Cryoburn

Nov. 3rd, 2010 08:31 pm
edithmorningstar: Edith Piaf at the microphone, arms flung wide. Colorized. (Default)
[personal profile] edithmorningstar
I finally read Cryoburn, and though it's been a while I'm still digesting it.



I was happy to have another Miles adventure. It felt very very Milesian, tempered by a pleasantly realistic sense of his physical limitations at this point in his life. He still has boundless energy, and hares off on crazy schemes, but he's also a little more cognizant of what he can and can't do, what he needs to delegate to others. He wants the adventure, but even more he wants to go home to where his heart(s) lives, and that's a gratifying place to see him having arrived at.

I can't help but feel this is the last Miles adventure. Now he'll be Count, and with those duties galactic assignments are much less likely. We saw Miles grow up so much in Memory, and take on a newly mature stage of life in the past several books. Now, though, there's something even more. The bit in Mark's Aftermath about Miles as Lord Vorkosigan having died along with Aral is so true. I do *hope* we'll get more Miles-focused writing from Lois, but I have to say I don't honestly *expect* the next book to focus on him. [I know there are some hints and speculation about that book floating around but I haven't gone looking yet; first to avoid possible Cryoburn spoilers and then to let my own reaction to Cryoburn steep for a while. I might be totally off base with this.]

Emotionally, any reaction to the book as a whole has to back-burner to my reaction to its very end. I very much appreciated [personal profile] philomytha's fic response, which helped me make peace with both Aral's death and its circumstances.

I wonder how much Miles will blame himself for not making it home sooner. But I think he knows that this time, he truly did finish the case as fast as he could, because he already had enough to draw him home. He knows that what he did, blowing the case much larger than his original mandate, was worth the time it took. But some part of him will always blame himself for not having been there.

I really loved the Aftermath drabbles. They captured the right flavor of surreality that processing a death requires, with the right measure of respect and elegance and love.

The fact that they were drabbles felt in itself like a gift. It felt like Lois was nodding explicitly and deliberately to the organized fan community, to her own roots as a fan. It felt, in a way, like she was telling her most devoted fans that she processed Aral's death in drabbles in part to show that she knows how much he means to us, too. Obviously who knows how much she actually meant, but I know she knows that this death is a Big Deal in her canon, and for her fans, and the drabbles felt like a way for her to say she was mourning right along with us, as a fan as well as a creator.

In terms of the main Kibou story, on the whole I really liked it, though I didn't think it ranked among the best of the Miles-on-another-planet adventures. I felt that this story *could* have been told in an entirely different universe, as a stand-alone, if she'd wanted to. But the Vorkosiverse is hers, so why shouldn't she set her philosophical explorations there, too.

I like the idea of Vorlynkin as a stepfather to Jin and Mina, but it bugs me that he truly seemed to fall in love with the kids, and then with their mother as an afterthought. I appreciate the desire to assure the reader that the kids will be taken care of, that they'll have a family and a home and not be impoverished and they'll be protected, but it all was a pit fast and pat. Not that I don't like the idea of that relationship, but I didn't want all the loose ends of Kibou tied up quite so neatly.

I very, very much appreciate that Lois kept to her usual of not putting back-story on-screen if she doesn't actually need it. That still leaves a lot of room to play around in, in the years between Cryoburn and Diplomatic Immunity, and, for many characters, really since A Civil Campaign. We don't even get told the names of Gregor's kids. I'm happy to have a wide open amount of not-yet-Jossed canonical interlude space to work with. Not that I have any problem going AU from canon, at all, but I like the extra wiggle room.

All this meaning that my Ivan-and-By-on-Cetaganda fic can still be set when I want to set it. :D
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edithmorningstar: Edith Piaf at the microphone, arms flung wide. Colorized. (Default)
edithmorningstar

February 2011

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