Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

I finished reading Oryx and Crake maybe a month ago. It was the only title on my challenge list that I'd been dying to read, but I'd picked this book up a few months ago and just couldn't continue to read it. But I tried again, and the timing was right. I've only read this and The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood, but she has quickly become one of my favourite authors in the way her stories develop, the character's voices, her style of writing - it's all very beautiful and I am in awe of her.

I find it very difficult to summarize the plot, so I leave amazon to do that for me:

In the beginning, there was chaos..." Margaret Atwood's chilling new novel Oryx and Crake moves beyond the futuristic fantasy of her 1985 bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale to an even more dystopian world, a world where language--and with it anything beyond the merest semblance of humanity--has almost entirely vanished.
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and loneliness, his only pleasure the watching of old films on DVD. His mind moves backwards and forwards through time, from an agonising trawl through memory to relive the events that led up to sudden catastrophe (most significantly the disappearance of his mother and the arrival of his mysterious childhood companions Oryx and Crake, symbols of the fractured society in which Snowman now finds himself, to the horrifying present of genetic engineering run amok. His only witnesses, eager to lap up his testimony, are "Crakers", laboratory creatures of varying strengths and abilities, who can offer little comfort. Gradually the reasons behind the disaster begin to unfold as Snowman undertakes a perilous journey to the remains of the bubble-dome complex where the sinister Paradice Project collapsed and near-global devastation began.

This is a very chilling and upsetting story about the uses and abuses of science in regards to genetics, which isn't a subject I'm very familiar with (and Atwood doesn't, thankfully, spend a lot of time on the actual science-y bits) but the disasterous outcome of the novel seems entirely within our reach.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Uglies reviewed by raidergirl3

I knew this book was popular because there are 6 or 7 copies of each part of this trilogy in our high school library. At the last minute, I grabbed a copy for the summer and I'm glad I did. It wasn't on my list for the Dystopian challenge, but it certainly counts. I'll be getting Pretties and Specials before the summer ends.

It's several centuries after our world, the Rusties, has died out. In this future world, to ensure everyone is treated equally, sixteen year olds are given an operation to become pretty. Tally can't wait for her operation, to become pretty and join the parties and fun life in New Pretty Town and leave the Ugly Town she's been living in. Then, just before her birthday, Tally's new friend Shay, tells Tally that she is running away and doesn't want to be pretty. Tally is conflicted, but the authorities find out and give her few options. I won't tell anymore than that, but I haven't put this book down since I picked it up for a *short* diversion from the very intense book The Bone People. So much for a short diversion.

Uglies is a young adult book, and quite an easy read and somewhat predictable, but I was needing some brain candy. Just like I enjoy Captain Crunch every few months for breakfast, I was needing some easy reading. Uglies was a big old bowl of Captain Crunch.

previously posted at my blog

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gathering Blue & Messenger - 3M's Review

Here are my reviews for Gathering Blue and Messenger by Lois Lowry:

Gathering Blue
by Lois Lowry

2000, 215 pp.

Rating: 4.5

This book is the second in the trilogy which also includes The Giver and Messenger. I read The Giver, a Newbery book, earlier this year and absolutely loved it. This book doesn't really continue where The Giver left off, but Messenger takes place after both stories and with characters from each.

Kira is a girl who has just lost her mother to sickness. She is very distraught as it has been her mother who has protected her from the community. Kira has a bad leg, and everyone in the village with any kind of defect or deformity must leave the protected area and contend with "the beasts" outside of it.

As she goes back to her small house, the women around her make it known that they want her property as a place for their own children and animals. A legal proceeding takes place which decides the matter. Will she have to leave the community and contend with "the beasts", or will an exception be made?

Recommended highly, but make sure you read The Giver before you read Messenger.

by Lois Lowry

2004, 167 pp.

Rating: 4

It's very hard to describe Messenger without giving away parts of The Giver and Gathering Blue. This is the third book in that trilogy. So I'm not going to say anything about the book, other than I enjoyed it very much but consider it to be the weakest of the three. It was nice to have a sequel that wrapped up (somewhat) the other two titles.

Friday, July 6, 2007

The Road - Pamela's Review

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Finished July 4th, 2007

Rating: 9/10

My review for The Road can be found here.