At lunch today and on the train ride home, I read the first four chapters, and so far, so good. I liked Cordelia immediately, and Vorkosigan is a nice balance of intriguing and antagonistic. The careful reveals about their pasts and personalities are at a pace that work for me, so far. And their mutual attraction works for me, at least at this point -- I'm not usually a big fan of enemy 'ships, or of love at first sight, but so far Bujold hasn't pushed it further than I'm willing to believe.
I would have liked a little more set-up on the universe. The story pretty much throws the reader into the middle of an unfamiliar situation and expects you to keep up; sometimes I like that, but I keep feeling like maybe I missed something, like when Cordelia and Vorkosigan are talking about their respective cultures in a way that implies I should already be familiar with it. This might be Bujold's way of avoiding an infodump, but I think a little infodumping would have been helpful.
One of the few things that I do know about Bujold is that she got her start as a fanfic writer, specifically in Star Trek fandom, and that her fic writing influenced her early pro writing -- I've heard some of her work described as "Star Trek fic with the serial numbers filed off" -- and that influence definitely shows here. Vorkosigan himself and the society he comes from reminded me of the Klingons right away, especially in the first couple of chapters, and Cordelia has the feel of a Federation science officer. It'll be interesting to see if the similarities dissipate or stick around through the story.
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