Hugo: Mirror Dance (1995)

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Read March 6, 2011 – March 17, 2011

Premise: Miles’ clone from Brothers in Arms turns up, pretends to be Miles, gets into a hell of a lot of trouble, Miles goes after him, gets into even more trouble, and much angsting ensues.

Verdict: This is the third and final Hugo winner to date in Bujold’s Vorkosigan series. There are, however, five more novels after this one.

Look, very seriously, no one in their right mind—not even Miles—would be pleased that they had a clone and immediately accept him as a brother. The psychology and ethics on that one are so far out the window that I don’t even buy Beta Colony originating them. Miles is just a nutcase. That’s more beef with Brothers in Arms than with this one, but it still was a major driving force of “wtf” behind my reading. I’d also like to note, for readers of this series, that Miles is MIA (literally) for over half the novel, and Mark (the clone) spends that half of the novel angsting and being annoying. Mark eventually redeems himself and one grows to rather like him—after he stops being an idiot. And after everyone on Barrayar has the sensible reaction of being dubious and wary of clone-Miles (Aral Vorkosigan—I continue to love you to absolute pieces. I’m fairly certain that you still beat Miles by a close margin). Nevertheless, I sort of wanted to kill people for the lack of Miles. It didn’t help that I was reading this book in the midst of a bout of depression and it was actually feeding my anxiety attacks more than anything else. I was also fairly upset at the “badass decay” of Bel Thorne. I loooove Bel and s/he (still refusing to say “it” like the text!) was one of my favorite non-Barrayaran characters. It wasn’t badass decay so much as gigantic mistakes and essentially being kicked out of the plot. I guess s/he was getting into too uncomfortable of a situation, but I am glad that s/he finally kissed Miles. I’ve been begging for that for volumes. And, two of the best characters from Barrayar (does anybody else remember that long ago??) sort of resurfaced. I was always upset that Kou and Drou just disappeared off the face of the plot-earth. They apparently had four daughters, all of who are gigantic Valkyrie blonds. Kou and Drou are still sort of absent, but at least they (sort of) show back up.

At any rate, in the end this book redeemed itself, Mark redeemed himself, everything was pretty good, and I suppose I enjoyed it. Minus the anxiety attacks and wanting to throw it out the window for lack of Miles and it taking me two weeks to read because of all manner of things.

Sometimes, I just shake my head and keep reading. But, well, I guess it turned out all right. I’ve got the rest out of the library as we speak.

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