Lois McMaster Bujold owns my soul

Well, not in a literal sense. It just kind of feels that way.

Earlier in the summer, I asked friends to recommend audiobooks to me. Right now, that’s how I’m doing most of my reading. They’re ideal for bike rides (not only do you get to immerse yourself in a good story for two hours, you get to work up an amazing sweat) and now that I’m back in Colorado I imagine I’ll be listening to them on the bus when I go to school.

You see, a few years ago my stomach decided that I read too much and it hates me. Now I get motion sick when I try to read in moving vehicles. I think it might be directly related to the many mornings I spent trying to read from the Riverside Shakespeare with its ridiculously tiny print while bouncing along US-36, which could probably even make a hardened astronaut vomit.

Anyway, my friend Oliver recommended Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga to me, recommending that I start with Shards of Honor.

I was hooked from the start. Cordelia, the main character of that book and the next (Barrayar) is clever and badass without ever being a caricature. There’s wonderful emotional complexity there. And there’s a lot in the books that is actually quite funny, both in the sarcastic dark way, and the laugh out loud way.

I approached the next book, The Warrior’s Apprentice, which a little trepidation since the point of view character had switched to Cordelia’s son. Well, I’m more than halfway through it and I don’t want to stop listening. I’ve started thinking up errands to run so I can spend a little more bike time and do a bit more “reading.” The audiobook also made me laugh out loud during my flight to Chicago, twice, which I think creeped out the other passengers.

Can’t wait to get home and pick up the next book. One of the things I’m enjoying about it is that the main character, Miles, faces severe physical limitations in a society that is very nasty toward the disabled. It’s a viewpoint that doesn’t get exercised often in speculative fiction.

As space opera goes, I like this indescribably more than Leviathan Wakes. The characters (both male and female) are so complex and interesting. It’s got wonderfully dynastic politics, clashing cultures, all the bells and whistles.

I’m glad Oliver told me to read them, even if my hunger for the next book is consuming my very soul. It’s been a long time since I felt that excited about a series.

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