to cross him.
Roic is Miles’ bodyguard and his main function seems to be shaking his head in disbelief when his employer does something especially dangerous, risky, or inexplicable. He’s a minor character, a sidekick, but a good one.
Then there is Jin, an almost Dickensian waif living on a rooftop with a menagerie of pets. He may be almost too stereotypical — poor, honest, and a bit suspicious about the intentions of grownups, but he’s a good kid and you have to like him.
Books like music, food, and probably most other things, are a matter of taste. Personally, I like a character driven story. If I’m going to spend several hours with fictional characters, I want them to be people I would like to hang out with in real life. Ms. Bujold provides those.
The only gripe I really have about the book is the production. I have the first paperback edition published by Baen. It is not an attractive book. The gutter and margins are too narrow, almost to the point of being difficult to read, and the last twenty or so pages are previews of unrelated stories from the same publisher. It is as though they’ve tacked a commercial on the end.