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Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Mirror Dance is the 10th book in the internal chronological order of the Vorkosigan Saga. It was the well-deserved winner of the Hugo in 1995.

Mark, Miles' clone brother, who we met in Brothers in Arms has decided to disguise himself as Miles so that he can rescue House Bharaputra's clone creche on Jackson's Whole. He clumsily commandeers Bel Thorne's ship for the raid, gives her a little info on Jackson's Hole geography and leaves the rest to her, hiding away in his room on the ship until they arrive. Of course, the mission is not a success as Mark has neither the knowledge or the experience to deal with Jackson's Whole, and Miles, three days behind, attempts to salvage his crew, his brother, and the clones. Things seem to be going well until Miles is killed. Fortunately, there is already a cryo chamber near, and Quinn takes out the body being rescued so that she can save Miles. In the frenzy to get off planet, the cryo chamber is left behind, and the Dendarii with Quinn commanding must do everything in their power to get Miles back.

The story alternates between Mark's viewpoint and Miles' viewpoint. Of course, Miles isn't dead but is out of commission for much of the book, so it is up to Mark to clean up his mess. This book is probably darker than most of the books in the series, but there are some light parts as well. Miles is brilliant as always, and we learn a lot about Mark and his motivations. By the end of the book, I found myself liking Mark more than I had at the beginning and hoping that he would find a way to redeem himself.

Bujold is an amazing author. The Vorkosigan Saga is action-packed, but also full of good characterization. She puts you inside the mind of the main character/characters and you can follow their motivation. Terrible things happen to the protagonists, but they always manage to think their way through to salvage the situation. I hadn't read any of these books until last year - I don't know why I waited, and I'm very sorry I did. I'm also sorry that I can see the end coming all too soon, as I am now over half-way through.

Bujold says that she writes each novel as a standalone, but frankly, one would miss so much of the story by not reading these books in the internal chronological order. ( )
  rretzler | Apr 30, 2017 |
Some reviewers have recommended this book as a good place to start the Vorkosigan saga. I have to disagree, and I have the voice of experience. This was the first book I read, having checked it out from the library after a coworker recommended Lois M Bujold and the sage.
When I finished it, I was convinced that Miles was an ass. I liked Lois's writing though, and read the other books. (Except I still haven't tracked down Falling Free.
It was Chapter 2. People who already knew Miles recognized his amazed delight - or maybe delighted amazement - at what he had accomplished up till then. But I didn't know Miles, and so MY impression was that he was totally arrogant.
Even now, although it gets 5 stars, this is my least favorite Vorkosigan book. Aside from my misreading of Miles, there was also the horrific stuff done to Mark along the way.

Update - March 2016 - rereading several in the series. I had forgotten just how long this book is. 560 pages (not counting the preview of future attractions). Well, it's actually two novels, intertwined. Mark's story. And Mile's rebirth. I'm starting to like it better - there's lots of redemption going on. ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold was a wonderful read. A sci-fi adventure with heart, emotion, drama and action. Bujold breaths such life into her characters, and in this story she brings Mile’s twin-clone to life by giving him such an in-depth story. When all the pieces fall into place, by the end of the book, Mark has won his place in the family and become another of this reader’s favorite characters.

One of my other favorite characters, Miles and Mark’s mother, Cordelia plays a major role in this book and I loved getting reacquainted with her. Bujold cleverly has Miles set aside for a good deal of the story, making Mark the main character and allowing the reader insight into his thought processes. Of course, eventually Miles comes back into the story in a forceful way as both he and Mark battle the forces of evil.

This is my favorite book of the series so far, I loved the story, the characters, and the writing. This was a great adventure told with passion, flare, and humor. I know that I am on the verge of gushing but really, this was another great instalment in a great series. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 9, 2016 |
Excellent as always. A watershed switch between personas and the beginning of a new life phase.... ( )
  pammab | Apr 25, 2016 |
If I was a billionaire who can afford to commission a novelist to write a custom made book just for me the desired end result would probably read something like a Lois McMaster Bujold book. Her prose style just clicks with me. Always very clear and accessible, yet graceful, passionate, witty and often humorous. Her writing is never clunky or clumsy, never a word out of place. Even before getting into the actual storyline of the book the narrative style in and of itself is already a pleasure to read.

The Vorkosigan Saga is one of the most beloved long running science fiction series of all time. Unlike classic sci-fi series like [b:Dune|234225|Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)|Frank Herbert|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1389569143s/234225.jpg|3634639] or [b:Foundation|29579|Foundation (Foundation, #1)|Isaac Asimov|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1417900846s/29579.jpg|1783981] the individual Vorkosigan books are written as standalones and are therefore not numbered. In theory you can start reading the series with any random title and read other volumes in any order you want. However, for a richer reading experience you may prefer to read them in some kind of order, here is Ms. Bujold’s recommendation.

Mirror Dance tells the story of Mark Vorkosigan, the clone of the series’ main character Miles Vorkosigan. Originally raised to assassinate Mile’s father, Mark is now a free man and a crusader to liberate other clones from a fate worse than death. Well, not “worse than” exactly the clones are kept alive as replacement bodies to eventually have their brains removed and replaced with the original person’s brain. Similar to the theme explored in Kazuo Ishiguro’s [b:Never Let Me Go|6334|Never Let Me Go|Kazuo Ishiguro|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353048590s/6334.jpg|1499998].

The book starts off fairly slowly as a lot of political wrangling, bluff and counter bluff take place. The lengthy dialogue in the early part of the book was in danger of becoming repetitious when Ms. Bujold suddenly shifts gear and all hell breaks loose. The sections of the story told from Mark’s point of view are almost equal to the sections told from Mile’s point of view, though the balance leans a little more toward Mark’s side of the story.

Any way, if you are already a fan of the series you will not be disappointed as Mark is just as damaged as Miles but in different ways. He is less physically damaged, not having suffered chemical poisoning at birth, but his conditioning as an assassin left a lot of psychological scars (and a “very particular set of skills” as Liam Neeson would say). Mirror Dance is a versatile novel that swings through quite a few different moods and narrative styles. Sometime it is romantic, sometime mysterious, funny, exciting, harrowing and even horrifying.

The universe of Vorkosigan series is not as epic as something like Reynolds’ [b:Revelation Space|89187|Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1)|Alastair Reynolds|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1405532042s/89187.jpg|219037] or [a:Peter F. Hamilton|25375|Peter F. Hamilton|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1235123752p2/25375.jpg]’s Commonwealth saga. There are no aliens to speak of and no A.I. overlords but it does depict a human galaxy spanning empire where planets are colonized through FTL travel via wormholes (nobody says hyperspace any more). The setting is more “near future” than these other series and science more believable (FTL travel notwithstanding).

Bujold will always have an advantage in the emotional components of her story telling. Her character development is second to none and she always manages to tackle serious issue without sacrificing the story telling aspect. You can not help but sympathize with the characters’ identity crisis and moral dilemma. The author is always very good at depicting romantic relationships but these are minor aspects of the book. If you prefer scenes of ass kicking to hugs and kisses you will not be disappointed. The details of biotechnology is also nicely worked out with an eye for details and dry wit:

“Patients don't come popping up out of cryo-stasis like a meal out of a microwave. It takes just as much healing as if the original injury hadn't killed them, and more. It will be a couple of days before I can even begin to evaluate his higher neural functions.”

The above passage is both humorous and informative. Bujold’s own particular set of skills.

Mirror Dance is a thrilling, riveting entertaining and even poignant read. No reason why someone can not start reading the series with this particular book, though the author recommends reading [b:Brothers in Arms|296182|Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)|Lois McMaster Bujold|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353351698s/296182.jpg|1808918] first. In any case I can foresee spending a lot more time reading from this series in future (this is my fourth). ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Patricia Collins Wrede, for literary midwifery above and beyond the long-distance call of duty.
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The row of comconsole booths lining the passenger concourse of Escobar's largest commercial orbiter transfer station had mirrored doors, divided into diagonal sections by rainbow-colored lines of lights.
The traffic was worse than London's and, if possible, even more disorderly, or ordered according to some rule involving survival of the fittest.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671876465, Mass Market Paperback)

Miles Vorkosigan faces more than his share of troubles as the protagonist in Mirror Dance. Not only is he deformed and undersized but he has a cloned brother who gets into a jam in the free enterprise plague spot known as Jackson's Whole. Miles tries to help his brother but ends up injured, placed on cryogenic suspension and then lost in intergalactic limbo. And that's just in the first 100 pages. The following 300 pages add a wealth more to this fantastic tale that's both humorous and finely written. Mirror Dance won the 1995 Hugo Award for Science Fiction.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:59 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Mark Vorkosigan hijacks a ship of the Dendarii Mercenaries and flies to the outlaw planet, Jackson's Whole, to destroy the clone creches where he was raised. The mission goes wrong and Miles, his host clonebrother, has to mount a rescue.

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