I lost several hours…

I lost several hours yesterday (including several precious sleep hours) to Bujold's latest, Cryoburn. Kevin stopped by at some point and asked how I liked it, and I said, "She's my favorite author." Which I'm not sure I'd ever really acknowledged before, but it's probably time. I think she holds the title pretty solidly, given that I've re-read her books close to a dozen times each, I think. Which is pretty scary. Some of them (like Memory and A Civil Campaign), I have practically memorized.

Umm...I might identify with Miles just a teeny tiny bit.

That said, this was perhaps my least favorite of hers. Miles didn't have enough at stake throughout the book, which made it all feel a bit rambly. And in fact, there was a certain thoughtlessness in his actions at times which actually did some injury to the characters who had the most at stake. I was disappointed to see that -- it seemed out of character, and made me wonder why Bujold had made that choice. I'm sure it wasn't accidental, given her general skill. Bewildering. I'm sort of hoping there's a payoff for that character shift in a later book.

Also, I was more than a bit frustrated by the way the parenting was handled -- Miles basically burbled over his perfect children who don't seem to have given him any difficulty at all, and there was an offhand reference to how insanely busy his wife was. She has four small children, a huge household staff to oversee, diplomatic duties as his wife and co-leader of their large district, agricultural supervision of the district, and a garden design business of her own. He dismisses it all in a sentence. Seriously??? I am really hoping that when we see them again, there's some kind of confrontation over the division of labor there, and some acknowledgement that superhuman effort is likely to lead to total breakdown if kept up indefinitely.

Overall, glad I read it, but most of this book I won't want to re-read (more than a few times).

But that said, the drabbles punched me in the gut. I bawled.

Can't say more without spoilers, but let's give fair warning now and say that if there are comments to this entry, there may be spoilers in them. From me, even. :-)

So glad to hear that she's sixteen chapters into an Ivan novel!!!

7 thoughts on “I lost several hours…”

  1. I have not read anything of Bujold’s although my wife really like her. I will always remember fondly, however, that she sent a pdf of an as yet unpublished novel to a terminally ill cousin of mine so he could read it while he was still alive. (He spoke to her at Denvention and asked her to do so.) He did read it, and was most pleased to have read it. As he predicted, he did not live to see the published version.

    My favorite authors are Nalo, Nnedi, Tom Robbins, and Erica Jong. I have a real problem ranking these four; I cannot say which one is my absolute favorite.

  2. I have realized that my above comment could have hurt your feelings. If so, I apologize. Be assured that you are high in the second tier, along with Asimov, Clarke, Robert Jordan, Heinlein, Mark Twain, etc.

  3. She’s in my top 5, for sure! LeGuin is my #1, but Bujold is probably #2.
    I haven’t read Cryoburn yet, have to get to my local independent book store (Yay Dreamhaven!)but I loved her last series, The Sharing Knife. I’ve lost track of the number of times I finished the last one just to restart the first! And I am with you regarding A Civil Campaign! The first time I read it I literally held my eyes open so I could finish the chapter about the dinner party!
    I so hope Bujold comes to WisCon 35!

  4. An Ivan novel?

    I did think that this was a minor work by one of my favorite authors, until the very end. I had read somewhere that she thought that this novel would need to deal with that subject at the end, and hope that she has another novel in her set back home that shows Miles’s family in all their glory.

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Yes, she was at a reading recently and told people that she was sixteen chapters into an Ivan novel. Exciting! I’d love it to be on Barrayar too. Or Komarr, even — would be interesting to see it, especially if Cordelia is continuing there.

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