Reviews for Memory
Publishers Weekly Reviews 1996 September #4
Miles Vorkosigan, secret agent extraordinaire and hero of six previous Bujold novels, has made a serious error. Not entirely recovered from the near-fatal injuries sustained in Mirror Dance (1994), he has a seizure while in combat, nearly wrecking the mission. Worse yet, fearing that he will be removed from active duty, he has falsified his report to Simon Illyan, the chief of Barrayaran Imperial Security. Illyan, who has perfect memory due to a computer implant, catches Miles in a lie and so must dismiss him from the Service. Devastated, Miles contemplates suicide. His career as a secret agent has propped up a damaged psyche; can he now live on his own? The Vorkosigan series started out as fairly lightweight space opera, but Bujold has matured as a writer over the years, and in such novels as Barrayar (1991) and Mirror Dance has both moved away from straight action and shown increasing skill as a delineator of character. Now, both Miles's strengths and his weaknesses come into play as he must struggle first with his own failure and then with a mystery that may have a potentially devastating effect on Barrayar itself. Not long after dismissing Miles, Illyan, who holds the safety of the Empire in his hands, begins to forget things and make serious mistakes himself?and only Miles, now a civilian with a serious medical disability hanging over his own head, has the knowledge needed to deal with impending disaster. Three novels in this series, including Mirror Dance, have won a Hugo for Best Novel; expect a nomination, at least, for this compelling new one. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information.