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Showing posts from November 22, 2009

The Compound by S. A. Bodeen

The Compound by S. A. Bodeen may be one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It was compelling, creative, and at times completely out of control.

It's not inconceivable that humans will destroy themselves. This concept has been a staple of science fiction for more than a hundred years. The possibilities are many; enviornmental, social, astronomical, and possibly most disturbing nuclear.

For me, nuclear annihilation is particularly unsettling because of the inability to predict and prepare for such and attack. If the world was coming to an end, how would you spend your final moments?

In The Compound, a very wealthy family rushes underground to a secret compound created by their father. The family lives over a stretch of days that do not differ one to the next. Living by going through the motions and feeling little joy. They wonder about the conditions of the world and the loved ones that got left behind.

The main character's sense of loss is particularly intense because his twi…

Leviathan

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is a middle grade steampunk novel. It has some great ideas but the ideas just weren't enough for me. I was so excited to read this book and see what Westerfeld with do with this speculative alterate history genre. There are two opposing forces in the world. The Clankers and the Darwinists. These groups of people live in opposing ideologies so intense they verge on religions. The Clankers believe in things that clank or machinery and the Darwinists believe in the more environmental idea of genetically altering living things to serve their needs.



The story is told by two perspectives. Deryn, (aka Dylan) who is pretending to be a boy in order to be part of the military, and Alek, who is an actual boy whose parents have just been assassinated and is trying to escape the same fate. Both narratives move too slowly towards any kind of point. There is quite a bit of action leading towards nothing. The world begins to be explained too late in the story.

In the …