Read Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold Online


Forced to abandon his undercover role as leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries, Miles Vorkosigan persuades Emperor Gregor to appoint him Imperial Auditor so he can penetrate Barrayar’s intelligence and security operations (ImpSec). Simon Illyan, head of ImpSec and Miles’ former boss, is failing physically and mentally, and Miles sets out to find out why -- and who, if anyone,Forced to abandon his undercover role as leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries, Miles Vorkosigan persuades Emperor Gregor to appoint him Imperial Auditor so he can penetrate Barrayar’s intelligence and security operations (ImpSec). Simon Illyan, head of ImpSec and Miles’ former boss, is failing physically and mentally, and Miles sets out to find out why -- and who, if anyone, is behind Illyan’s rapid decline. Library Journal calls Miles “one of the genre’s most enterprising and engaging heroes”. A Hugo and Nebula Award finalist....

Title : Memory
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9782290052303
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 509 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Memory Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-05-11 18:13

    a colleague asked me a series of questions while we were out drinking the other night, questions like So what's next for you? and Is this all you are planning on doing with your career? and Is your current job how you want to be defined and does that actually give you satisfaction? I found myself annoyed then defensive then offended. what gave her the right to question me, I've accomplished a lot in my job and in my life, yes I am content with my career and why the hell shouldn't I be, blah blah blah. in the end I realized that I shouldn't have been offended because I think she was asking me those questions because she was asking herself the same. and so I calmed down and we continued to get drunk while philosophizing on the choices we've made and the nature of our existence blah blah blah.I think some people like to live in boxes. I am such a person. I love my box, it's a safe and comfortable one and I've spent a lifetime constructing it. my box is one that gives me genuine satisfaction and the feeling that I am doing only what I want to be doing with my life. but I think other people resent and reject the idea of a box; they prefer to live in what can be called a "liminal space" - that space between, that place of ambiguity and movement and looking towards what comes next. you can look at your goals in life and try to come up with a plan or timeline to achieve those goals. or you can look at your goals and see them as constantly in flux, in movement depending on where you are, liminal. or you can look at yourself and realize that you are actually not a goal-oriented person. I think all of those are different kinds of boxes. I think my colleague may this book, Memory, is about those sorts of things. despite opening with a character getting his legs shot off and ending with a high-stakes trap for a devious villain, this is far from an action novel. it is a thoughtful story about who we are, why we are, the boxes we construct, the identities we create for ourselves and the separate boxes those identities live in, how our identity/identities can become dominos or houses of cards falling if something or someone takes those boxes away. Miles Vorkosigan's dual identities of mercenary fleet commander and aristocratic peer of the realm have always been bubbling in the background throughout his stories; in this novel they finally come to a head. Bujold does a superb and moving job in delineating who Miles is, and was, and can be; she gives the mundane, all-too-common situations of making errors & trying to cover up your tracks, losing a job & so losing a part of your identity, a palpably emotional resonance. she does all of that and then she doubles down and gives us another ongoing character, Simon Illyan, going through a similar thing but in an entirely different manner. Miles is the sort of character who assertively rejects the idea of a box and who insists he lives in a liminal space - but who has actually been constructing two boxes to live in, and has actively not been living in the space between, in that liminal space. Simon is the sort of character who has constructed his own perfect box - one that makes his career equal his actual self - only to find that box dismantled and his sureness of purpose and self destroyed as he moves into a purely liminal space. it is fascinating comparing the two sum, this is a wonderful novel about figuring out that who you are does not equal your job or your birth name or any specific, singular role or title; rather, it is the sum of all such things, and your experiences, and your internal workings, your actions and your potential, your ability to change or not change, and so much else. you = not easily summed up in one word.I love that this space opera is all about these 'mysteries' that every human experiences. I know when I pick up a Vorkosigan Saga novel that I will be enjoying some action and some intrigue and some political maneuvering and maybe even some romance. standard space opera pleasures. but I also know that I will be enjoying a human tale about actual human beings and the things that happen in life, to everyone. it is that last sentence, that particular quality, that makes this series so special.

  • Evgeny
    2019-04-27 01:35

    A buddy read with Choko and Maria.I gave none of the books of the series 5 stars despite the fact that I like it a lot. The reason for this is that you can predict what would happen in the next book by the time you finish the previous one. So in the last book it turned out Miles began having unpredictable seizures. Anybody wants to bet where it goes in this novel? Right, his complete inability to lead his mercenary fleet. And thus Miles ended up grounded - a result of not one, but two big miscalculations of his both originated with his medical condition mentioned above.Miles was grounded in his home planet and his home estate currently populated by a security guard and a feral cat. After a lot of brooding (and I do mean - a lot) he recalled he was a High Lord and as such had some obligations towards his people. Trying to help a friend he stuck his nose where it did not belong and after a little time realized he might have bitten more than he could chew. People familiar with the character know that if he has a chance to speak he can and will talk his way out of practically any sticky situation no matter how life threatening it is. As you can imagine from the above description the book is a big departure from the previous usual space opera genre with space ships shooting at each other and individual people doing the same and Miles emerging victorious. This time it is more like a detective story - after our hero was done with his brooding which happened just before the middle of the book. Do not expect the grand mystery of the type which would keep Agatha Christie awake at night guessing the identity of the culprit as it is fairly obvious from the beginning and it does not give much credit to Miles that he did not see it right away. It - the mystery - serves its purpose though.Miles developed as a character. In this context it means the series moved from action space opera into interplanetary politics territory. It is good? Time will tell. Sufficient to say that for now the rating is very firm 4 stars, although I thought about lowering it to 3. Can you guess the part which tempted me? Right, brooding part. Long brooding part. Very long brooding part. Extremely long brooding part. Extraordinary long brooding part. I hope you got the idea.

  • Choko
    2019-05-21 19:20

    *** 5 ***A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria because we love Science Fiction!!!Wow! I always knew that this series is special, but books like this one, emotional and poignant, are what make this series AMAZING! Miles Vorkosigan, at the beginning of the book as his alternate persona Miles Naismith, Admiral of the Dendarii Mercenaries, is in trouble. After being criogenically preserved and subsequently restored back to life, is suffering with seizures as a complication of his rushed defreezing. Knowing that if his superiors find out they will ground him to planet, Miles is hiding his seizures, until one of those happens during a rescue mission and he almost kills the person he is supposed to be rescuing. He attempts to hide the truth in his report knowing nothing good could come of it, and is urgently called back to Barryarr. Quinn is mad with him, Elena and her husband seem to be saying goodbye, Wolf-girl is the only gentle, calming influence he has on his trip home, but even she goes her own way once they land. An empty house stuck in the past awaits him and he is terrified that another seizure could overwhelm him at any moment... Miles is already melancholy when faced with his boss Simon's questions and he chooses the wrong answer. At this moment the world he has created for himself crumbles around him and life as he knows it is changed irrevocably. I wanted to scream, to shake him and make him take all the bad choices back! I wanted to cry, having been a witness to one of the most heart-wrenching, embarrassing, world-changing moments for two people who obviously have a lot of love and respect for one another. Simon's deep disappointment, Miles' realization that he really, really scrued up and can't dig himself out of the pit he buried himself into, and the knowledge that either one would give anything to change it, but their honer would not let them, this was one of the most emotional and memorable scenes I have come across in a very long time. The strength of this moment and all together the series comes from the deceptively simple prose and straight forward approach to storytelling. I LOVE this author!!!From there on the story becomes one of people loosing the image of who they are, the loss of the things they build their self-identity around, the understanding of what makes them individuals... Miles and Simon are forced to say goodbye to the very constructs the rest of the world has come to know of them and try to survive the total defragmentation.... Neither man is ready to deal with it, but life doesn't pull its punches and while turning 30 years old, Miles has to not only survive, but find debts in himself he was not aware of being there... He is pushed through the hump of self-destruction by his friends, the people whose lives he had impacted, and his very useful connections with people in high places... What makes him go past existing and toward recreating himself from foundation up is the desire to find out who he really is and use that to refortify the circle of support he takes responsibility for. This is why his first step to rebuilding is to take care of Simon who is in trouble himself.... I loooooved Ivan here! He is such an unassuming dude, who has figured out early in life that if you play clueless, people tend to not pile up responsibilities on him, and playing dumb is even better. But he is a Vor and he is smart and reliable, so he has stopped being able to fool his cousin and aunty:-). Cordelia is one of the greatest female characters ever, so the only complaint I have there is not enough page time!!! Gregor shines as a very smart and capable leader, but I didn't feel comfortable with him poaching on another, despite it being what the girl wanted too. The mystery, which seemed like the skeletal structure on which the character development was propped up, was OK, but the star of the show was the complete breakdown and subsequent rebuilding of Miles and Simon. We got to say goodbye to many things, which broke my ❤, but the story left us with promises of things to come, and I am looking forward to reading every step of the way! Although this book was slower and more contemplative, it is just as intense and palpitations inducing as the others, only planet side and a tad melancholy. Hope you all give this series a chance ☺!Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a Good book!!!

  • thefourthvine
    2019-05-03 18:30

    This is my favorite of all the Vorkosigan books (although, oh my god, don't start here; you have to read all the ones that came before it to appreciate it), because in it, Bujold does something very difficult very well: she massively changes the main character of an ongoing, established series.Series tend to stagnate because authors don't let their characters develop in any but inconsequential ways. Bujold has never had that problem; Miles has grown up over the course of the books he's in, developed, become a real adult. But it became obvious, in the novels preceding Memory, that Bujold had written herself into a corner: Miles couldn't develop anymore without major changes to his life and his character. And Bujold makes those changes, and pulls it off. I really don't want to spoil this here; if this is your thing, I want you to read it, see how she does it. So I will just say: wow. This is an impressive novel - fun plot, good pacing, strong narrative, and a character reboot done right. (And, to be honest, I wish I'd stopped reading the series here; this would've been the best ending note in all the world.)

  • Bradley
    2019-05-08 23:33

    This next novel is probably one of the most cogent and subtle of the stories, or at least it was probably one of the more profound. Loss took on a brand new spin this time. Loss of identity, purpose, and even his alternate life. Simon's tale was as interesting and heartwarming as it was also full of loss. How both of them got back on their feet was the main impetus of the story, although it was hardly a straight line. In Miles's case, it was part happy accident, a realization that he needed to make up for his mistakes, and the need to do what was right. Fortunately, he could call in some major chips to speed him along the right path.It was an enheartening novel, and infinitely less flashy than some of the previous ones, but probably one of the most satisfying.

  • Clouds
    2019-05-22 21:35

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my GIFTS AND GUILTY list.Regardless of how many books are already queued patiently on my reading list, unexpected gifts and guilt-trips will always see unplanned additions muscling their way in at the front.A few weeks ago I came down quite suddenly with the Norovirus which has swept across the UK this winter. One minute I was in bed complaining of a slight stomach ache, the next I was passing out on the bathroom floor after hurling into the sink, bath and finally toilet. My wife had some big exams coming up, so rather than nurse me she threw a bag and the baby into a taxi and went to stay with friends.Because I couldn’t even keep water down, I quickly became dehydrated and my fever spiked. Have you ever had fever dreams? Weird aren’t they? I work for a finance company and had recently finished Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold. I was having very vivid dreams, trying to explain to Tyrion Lannister that I couldn’t approve his loan because he’d recently left his position as the King’s Hand, and we couldn’t lend to unemployed customers. I also had to turn down Daenerys Targaryen because she didn’t have three years residency in Westeros. Once reality had reasserted itself (and my body would accept water again), I still needed a couple of days of quiet recovery. This book was a way down my reading list, but it was the one that found its way into my shaking hand and kept me company between my many naps. If you’ve never read any of the Vorkosigan Saga:1) You lucky person, you have such a treat waiting for you – they’re great!2) Don’t start with Memory.This is very much a transition story. Up to this point Miles has been a quirky (but brilliant) space adventurer; a pintsize aristocrat officer working as an undercover intelligence agent, posing as a mercenary admiral. In this book – that all stops.So if Miles is no longer Admiral Naismith, who is he? That’s the central question of this book. Everybody is moving on with their lives – Elena and Baz set the tone at the start when they tell Miles they’re retiring from the mercenary fleet to start a family, and then Emperor Gregor is falling in love too! Miles has been through so much, and what (aside from his wits) has he got to show for it?The pace and intensity is lower here than some of the previous adventures. This is a lot more of a reflective, contemplative Miles that we’re used to. But he still needs an adventure, he can’t just brood – and the story here is predominantly a detective case, investigating who sabotaged the memory-chip in Simon Ilyan’s head (Miles ex-boss). But this slower pace is no bad thing – Bujold is a character-centric writer, and taking her foot off the gas with the plot twists allows her time to dig deeper into the cast’s psyche – something she does very well indeed. I often find that my state of mind plays a huge part in how much I enjoy a book. Recovering from the Norovirus could have been a very tiring and lonely time – but Miles Vorkosigan has joined that elite group of fictional characters who feel like old friends in my head. He was going through a tough time in Memory, and I was doing likewise in Cardiff – it felt like we helped each other through it.My admiration for Bujold grows with each and every book I read. I've got Komarr lined up a few books down my reading list and I'm certainly looking forward to it!After this I read: Thomas

  • Milda Page Runner
    2019-05-19 02:13

    I'm puzzled at the high rating in Goodreads. One of the weaker books imho.Frankly half of the book nothing happens. Brooding and depressed Miles is no fun. It doesn't help that we're stuck on Barayar.Half way through we finally get some action due to new case. But the culprit is quite obvious for the reader if not to Miles..."Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.""You go on. You just go on. There's nothing more to it, and there's no trick to make it easier. You just go on.""What do you find on the other side? When you go on?" She shrugged. "Your life again. What else?""Is that a promise?"She picked up a pebble, fingered it, and tossed it into the water. The moon-lines bloomed and danced. "It's an inevitability. No trick. No choice. You just go on.""Have you ever come home, to a place you've never been before?

  • Maggie K
    2019-05-22 23:22

    Best. Miles. Yet.I screwed up my sleep patterns for this book, and it was worth it. Just saying.I thought the last entry did some great character changes, with Miles injury and Mark's metamorphis. But here, Miles is in full-on identity crisis, and we also get to see Gregor making some life changes as well. I loved that, because Gregor is such a big part of their lives, but is not seen as much. So it was great to see him in such a happy place. Of course, their actions in moving on with their lives are going to create some other changes. Illyan, Ivan and Elli most notably.Bujold seems to handle this in stride, with new characters moving in, and the old moving not off, simply offstage. It creates great scope to this great story.

  • Becky
    2019-05-15 19:31

    This is not space opera, this is a mystery set in a science fiction world starring Miles Vorkosigan. Luckily I like mysteries and I like Miles (he's turning into one of my favorite fictional characters) so the book worked for me. It reminded me a bit of a Jhereg novel by Steven Brust, in fact, what would it take to get a Brust/Bujold crossover novel? Now, THAT would be a book for the ages!

  • Jacqueline
    2019-05-09 22:22

    Listening to this series all out of order according to what I can find at the library. I continue to love this author's writing style and to love Miles of course.

  • Jim
    2019-05-20 20:14

    This is well matched with the previous book chronologically. The last one explored Mark's psychology & life, this one deals with Miles. I liked it a lot better. Mark's had a lot of repetition, concentrated mostly on the few items we already knew of his past & his reactions to them over & over. While there wasn't any new information on Miles, he's a much better documented & a much more complex character. He very believably gets himself into & out of the trick bag on a regular basis, the main fun of this series. In this story, it's even better done than normal, though.Bujold has done a great job of setting up the situation & does even better with the solution. (view spoiler)[ The Imperial Auditor position is new to the series, well introduced by the description of the old one while our attention is mostly on Miles meeting his victim. Even on my first read, I remember thinking this would be a perfect position for him, so when it is offered,(hide spoiler)] it seemed a natural growth rather than pasted on.She also allows the characters to grow, change, & generally move through life. (view spoiler)[ It's been obvious for some time that Admiral Naismith & Lord Vorkosigan can't coexist forever. Cordelia's worries about what would happen to Miles when he had to choose (She says 'give up the little Admiral', but that could be wishful thinking.) & his affair with Quinn have made this point for 2 or 3 books now.(hide spoiler)] Their decisions are often hard ones & some are just a shame, but that just lends them more reality.All in all, I'm very pleased with both the book & the series. No matter how you count it, there have been about 10 books so far. Most series go stale for me long before now. This one is like a soap opera, dragging me along to see what happens, then adds some new wrinkle that I want to see to the end. As usual, it was very well read. I'm on to the next one, Komarr.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2019-05-01 19:27

    Well, Miles has put his foot in it good this time...whatever shall he do????? Why come up smelling like, well if not like roses at least not like that solid waste stuff that's always hitting the rotary impeller whenever he gets involved.If you've followed Miles from early on in his "life" and like me have enjoyed his adventures then you won't be let down here. While early on I found these books occasionally hitting "speed bumps" where the story slowed down over time and installments of the saga that were better than others. While these aren't always exactly action filled speed rides they are enthralling reads.Here we're moving into a new facet of Miles life and carrier. We see further development in not only the over all story and plot(s) but in the characters themselves. Lives change in this one and we get not only a new adventure but the setup for and beginning what will follow.This is a good book, a satisfying addition to an excellent science fiction series.

  • Maria Dimitrova
    2019-05-17 19:35

    Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD! It's time to turn a new page in the Vorkosigan Saga and Memory is the transition point. When you read the books in the chronological order the reader can predict the initial events in the book with ease. It's a painful way to give Miles a much needed kick in the behind. Miles had reached the top as Admiral Neismith and sometimes I think that deep down inside he was no longer satisfied with that life. Why else would he sabotage himself so badly? Especially since he knows how good Simon's network of spies really is. Yes, it was painful to watch and even though I've read the book many times I still wanted to smack Miles on the head and save him the pain.Memory is a book about moving on, forgiving yourself, accepting that not all screw-ups can be swept under the rug and that you won't always be able to turn defeat into victory. It's also about friendship and loyalty, about honor and reputation - a recurring theme in the series one that will be explored yet again very soon. And now it's time to let Lord Vorkosigan shine and to move to my favourite part of the series - Miles's adventures as a Lord Auditor :DThis is my favourite book in the series, not because of some outstanding writing or originality plot-wise but because more than a decade ago I picked up this book at a secondhand books stand while mindlessly browsing the boxes filled with books. I had no idea it's part of a series, thanks to the ridiculous way it's published in my country, but I thought it looked interesting. Little did I know that I've just picked a book from what would eventually become my very favourite series, one I reach for when I'm feeling particularly down or when I can't get out of a reading slump. Back then my English was awful, I had no idea ebooks existed and most of the books were publish before I could even read! As a result finding the rest of the series was one hell of a challenge and even now there's still some books I don't own a physical copy of.

  • J.
    2019-04-28 19:14

    The Vorkosigan saga has been praised by far more able (and thorough, and patient) keyboards than mine, for its quality of characterization, depth of thought, and consistent readability. It effectively utilizes the themes, techniques, and tropes of the science fiction, adventure, mystery, and romance genres. It's generally gotten better with each book I've read; the books layer themselves on top of each other like animation cels, gradually revealing a picture of more and more color and complexity.And while most of the characters are well-developed, it is Miles, the protagonist for most of the series, who must be the most fascinating of them all. Poisoned in the womb, he was born brittle-boned and stunted, subject to extreme prejudice on his mutation-abhorring home planet of Barrayar. Pressures societal, parental, and internal fused him into a singular presence: hyperactive, persistent, reckless, sometimes bitter, often brilliant, seesawing between unimpeachable confident mastery and hopeless flailing, with an amazing ability to make the latter seem like it had been the former the whole time.In Memory, that ability deserts him. And it sends the saga reeling into uncharted territory like a soldier spaced out the air lock.Well, that may be a bit melodramatic. Memory does not abandon Miles, or destroy the series structure, quite so completely as that. But it seems like it might, for a while - if you were unaware of market pressures, of the "rules" of narrative, of the fact that surely Bujold must love her character at least as much as any of her readers - you could imagine this being it for the "hyperactive little freak," as Miles' enemies (and exasperated friends) have occasionally referred to him. It isn't. But the book does call Miles to account for the past ten years of questionable behaviors thus far excused by his luck, connections, and oddball charm. It interrogates his life so far. It makes him answer for it.And it is not, not really, a spoiler to say that Miles' answers are ultimately satisfactory. More than satisfactory. His pressures finally threaten to crush him, but he emerges from the crucible stronger, more principled, more secure. Far from perfect, but more himself than ever, not defeating his demons, but coming to terms with them. He doesn't do it alone - he has friends in very high places - but he does do it. I'm glad to know this character through Bujold's fiction, to witness his struggles, and to see how indefatigably he wrestles with the insoluble questions of life, striving for honor, happiness, and meaning. The novel isn't going to resonate like this for everyone; we don't all vibrate at the same frequency. But I'm still ringing.----------------------------------------------------------------------(Read the earlier books first. I started with Shards of Honor in the Cordelia's Honor omnibus, but you could start with The Warrior's Apprentice in Young Miles if you just want the Miles books. Also, I wrote this review right after finishing the book, and I may have gotten carried away. But if a book can get me carried away, look, that says plenty right there.)

  • Laurel
    2019-05-12 02:22

    I have dearly loved all of the Miles books, for a number of reasons. This one ranks as my favorite. Why? I laughed, snickered and guffawed out loud more times than I can remember, and was genuinely moved by Miles' decision to lay his Peter Pan existence aside, in order to grow up. I have gone through a similar experience these past months, perhaps that is why the book resonates so deeply with me. For both Miles and myself, the change was unexpected, and our lives are moving in a direction that could not have been predicted, but we're moving forward. And I'm, like Miles, not at all unhappy about it. But whatever the reason, this chapter in the Vorkosigan saga is my most treasured.

  • Laura
    2019-05-08 00:09

    I think Bujold is showing off. The previous book is awesome space opera with great fight scenes. Also, violent sexual perversity, human trafficking, torture, and some truly disturbing things involving . . . . Yeah. Don’t want my name associated with it on a google search, come to think of it. I don’t think there’s a single fight scene in this whole book, except maybe when Miles has to extricate his dress boots from closet where a cat has had kittens. He spends much of the book in a depressed funk caused by loosing his heart’s desire, loosing imperial permission to be the little admiral Miles Naismith and sail beyond the sunset having wacky adventures. Poor guy, left with nothing except his likely position as third in line for the throne on a world where most people think he’s a dangerous mutant; fabulous wealth; and heavily armed men to take care of him. He drinks whole lot for a while there. Like the guy said, though much is taken, much abides. Miles finds something to do. He finds a role. Not what he would have picked for himself, but something worth doing. As different as this book is from its predecessors, Miles is still Miles. Instead of Miles as cosmic adventurer, this is Miles as detective. Even without the huge sweeping awesome fight scenes, the conflict is still there. It’s just being fought in falsified paperwork and misdirection. Ten books earlier, Miles’s father, on orders of the emperor, does something horrible to stop a worst horror. Then he goes home to drink heavily. Miles’s mother was a scientist and soldier on the other side who becomes tangled in the plot and ultimately defects to keep certain sacrifices from being in vain. 30 years later, Miles has an opportunity to get everything he ever wanted, on the cost of keeping a particular secret and letting a particular man be sacrificed. He chooses not too. It’s an interesting parallelism. For a series that started out space opera, it’s got some real moral nuance.

  • Michael
    2019-05-17 00:28

    This highly satisfying read represents a fine apex point in a space opera series. It can be read alone as it represents a synthesis and resolution of the risky strategy taken in prior volumes by its protagonist Miles Vorkosigan in forging an alternative life to surmount his physical handicaps and restricted choices in the ruling class of a hereditary aristocracy. Miles in his youth finds a way to thrive as the leader of a mercenary fleet tasked with undercover operations for the Imperial space navy and excels in diverse adventures in a galaxy of several competitive human empires connected by wormholes. In this tale, his epilepsy after his recovery from severe injuries and battlefield cryopreservation forces him to return home. His depression over leaving his undercover life behind is turned around when he becomes engaged by a crisis surrounding a sudden medical problem of the Imperial intelligence director. The action is thrilling and fun without resorting to shoot-em-ups one might expect from this genre, and the development of Miles' character and that of others that richly populate this tale are successful in both emotional engagement and humor.

  • André
    2019-05-13 20:36

    How did I ever live without Lois Bujold in my life.

  • Lilia Ford
    2019-04-29 20:34

    This is a transitional book in the series, basically detailing how Miles goes from being the outrageous and colorful Admiral Naismyth back to the less spectacular and far more Barrayaran Miles Vorkosigan. This entails some fairly close psychological work from Bujold, which isn't exactly lacking, but definitely does not play to her biggest strengths--majestic set-pieces that blow you away with the brilliance of the plotting. The opening half can feel slow and a bit depressing, but the story picks up as Miles gets caught up in the mystery of Simon Illyan's illness. While that subplot is satisfying, it does not possess the sense of larger consequence that some other plots have--for example Mark's rescue of the Jackson Whole clones, which felt like it was building over many volumes in multiple contexts. Simon has always been a favorite character, but we don't really get a strong sense of him here, which is too bad, though it does a good job setting up his role in later books. Bottom line: this will never be a favorite, but it does give an intimate look at a major turning point in Miles Vorkosigan's life.

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-04-30 23:29

    Here we are at the bridging point between Miles' two careers. One, as admiral of the Dendarii Fleet, Naismith. The other? Well, if you're reading through them and haven't jumped ahead and seen, I'll leave the other to your discovery.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  • Stephen
    2019-05-02 20:35

    4.5 stars. I am a big fan of this series and this is one of the better installments. Excellent character development (which is tough to continue to do for a character that has already appeared in so m any novels). Highly recommended. Nominee: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1997)Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1997)Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1997)

  • Jon
    2019-04-25 18:30

    Miles turns thirty and thirty hits back ... hard. This will be a short sweet review lacking in many details because nearly everything and anything I say will be a spoiler. Miles walks through some of his deepest, desperate valleys and climbs to new heights of integrity, honor and satisfaction. I stayed up late and woke up early just so I could keep reading. One of the best installments in the Vorkosigan Saga. I highly recommend it to space opera fans.

  • Katie
    2019-05-12 23:26

    So good! It was nice to take a break from the action/adventure for a more character focused book. It was both heart wrenching and uplifting - and disturbingly familiar watching careers crumble and people having to find their true self and proceed on with their lives.

  • rivka
    2019-05-08 22:31

    Would have been worth 5 stars for the followup to Mountains of Morning alone -- but that was fairly early in this marvelous book. And possibly not even the best part.

  • Leseparatist
    2019-05-02 22:34

    It was a treat, with everything in just the right amount, no boring action sequences, a clever mystery, search for identity, cameos from all the old favourites save one, great pacing and astonishing warmth on all the margins and edges. Simon <3 Aral <3 Cordelia <3 Duv <3 Alys <3A lot of shipping and kittens.It's a pity it doesn't really make sense to read it without reading everything else, first, because otherwise it would be a great way to get people to read Vorkosigans.

  • MTK
    2019-04-26 23:25

    Πόσο από τον εαυτό σου θα θυσιάζες για να αποκτήσεις αυτό που θέλεις; Η απάντηση που δίνει η Bujold σε όλη της σειρά των περιπετειών του Μαϊλς Βορκόσιγκαν είναι "Το μόνο που δεν μπορείς να θυσιάσεις για την μεγαλύτερη επιθυμία της καρδιάς σου είναι η ίδια η καρδιά σου".

  • Rosario (
    2019-05-06 02:34

    This is many readers' favourite in the Vorkosigan saga, and by the time I finish reading the series, it may well be mine. I'm going to try to not include spoilers in the review below, but I will need to be, well, spoilerish to properly discuss anything!In Memory Miles faces the fall-out of some of what happened to him in Mirror Dance. Or rather, he tries not to face it, and his efforts lead to things going horribly wrong for him, and in front of Simon Illyan, too. Miles is left to face the consequences of his actions while stuck in Barrayar. But in the midst of a fog of misery, he finds a mission when Simon's memory chip goes wrong. Something about how ImpSec is dealing with it doesn't sit well with Miles, and he feels it his duty, both to the Emperor and to the man who's been like another father to him, to get to the bottom of things.I was sure at the beginning that the book was going to be about how Miles got back this life he had created and that meant so much to him. It wasn't. It was about Miles becoming a whole person again by coming to terms with the Lord Vorkosigan part of his character, realising that he'd put his all into his Admiral Naismith persona and neglected what is actually a huge part of his character. The way this was done was just perfection. First there's the crisis. That, while painful to read, had me thinking back to my secondary school literature classes, when we studied classical tragedy. Miles' downfall is not external. It's not something that happens to him, but something he does to himself. It's inevitable, being who he is. It all had the whiff of hamartia (the "tragic flaw" in the protagonist's character so many classical tragedies are based on). But, and here's a big difference, here this is just the start, not the conclusion. Miles' reaction to seeing his life crash down on him is all about growth and change. There were some elements in his actions that I expected (his doggedness, his determination to do what is right), but his resilience and willigness to change the very course of his life surprised me (just as much as it did Cordelia, which I thought was a nice touch. She'd been coming across as almost supernaturally perceptive about her family in previous books, so it was good to see that some of Miles' depths were hidden from her, as well as from the reader).That change in Miles' life marks a change of direction of the series as well, which is a move that I find hugely admirable. It's much easier to just keep giving readers more of what they want (have got used to?). More books about Miles having entertaining galactic adventures, again and again. It's much tougher to do what Bujold does here and change -and bring readers fully with her. It felt at the end of the book that this was a necessary change, both for Miles and for the series, and absolutely the right move.Memory is much more understated in the adventure side than previous books, but that didn't mean it lacked excitement. There were plenty of emotional highs and lows, and the stakes were extremely high, easily as high as in previous books.There's a bit of romance here, not for Miles, but for several characters I love. That was all lovely, both sweet and funny. We also get a mystery plot in Miles' ImpSec investigation. That is not just something for him to do while he comes to term with his new life, but an interesting, clever mystery in its own right. I feel quite proud that I figured it out right ahead of Miles, but because there was so much book left, I thought there might be a few more twists and turns left. Turns out not, the mystery is resolved earlyish, and we get an extended aftermath, a bit like Jane Austen does in her novels, where all the conflict has been resolved, but you get more about how things work out for people. I actually loved this, although I must say I did get the impression I should have had stronger feelings about the final scene with Elli Quinn. The thing is, I found it hard to believe this was a hugely emotional thing for Miles. I never felt he really loved Quinn, a feeling strengthened by the revelation early in the book that Miles has also been sleeping with Taura all along, in a sort of friendly way. That was the only tiny bit of the book that I didn't think perfect, but it's a small flaw!MY GRADE: An A.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-30 19:28

    Summoned home to Barrayar to follow up on an incident where he might have accidentally cut the legs of the Imperial Courier he had just rescued, Lord Miles Vorkosigan finds that his own integrity is not the only thing awry. Simon Illyan, Chief of Imperial Security (Imp Sec) is having trouble remembering things, which should be impossible, as he was implanted with a special memory chip thirty years ago.Illyan becomes incapacitated and is hospitalised. Paranoid to a fault, the Barrayaran Imperial Security forces suspect sabotage and, in the time honoured tradition of Imp Sec, Illyan’s successor, Lucas Haroche, is charged with solving the case of Illyan’s (perhaps) attempted murder. Due to his current state of disgrace, Miles is barred from visiting Illyan. One would think Haroche would know better than to tell Miles he cannot do something. Miles finds a way into Imp Med and onto the case and then solves it. There are a couple of twists and turns along the way, but the question of who buggered with Illyan’s implant is merely the plot of Memory 1997 book by Lois McMaster Bujold and not the whole purpose.I fell in love with Miles Vorkosigan the moment I met him, and he is one of my favourite literary heroes. I embarked upon my Vorkosigan journey several years ago by reading the books in order of internal chronology, rather than publication. Then I skipped ahead to read CryoBurn, which halted my progress for a while. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the earlier novels. The later release of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance cemented the ‘Vorkosigan Saga’ as perhaps my favourite space opera, however, and reminded me that I had missed certain pivotal events.Reading a series out of order does come with the possibility of spoilers, but discovering the why of something can be as exciting as arriving somewhere unprepared, as Miles might say. In Memory, Miles’ foremost adventure is through his own psyche and he is unprepared for what he finds. As Illyan fights to remember the last five minutes, Miles trips down memory lane in pursuit of a very illusive target: himself. Recent changes in his career path leave him spinning or rather spiralling through the depths of despair. We’ve seen Miles depressed before, but not quite like this. He becomes still. Miles, still, is disturbing. Really, really disturbing! Instead of constant action, there is a lot of thought and self-examination.I loved every minute of it. Memory covers a turning point in Miles’ life and it's so sensitively and wonderfully done. It's nothing short of perfect. I wept in so many places because I was so touched by both Miles’ thoughts and actions and the way Bujold handled an obviously beloved character. I also enjoyed the chance to see Illyan and Miles interacting outside of Imp Sec. The fishing trip would have to be one of my favourite scenes, ever.Without knowing Miles as well as I do or profess to, as a fan, I might not have enjoyed this book as much. This one definitely can’t be read out of order. But, without having skipped ahead to read 'Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance' first, I might have missed several subtleties. One of the joys of reading a series, in order or otherwise, is the in-jokes between the characters, and the author and the reader. Memory is full of such moments and they are wonderfully rewarding.Ultimately, though, the reward for reading Memory is seeing Miles rediscover himself or the self he discarded thirteen years ago in pursuit of his alter ego, Admiral Naismith, and adventure with Dendarii Fleet. At the age of thirty, Miles Vorkosigan finally grows up but he doesn’t change all that much. He simply accepts himself, all of himself, and he is still Miles. He still has a whole life ahead of him.As he says toward the end of the book, ‘I am unprecedented.’His father makes the only proper reply, ‘This is not news, Miles.’Written for SFCrowsnest.

  • Melissa McShane
    2019-04-25 18:31

    This is my favorite of the Vorkosigan books, and one of the best. I know, A Civil Campaign is funny and heartwarming and popular, but Memory is powerful, and it isn't until you read it the second time (and of course you will read it a second time if you liked it at all the first) that you realize how brilliantly Bujold changes Miles's trajectory without making his former life pointless OR drawing attention to the fact that she'd reached the end of what she could reasonably do with the Dendarii Free Mercenaries. Keeping a long-running series going is hard, and at this point Miles is thirteen years older than he was in The Warrior's Apprentice. He's changed, dramatically in some ways, and he needed his career to change with him.There is just so much going on in this book--Miles's life imploding by his own hand, the plot centered on Simon Illyan, Gregor's long-awaited romance (it makes me squee with happiness)--and it's all beautifully choreographed to fit a single overarching plot that ends with Miles being a much better man, in a position perfectly suited to who he's become. I can't express how impressive it all is.And listening to it on audiobook this time (I don't remember how many times I've read this book, but it's way more than two) made me aware of how many of my own writing tics I picked up from Bujold. I have no idea why, because I wouldn't have named her as my primary influence, but it turns out I was wrong about that. Moving on to Komarr, which suffers by comparison--my feeling is that it exists to provide the setup for what Bujold really wanted to write, which is A Civil Campaign.

  • SA
    2019-05-20 19:26

    "Miles Learns About Second Careers. And Honor."I actually like the tagline from the GR page: "Miles hits 30, and 30 hits back." That's pretty true! I really, really liked the costs of the type of career he's lead to this point, and the agonizing decision he makes between accepting, finally, the reality of his Barrayaran service or jumping ship to be Naismith full-time. That felt very real to me. I also adored the transition Miles makes as he starts to reclaim his identity, and by extension his patriotism. For anyone who's had a life-change, nay, life-threatening injury, you go through a lot of internal reviewing and personal change (not even necessarily growth) as you work through what it means to be yourself, your new self. To see that reflected in Miles' experience was extremely gratifying. I enjoyed, despite it being awful, the whole story around Simon. It was a great mystery, and the terrible costs but incredible freedom the situation caused for Simon was note-perfect. I loved seeing Miles and Simon's relationship, which was only given in passing in the first seven books, fleshed out and given dimension. I loved Simon and Alys. I loved Simon gracefully coming to terms with how his life was, and how that paralleled and illustrated Miles' own challenge with the same situation. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooved Ivan. God, I love that jackass. Once the Lord Auditor route was pointed out in the story, I realized that, finally, there was Miles-as-detective a number of people had described the books to me as. And yet it was all the better to have waited that long. It was certainly a more interesting journey. This was just a great book, and such a strong follow-up to Mirror Dance. What a delight to be back on Barrayar after so many intergalactic adventures.