marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,


Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold

It starts with angels.  Glowing angels falling all over the place, and just because Miles Vorkosigan knows that they are hallucinations, an allergic reaction to a sedative that some kidnappers tried to calm him down with, doesn't mean they don't bring other unpleasant thoughts.  Like, he can't count on not hallucinating a floor before him when there might be a gap.

Eventually he manages to reach a street where a bug and a lizard are walking down the street.  Miles deduces, between their uncommon size and the bags they are carrying, that they are really humans.  They take him for a druggie, but one, the boy Jin, helps him.  The next morning, having recovered from the drugs, he finds himself in an illegal cryogenic cooperative, and picks up his investigation of this planet, where cryogenic freezing is absolutely routine, and the corporation that holds your contract also votes by proxy for you.  (They were expanding to Komarr.)

He sends the boy Jin off to alert the embassy to his safety.  Meanwhile, his armsman Roic, who did get caught by the kidnappers, and Raven Durona escape from them, a bunch of radicals who object to this whole cryogenics business.   (It's a multi-POV story, like A Civil Campaign, but fewer POVs, and also I think Roic got a little stinted on character development for POV character.)

Jin's mother was frozen for "insanity" until it could be cured under rather unusual circumstances, which, Miles suspects, have to bear on the conundrum he's trying to unravel.  Wild adventure and intrigue ensue.

I think that the twist at the  very end (to avoid spoiling) does not quite work.  The events are foreshadowed, but it doesn't really fit the tone of the rest of the novel.   The tone has foreshadow that "these are the sorts of things that happen in this novel."  Dramatic in itself, but not really fitting in.
Tags: fiction reviews: sf, foreshadowing, genre: science fiction

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