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Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois…

Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga) (original 1994; edition 2011)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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2,063333,222 (4.28)87
Title:Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Collections:Your library, eText
Tags:Fiction, SF, Space Opera, Adventure, Clones, Identity, eBook, Kindle, 2013 Read

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Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold (1994)



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English (32)  Italian (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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 |
best of the series. ( )
  macha | Jun 13, 2015 |
A story of two brothers, a morally corrupt system which farms clones for their parts, and their fight against it. This is also a story of a young man trying to find his identity and place in the world, when most people around him think of him as a disposable clone, or not quite as good as the original. I love the character growth which takes place in this story. Both Miles and especially his brother.

One reason I love Bujold is for her fierce commitment to love of the unwanted/different/difficult people in our lives. She always stretches my mind and my heart a bit with each story. I subtracted half a star from this only because of the extreme situations and descriptions of torture in the story. It reduced my desire to read the story a second time, although, I probably will. ( )
  MrsLee | Jan 25, 2015 |
It's a tough call on this book. It started out slow, got kind of crappy, then finished fantastically. Excellently read again.

The first third had a lot of back story in it. If a person hadn't read any of the series, they would appreciate it. BUT, it's a series. Skip books at your own risk & let those of us who have read it read the new story.

The middle got into Mark's head until it was just boring. He had a horrible life & a lot to figure out.
Got it.
Got it.
Got it.
Got it.
(Bored yet? I was.)

Saying anything about the end would spoil it, so I'll just say that once the action picked back up, the story flew along & dragged me along. Totally worth putting up with the rest.
( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.

(summary from another edition)

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