Jenny's Library

Reading Round-up 2013: week 22 – Adult Novels

Posted on: November 16, 2013

cover image for Miles Mystery and MayhemCeteganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

When Barrayar’s spymaster, Simon Illyan, sends Miles and his cousin, Ivan, to Eta Ceta IV for the funeral of the former Cetagandan Empire, he expects Miles to keep his eyes open for useful information.  He didn’t expect Miles to get wrapped up in a murder investigation.  Neither did he expect Miles to fall in love.  Although, this is Miles, after all, so he really should have.

I’m not sure that I disliked this novel, but I’m not really sure I liked it either.  The mystery wasn’t that bad, but Miles was very tedious in this book, especially when he was dwelling on his current crush.  Mostly, I kept wanting Cordelia back and spent most of my time reading it hoping the rest of the Miles books would be more like The Warrior’s Apprentice and less like this one.

cover image for Ethan of AthosEthan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold

Dr. Ethan Urquhart is from Athos, a planet made entirely of men.  As Chief of Biology at the Severin District Reproduction Center, it’s Ethan who is sent off planet to find and bring back ovarian cultures when their latest – and much needed – shipment turns out to be not what they ordered at all.  Much to his dismay, he’s quickly noticed by Eli Quinn, who takes him under her wing when Ethan finds himself in unexpected trouble.

Absolutely brilliant.  As much as I love Cordelia and all the novels she’s in, this is story by Bujold that I most often want to tell people to read.  It’s funny and intriguing and has wonderful, wonderful lines about gender and family and reproduction and child care.

cover image for LabyrinthLabyrinth by Lois McMaster Bujold

Miles mission is to smuggle one of the top geneticists out of Jackson’s Whole.  The only problem is, Dr. Hugh Canaba has conditions, of course, and one of them is to collect a sample of one of his creations, and then kill it.  No problem right?

My eyebrows went up more than once while reading this, and I mean that in a good way; this story has just the right amount of ridiculousness for a Miles book.  Also, I definitely liked Miles love interest in this story much better than I liked his crush in Ceteganda.

cover image for The Vor GameThe Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold

Having just graduated from the Barrayan Military Academy, Miles Vorkosigan awaits his first assignment, hoping for a post aboard ship – any ship will do, as long as he’s in space.   Instead, Miles is assigned to the always frozen Kyril Island.  And he’s given an ultimatum: he must manage to follow the chain of command for six months.  If he does, he’ll get the ship duty assignment he wants so badly.  Fail, and his future as a soldier is uncertain.

The second half of the book is good fun and full of characters that I love to see, but it’s the first half, the time Miles spends on Kyril Island – and his choices there – that really stuck with me.  This is a Miles that’s willing to sacrifice his own dreams in order to do what’s right (although, of course, he does it in typical Miles fashion).  I rather like this side of Miles, and there are times when he gets a bit absorbed in the chase that I rather wish I could reach into the book and make him sit down and talk to this Miles for a while.


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