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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (mild spoilers)
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Finished reading kestrell the new Bujold t'other day. Fun book, and a good one to read aloud. There were many requests for "Read that sentence again!" Kes and I have long wanted to see Ivan get the romantic comedy he deserved, and this did not disappoint.

Very glad to see that Lois seems to be past her Reichenbach Phase[1]. I saw her at Boskone a bit before _Cryoburn_ came out, and she mentioned that she had set that one on a previously-unmentioned planet, so that she didn't have to worry about accidentally contradicting her past continuity; that's always a bad sign in a long-term-series writer. Perhaps she realized this herself; judging from the vast (but not unreasonable) number of callbacks that CVA has to previous books, she has to have reread her own canon before writing it.

Not the best of her books, but well above the worst. I'd say it was her best since _A Civil Campaign_.

[1] This seems to affect all authors of popular series characters. Eventually, they grow sick of them, and want to do something else. They bring the series to what seems like a definitive conclusion, sometimes going so far as to kill the protagonist. This rarely works[2], and the series ends up continuing. Sometimes it even gets better, after the initial resentment fades; sometimes not.

[2] Douglas Adams is a notable case, wiping out every parallel universe version of Arthur Dent in _Mostly Harmless_. And he was under contract for two more Hitchhiker books at the time! Only by dying young himself did he escape having to bring Arthur back somehow.
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While every Vorkosiverse novel has had at least some comedic elements in it, this is one book that definitely sets out to be a Comedy of Errors. I started giggling early on, and at the end I was laughing my butt off.

Ivan, you idiot!
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Re your comment about it not being the best book: perhaps not, but it is certainly one of the most fun, and *definitely* a beach book. Also, it's not every book which can make a box of oats seem romantic.
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i liked it but.. i was dissapointed that it ignored the ending of Cryoburn...
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It's set several years *before* Cryoburn, about 1 year after Diplomatic Immunity.
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Why does Amazon tell me it won't be released until November?
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What's available now is an ebook of the ARC.

Edited at 2012-07-09 12:19 pm (UTC)
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Oh, man. I just recently reread the Hitchhiker's series, including reading Mostly Harmless for the first time (I think) since it came out—and it is lame. I shudder to think what two more books would've been like.
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