Brothers in Arms Prime –

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10 thoughts on “Brothers in Arms

  1. says:

    A buddy read with Choko and Maria.

    In the last novella (chronologically) the Dendarii mercenary fleet took some serious beating and manage to get a mighty Empire seriously pissed off. The result: there was a really nice juicy reward for Miles Vorkosigan aka Admiral Naismith and the fleet had to escape into a remote peaceful place for much-needed repairs.

    From the moment I began reading the series I wondered what happened to good old mother Earth.
    Here my question was finally answered as the remote peaceful place happened to be our own planet - its future version that is. Miles being Miles, he stumbled right in the middle of conspiracy involving his own Empire; a long way from it I might add. Once again because this is Miles we are talking about this happened to be his least significant problem. His payment for the last job disappeared somewhere and he had no money to pay for the repairs and medical treatment of his injured crew.

    He also had to keep himself and his alter ego Admiral Naismith as two separate people; it would take pages and paged if I try to explain the complications resulting in people realizing these two are the same person. So he had what he thought a brilliant idea and explained that Admiral Naismith is his illegal clone. This brought even more severe (and almost lethal) unexpected complications to Miles' life.

    My personal opinion is that this is one of the weakest books of the series so far. I almost gave the book 3 stars, but some events in the very end made me raise the rating and believe me: I grumbled a lot doing it. It seems my low opinion is echoed by at least one of my buddy readers as Maria mentioned 3 stars as well.

    You might have guessed the good parts: interesting plot, great characters, and equally great locations (hey, I think our planet is severely underrated in a lot of space opera books). My job here is to talk about weak parts. Miles brooded too much for my tastes and these parts brought aforementioned exciting plot to a screeching halt.

    There was one cliche of literature used which was old at the time they began writing The Epic of Gilgamesh. We all know and really hate this one: a good guy captures a bad guy after lots and lots of troubles, looks at him, takes a pity and lets the baddy go only to get stabbed in the back by him a couple of pages later. One example of such would be Elric of Melniboné; I am sure any reader can come up with his own.

    The set up of this book gives me an idea I can predict exactly what would happen in the next one and somehow it lowers my enthusiasm about that read. I hope I am wrong though.

  2. says:

    *** 4 ***

    A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria because we need some FORWARD MOMENTUM!!!

    Gosh, what can I say about this Universe where Miles Vorkosigan rains supreme? IT IS AWESOME!!!

    Yes, yes, as I said in my review of the previous book, I passed from the level of an objective reader to the zone of fan-girl subjectivity. I am a fan. So, take my review in the spirit in which it is intended, which is just to gush over my love for the genius of Louis McMaster Bujold and her unfailing ability to write a story full of action and intrigues, but most of all a story full of heart and charm oozing of the pages.. It has gotten to the point where if I had to choose a literary world I would like to spend time in order to feel good and emerge with some positivity from, this is the world I would choose any time! And I am not sure what makes me feel this way, because there are plenty of bad things happening and vileins running around causing trouble..

    This book Miles, Quinn and Ivan all end up on old Earth at the same time. The Naismith mercenaries need a break, the heavily wounded need medical care, the ships need repair and supplies, and Miles has to get the money to do it all. Supposedly the Barrayaran Empire's ambassador should have a check for them, but that would have been to easy and Miles gets stuck at the Embassy indefinitely. It would have been OK if he didn't have to keep on playing the role of Admiral Naismith and lieutenant Vorkosigan at the same time, trying to keep his cover and not give out the information that they are really working for Barrayar. So he comes up with a story that Naismith is a clone of Vorkosigan gone rogue seven years ago... Now if only the story could stick....

    Of course things got complicated, of course everyone tried to kill him and the suspects were numerous. Nothing ever is easy for the little dude. He even had some semi-successful attempt at getting himself laid, but that has not been a true problem as of late, has it?:-)

    The story introduced a new character who I am sure we will hear from again - to good for soap opera like machinations for the author not to use it again, despite many feeling like it is a cop out plot device. I don't mind as long as we get more of our Miles and the crew!!!

    Once again, the moral dilemma of the hour is cloning and the effects it has on both the clone and the one cloned. What would you do if you were faced with the existence of a second you, as close to a copy as it could possibly get. Do you want to get to know them, bring them into the family, use them for parts? And as always, the author handled it graciously and with no judgement. I love this author!!!

    Now, to all the fans of lighter Sci-fi and adventure, I whole heatedly recommend this series!!! Try it out, I think you might be pleasantly surprised:-)

    I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need in the pages of a Good book!!!

  3. says:

    So, the juicy gossip is - Miles finally gets laid. I won't confirm or deny - you 'll have to read it and find out for yourself :P

    Another engaging (mis)adventure with Miles, that starts seemingly simple and grows complex enough to require his brilliant mind to solve it. Maybe less humorous than the previous book as trouble hits too close to home, but still a fun read.

  4. says:

    so how tall is Tyrion the Imp anyway? I think Miles Vorkosigan is well under 5 foot. both characters are brilliant, idiosyncratic, lovelorn, and really full of themselves. I always thought that Tyrion was a complete original but there's a lot of Miles in him and Miles came first, right? I suppose it doesn't matter who came first, what matters to me is that these are two of my favorite creations in all of genre fiction. well I've always had a fondness for short guys with big brains. Miles actually calls himself a genius again, second time I've seen this. oh, Miles. Bujold you are awesome for making sure your wonderful creation has his own flaws that are completely separate from his physical flaws, that crooked spine, those brittle bones, those little legs, poor adorable Miles. well at least he finally gets laid. Bujold you are also awesome for spinning another fun yarn that moves fast and still manages to think deep at times too, dropping things like The man who assumes everything is a lie is at least as mistaken as the one who assumes everything is true. If no guarantee can suit you, perhaps the flaw is not in the guarantee, but in you." and "well, people do get hypnotized by the hard choices. And stop looking for alternatives." Bujold, I love those comments. they may not be the most mind-blowing things to read, but they do pop out at a person who is basically reading a bit of light, escapist space opera. that last quote in particular struck me, I deal with that on the council a lot, people I would otherwise respect talking about "making hard choices" when what they mean is that change is coming and we better start looking at which services we should slash or eliminate, as if that is actually hard when the actual hard work would be in figuring out how not to do unnecessary crap like that. ugh! I hate bullshit. unfortunately Miles spends some time thinking that bullshit too but there's a few other people around to set him straight. I have a fairly strong crush on Miles but I think that crush has expanded to the loyal and lovely Eli and her post-facial reconstruction take on the nature of beauty and of course walking boner Ivan and his amiable bickering. great supporting characters. and they live in a thoroughly enjoyable novel. this one has Miles traveling to Old Earth and getting caught up in various terrorist plots, oh Miles, you are always getting into trouble but fortunately you are a genius and so you always get yourself out of it. maybe a bit too easily at times, which is probably why this is 3 stars and not 4. and at long last, Miles' two identities and his schizophrenic lifestyle are fully explored and made central to the narrative. we have him splitting himself into two via a surprising tall tale that - spoilers beyond this point - turns out to be true, we have various characters finally addressing all of the issues that Miles faces in his two personas, and we have a great little hallucinogenic scene when he confusingly glimpses a very stressed-out version of himself across the way. best of all, we have a clone. yay for clones!

     photo mind2mindgif_zpscb5fcefe.gif

    Miles and his clone don't really see eye to eye that way, and certainly not mind to mind. I guess I just love that gif. well, obviously, since it is the second time you've used it mark. for chrissakes find some new gifs already.

    okay, Miles-style stream of consciousness review DONE.

  5. says:

    Well, as always, it was entertaining and fun and I barely have something more to say about it that others haven't said before (I'm looking and pointing at you, Evgeny!). The lazy beast has taken over me again... :D

    P.S. Worst Cover Gallery is here though!

    Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5) by Lois McMaster Bujold Hermanos de armas by Lois McMaster Bujold Waffenbrüder (Barrayar-Zyklus, #7) by Lois McMaster Bujold UN CLÔNE ENCOMBRANT by Lois McMaster Bujold
    Hmmm, this is probably the most boring edition of Gallery.

  6. says:

    As per usual, Miles Vorkosigan creates a stir wherever he goes. After figuratively hitting a wasp nest with a stick and annoying the Cetagandians, he hares off to old Earth to get his crew healthy and his ships fixed. Of course, things go horribly awry and lots of intrigue & adventure follows.

    Somehow, for me, even though there are lots of action sequences, these books are more about the relationships. He has to balance his two identities as Lord Vorkosigan and Admiral Naismith, each with their own responsibilities. He has his cousin Ivan to consider, as Ivan is also stationed on Earth. Plus Miles makes friendships & alliances wherever he goes—and they complicate an already intricate life. Finally there’s the question of whether he will ever get a personal life and find someone to love him as Miles, regardless of which identity he’s currently living in.

    Plenty of adventure here for those who like such things, and lots of character development for me. Another successful installment in the saga of Miles Vorkosigan.

    Book 261 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

  7. says:

    So I settled down to read the first book in an omnibus with warm fuzzy feelings, and was not disappointed. I'd read a book further in the series, so I knew about Mark, but, of course, not the details about where he had come from. Knowing more or less how it came out did not spoil the book for me - in fact, it made it more interesting. How do we get from here to there? That's often far more interesting than what twists are coming up next.

    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

  8. says:

    I loved this story front to back. It’s going to be hard to top this one; it feels like peak Miles. Politics! Double-crosses! Attempted assassinations! Romance! Kidnapping! Clones! Spreadsheets! A cat blanket!

    Yeah, that last one is pretty creepy, a furry blanket that purrs. But the characters seem to like it, and it’s hardly the weirdest thing in this universe. We also get to meet Miles’ clone, later dubbed Mark, and I’m hoping we see more of him. The story possibilities are endless.

    This was just a vastly entertaining adventure with nary a dull moment.

  9. says:

    This is a SF space opera novel, part of Vorkosigan Saga, this time set almost completely on Earth (London to be precise). I’ve read it as a part of Vorkosigan Challenge at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

    This time Miles Vorkosigan in his guise as Admiral Naismith visits Earth chiefly to make some repairs of his Dendarii fleet after a successful, but costly in human life, operation of escaping from a military prison. Almost immediately he is interceded by a local reporter, who noted an uncanny resemblance between Barrayaran noble and mercenary leader. To put her off the truth, he on a spot (the way he have done before) concocts a story about Cetagandans creating his clone for some secret operation. The story however, soon bites him right back!

    It is not too sly tongue-in-a-cheek mocking of soap opera and space series tropes that a reader may ask themselves, is the author making fun of the genre or of me? I guess the former is the case and the genre in need of a bit of mockery. Moreover, as the story progresses, there are some interesting twists and more importantly, thought!

    A great installment in the series.

  10. says:

    Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.

    If I have to be completely honest this should have a 3 star rating. However I gave it a bonus star because it introduces one of my favourite support characters in the series - Duv Galeni.

    Following the events of Dagoola and another operation soon after it the Dendarii are in a desperate need of some down time and to repair the damaged equipment. As a result they end up on Earth - the cradle of human civilization. And because this is Miles a simple repair job and retrieval of the needed funds turns into a nightmare. Miles is a magnet for disasters :D Only he can stumble on a plot to destabilise the Barrayaran Empire totally by accident. Because he wasn't even supposed to go to Earth! I feel bad for all of Miles superiors. I think that they start weeping the moment they see that they are supposed to deal with him. Though for a change Miles doesn't kill the career of Capt. Galeni. They even form a strange friendship after all the things they go through together.

    Another major secondary character (I know it's kind of an oxymoron) is introduced - Mark, Miles' clone brother. He plays a major role in one of the following novels and is the catalyst for one of the biggest changes in Miles' life. Even saying so much is a spoiler for the rest of the series but I just couldn't explain why this is an important moment without mentioning it. Most of the time Miles reminds me of his father. Maybe it's because of the military situations he is in. However in regards to Mark, he shows how much Cordelia has been an influence on him. It takes a special kind of courage to do what he did. Courage or total lack of sense of self-preservation :D

    Ivan Vorpartil shows up and as usual gets drafted in. Miles is really hard on his friends and relatives. I do wonder why they haven't had him committed years ago just to avoid being collateral damage because of one of his plans ;) Again Ivan shows his remarkable ability to fool everyone into thinking him a harmless idiot so he can live his life the way he likes it. Unfortunately for him, Miles knows very well that he possesses a sharp mind and more importantly that he is loyal to a fault to his family. I can't wait to get to the book where Ivan is the main character. It's so much fun!

    Elli Quinn plays a bigger role and there's finally development on the romantic front. Miles is adorable when it comes to women - no dating or courtship, he goes straight for the jugular with the (view spoiler)