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Written by: Lois McMaster Bujold
Review by: Tina Morgan
Lois McMaster Bujold takes us into Miles Vorkosigans universe again with her latest novel, Diplomatic Immunity. Throughout the series Miles has grown from a reckless Imp Sec spy into a quick-witted Imperial Auditor. Although the title implies a staid desk job crunching numbers, Miles knows from hard experience that its anything but boring or simple. His latest mission places him and those he loves in grave danger.
Diplomatic Immunity finds Miles returning from a long postponed and well-earned honeymoon with his wife, Ekaterin. Both are eagerly anticipating their return to Barrayar and the birth of their first two children. However, four days from their destination, Miles receives an urgent communication from Emperor Gregor Vorbarra. A Komarran trade fleet is being detained at the Graf Station, a member of the Barrayaran military escort has either deserted or been murdered and a squad of Barrayaran military are being detained by the station officials.
Upon reaching the Graf Station, Miles finds his investigative expertise is needed as much as his skills as a diplomat. Bel Thorn, the Betan hermaphrodite, returns in this novel and Miles must decide if he can trust it or not, as a simple investigation into a missing officer quickly turns ugly. A Cetaganda biological weapon with the potential of killing all of the station's 50,000 inhabitants as well as his beloved wife is hidden on the station and Miles must find it before it's too late.
Bujold creates detailed and complex races and cultures to character her worlds. She doesn't fall back on the mistake many science fiction writers make of having stereotypical "evil" and "good" races. Her characters are multifaceted and a pleasure to spend time with. Plotting and pacing are very solid. Lois Bujold is a very consistent writer. If you like one of her novels, you will enjoy all of them.
Diplomatic Immunity can be read as a stand-alone novel but it is best read as part of the entire Vorkosigan series. While each book in the series builds on the last, reading the books out of order will not cause the reader any undue confusion.
Falling Free is one of Bujold's first novels that takes place three hundred years before Diplomatic Immunity and does not involve Miles's home world of Barrayar, but he visits the 'world' of the genetically engineered 'Quaddies' in this novel. It isn't necessary to read Falling Free to understand and enjoy Diplomatic Immunity but it is well-worth reading. Ms. Bujold is very talented at including enough information to bring the beginning reader up to date without boring the dedicated fan that has read the series from the beginning
Published by Baen Publishing, Diplomatic Immunity can be ordered: Here
For more information about Lois McMaster Bujold and a complete listing of her works, visit her official website: The Bujold Nexus. Several of Ms. Bujold's works are now available as e-books and are listed on the site as well.
Diplomatic Immunity earns a * * * * * rating.
* * * * * = Un-put-downable, excellent reading!
* * * * = Good value, interesting reading.
* * * = Had potential, but could have been better.
* * = Slow, difficult to read, could have been improved.
* = Imminently forgettable.
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