As predicted by my past self, Falling Free turned out to be absolutely fantastic. I glanced briefly at some reviews and many people say that this isn’t as funny as her later books, but I definitely saw the same vein of wit as in Dreamweaver’s Dilemma.
By 25% (not sure about the page number because ebooks), the story is already in full-on crisis mode. I was surprised at how much I cared about each character at this point. I am that annoying type of reader that takes a long time to warm up to characters, but Bujold got me hooked on them right away. She never loses an opportunity to drop in a little more character development, often with wise turns of phrase that had me highlighting to think about later. My favorite was from near the end, when two characters are preparing for the next wave of problems to hit, and one says, “Don’t be afraid of troubles. They’re a sign of life.”
TL;DR: This book is exceptional and, as I’m well into the next one, Shards of Honor, I’m thoroughly convinced that everything by Lois McMaster Bujold is just as enjoyable.
When engineer Leo Graf arrives at a free fall station circling a mining planet to teach welding, he’s in for his first shock: the genetically engineered inhabitants have an extra set of arms in place of legs. A second shock comes when the company that owns these four-armed “quaddies” decides to abandon them, and Leo must use all his ingenuity to respond to this new crisis. Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and a Hugo finalist.