Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Finally reading the Vorkosigan Saga! Worth the wait, lives up to the hype.

Delicious tension between our unlikely and surprised lovers Cordelia and Aral, who make a series of increasingly dramatic choices dictated by their honor that serve to not only keep them apart but work against each other, until the things to which they dedicate their honor begin to change. All the while they are also working desperately and often secretly to keep each other safe through hostile environments, space battles, personal attacks, government intrigues, and the well-meaning misconceptions of other people. The results are both harrowing and wryly and slyly comedic. My one criticism is that because the story is somewhat episodic, it felt like it had multiple endings, but I enjoyed it so much I didn’t really mind.

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Fugitive Telemetry (The Murderbot Diaries, #6) by Martha Wells

Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another delightful entry in the series. I enjoyed going to an earlier point in the timeline and seeing Murderbot settle in at Preservation Station, feel on the back foot socially and professionally, but still kick ass as a security expert, friend, and person just trying their best to figure out their life. Endlessly relatable.

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On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu

On Fragile Waves by E. Lily Yu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gorgeous and heartbreaking.

I decided to read this novel after enjoying Yu’s short story “The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight” (Uncanny Magazine, Sept/Oct 2016), and I was expecting more fairy tales, less haunting, and less un-couched trauma. I wasn’t expecting it to be so brutal, but I’m glad it was. The way the world treats migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers is disgusting and should be talked about and changed.

On Fragile Waves is a coming-of-age story, and a migrant story, and a trauma story, and is about storytelling and human rights and the impact of war. Rich with details, and very much in the same vein as Aliette de Bodard, and the way she weaves the lingering, inter-generational impact of war, and the silence of the older generation, into her work. Yu’s work here is not as overtly fantastic as de Bodard’s space operas, but is every it as visceral and powerful and beautifully rendered.

I recommend to readers who like the literary fantastic.

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