Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

December Books 8) Cryoburn, by Lois McMaster Bujold

By a very fortunate quirk of my reading list, I had reread Mirror Dance immediately before starting Cryoburn (which by the way I read in electronic form, downloaded from the publisher's website, though I will still go and get a paper copy). Cryoburn is very much a sequel to Mirror Dance, though I guess it will stand on its own, set ten years later, on a planet which isn't even mentioned in the earlier book, and with only Miles Vorkosigan, his cloned brother Mark, and a couple of other characters carried over.

The setting is Kibou-daini, a largely Japanese world where the inhabitants tend to freeze the dead and dying n the hope that they can eventually be revived when advances in medicine allow for their potential cure. Bujold has put some thought into the economics and political culture of how such a society might operate (if you're not definitely dead, what happens to your assets? to your vote?) and untangling the ramifications of how it might go wrong accounts for the majority of the plot. Miles Vorkosigan arrives in this situation because of a potential threat to the interests of the Barrayaran Empire, though rapidly gets involved in the local politics; the viewpoint characters are Miles himself, his bodyguard Armsman Roic, and a local boy whose mother turns out to be central to the plot (ie both the story and the conspiracy). As usual the story is witty and well-paced; it's also, at 350 pages, relatively short (Mirror Dance was over 440).

And there's a sharp twist at the end, but enough about that. An excellent read, and a welcome return to the Vorkosigan universe.
Tags: bookblog 2010, hugos 2011, writer: lois mcmaster bujold

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