Describe a good book you’ve read in the past year

/ 16 October 2009

I wouldn’t say that there is exactly a single good book that I’ve read in the past 365 days, but rather that the series of books I read from is good. The series is Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan series. The genre is science fiction, but the books are also a nice mix with what feels a bit like older civilizations in Europe. There is a ton that I could describe about these books, so I’ll really only be getting to the brief explanation of the story’s baseline and initial reasons why the books are so good. The main character, Miles Vorkosigan, is the son of someone who has had, and is still having, a fairly important military/government career on their home planet, Barrayar. Miles’ mother was poisoned when pregnant, so Miles’ bones are very fragile, and break often. Skipping a lot that you can read the books to get, Miles ended up in a situation where he has two entire “people” to be (himself, and a fleet admiral). Most of the stories are tied to one or the other of these “people”, but one important point is that the fleet doesn’t know that they work for the Barrayaran imperial security, when of course they do because of Miles. Now to get away from any direct reference to the stories themselves, why I consider them to be good books. In reality it has a lot to do with me enjoying many science fiction books. Not to mention, the silent connection to an emperor-run civilization, which has no real connection to science fiction, is a nice side component to the stories. I also really enjoy that Bujold isn’t done writing the books, and that there may be more to come. In ways I enjoy these books because of components of them I don’t want to talk about here, purposely to not write a senior journal that feels like half of it is simply explaining 5+ books that you can just read to understand. Although, I’m sure one of the reasons why I think these books are so good is purely because they are what I read for literally all of last school year. Each of the novels have a slightly different twist or new component added to it that functions to extend the universe Bujold has built more. That is one of the fun things about the series that I’m sure is one reason why they’re good books. The changes aren’t ever huge, just enlightening once you really get to know the story and its characters. Also, I read the books based on the timeline of the characters, not the order Bujold wrote them in. That distinction is important to note partly because it explains the above paragraph, but also because it meant that I wasn’t jumping around in time when it comes to the series. Now, the fun part about that is that when I finished most of the novels I went back and read all the short stories Bujold wrote filling in a few of the cracks between novels. Personally I’d recommend reading these books, and also reading them in order of the story timeline, not the order Bujold wrote them in. It can be your choice if you want to read the short stories as you go, or as an ending and recap after all of the books that are already written before getting to read books that aren’t yet published in the series.