Memory (Vorkosigan Saga)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Cover Artist: Gary Ruddell
Review by Gayle Surrette
Baen Trade Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476736730
Date: 02 September 2014 List Price $15.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Miles Vorkosigan thought he'd recovered from the physical effects of his death, cryo-freezing, and being returned to life. In fact, all the problems seem to be gone except for the seizures. And even those are nearly gone, so not worth really mentioning to ImpSec on Barrayar. That was until he had a seizure, while on an ImpSec recovery mission, while in his battle armor, while his weapons were hot, and nearly killing the person they had been sent to recover. Still the Denarii Fleet surgeon is working the problem.
Miles is in denial. He's overcome all the obstacles that have been thrown at him to be the Admiral of the Dendarii Mercenaries, which he has developed to be asset of Barrayar. He's only a Lieutenant back home and it rankles that his cousin Ivan is now a Captain. So, Miles does something he thought he'd never do -- he falsifies a mission report. And he gets caught.
Memory is about our history -- personal history. Miles has based his whole life around his vision of what he wanted to be, the goals he expected to meet along the way, and what he could achieve with his life. When all that is taken away, he's set adrift. Every memory of his past becomes a two-edged sword.
When he finally manages to look beyond his personal grief and distress, he finds that maybe, just maybe, he can be of help to someone who is literally losing his mind. Miles must step up and risk everything that he has left to help a friend. And, to help, he must re-live his own past in order to give his friend a touchstone to his past.
Bujold once again gives us a novel full of adventure, intrigue, and danger. However, this time it's personal. Miles is going to have to face his inner demons and he'll either come out stronger or lose himself and his honor. This book is a turning point in the series, changing the direction of Miles' life.
I enjoyed the book when it first came out, and it has held up really well on re-reading it for this review. The characters shine and you, as a reader, care about them. When on a re-read, I still can't put the book down because I have to know what's going to happen next (even though I sort of remember), I call it darn good writing.