Warning: **Mild series spoilers for Shards of Honor/ Barrayar**
There is very little by way of romance in this book and, what there is, doesn’t really involve Miles. I must admit when I first listened to Barrayar, I wondered if Elena and Miles would end up together. I thought it was very clever of Ms. Bujold to dangle the possibility and then explain why it would not work, also giving Miles some heartache to temper him further as he grows to full adulthood. Of course, after listening to Barrayar, I became aware that Miles gets his HEA in A Civil Campaign (quite a few books yet to go) so I wasn’t upset as I may otherwise have been. Nevertheless, this isn’t a genre romance. It is sci-fi adventure.
Miles is young, but his disabilities mean that he has to be flexible in mind (as he cannot be in body) and creative with problem solving. He gets into messes, but he is a young man of honour and he is good hearted. Honestly, the scrapes he gets himself into here are all from the best of motives.
The story was funny, clever, emotional (I got teary at one point), exciting and smart. I like Miles and enjoy the Vorkosigan world.
Grover Gardner is such an excellent narrator. I did notice in this one that there were a few slips in terms of when sentences were supposed to end and when they actually did and one or two phrases which were intoned incorrectly. But they are small niggles. He renders Miles with deftness fitting to how he is written and the other characters are also similarly well drawn and voiced.
I find I can be more adventurous in my audiobook listening than I want to be in my reading. When the narration is this good and the story this entertaining, it is no hardship to slip away from the romance genre for a little break.
Bed was a null G bubble warmed womb-like by infra-red. Null G sex, Miles had heard, was one of the high points of space travel. He’d never had a chance to try it personally. Ten minutes of attempting to relax in the bubble convinced him he never would either. Although, when heated the smells and stains that permeated the chamber suggested that a minimum of three people had tried it there before him recently.