I love Veronica Roth, but that cliffhanger at the end of Insurgent was just mean. Thankfully, Allegiant was released yesterday, and I came home from work last night with it. And at some point later last night (not telling how late, except it was no longer technically “last night”) I finished it, with some minor assistance from a bottle of rosé.
I really highly recommend this series. It’s a great read for adults as well as teens, and the pacing of the story is superb. The main character Tris is a kick-ass heroine, not just because she can literally kick ass, but also because of her struggles to determine how, when fighting for a cause, you determine the right actions… especially when multiple lives are on the line.
I won’t get into the plot too much, because I’m hoping some of you have the delight of just discovering the series. I will say I envy you not having to wait between books to read the trilogy, and this is a book that crosses genres so don’t dismiss it if you don’t usually read sci-fi, or YA, or any other silly reason not to read a good book. Honestly, buy the trilogy, you won’t be able to buy just one.
Unlike my dissatisfaction with the ending of the Hunger Games trilogy, Roth does not wuss out on the ending here. Wow.
If you liked Ender’s Game, particularly in terms of the ethics and moral dilemmas, try this one on for size. And that’s a big recommendation from me, because I loved Ender’s Game. Divergent is just exactly what I like out of a good sci-fi series.
Okay, go read it now, and then tell me how much you loved it. Or hated it. I love talking books.
Happy (excited) reading!
I know, I’m subtle. But as the title says, I’m not thrilled with Card as a person. He actively opposes gay rights, and puts his own money into opposing gay marriage. As someone who thinks that human rights are not optional, I think he’s a douche. That’s the part that’s clear, and easy.
The hard part is that Ender’s Game is one of my favorite sci-fi novels. I don’t like that I like his writing. And oddly, the Ender’s Game series has a “why can’t we all just get along” vibe, and lots of messages about not being judgmental. It condemns xenophobia. The irony is deadly.
I’m sure many of you have run into similar conundrums. It happens with not just books, but music and films. Roman Polanski. Chris Brown. Should you separate the art from the artist? Or should you deny yourself the pleasure of a good book or a great film, because you don’t want to make it seem like you tacitly support their behaviour. And you can’t know about the author or musician or filmmaker of every single thing you’ve ever purchased, it’s just not practical. So if you find out later that the person whose book you bought is a lowlife, should you feel guilty?
I can’t come up with any really great answers so far. I’m not going to put Card’s books as my staff pick. I won’t purchase any of his books from now on. This saddens me, because he has ruined something I really enjoyed. Now I have to decide whether to go see the movie – probably not, sadly – especially sadly because Harrison Ford will be in it. Damn you, Orson Scott Card.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that he is going to be writing some issues of Superman, the guy who is supposed to be the “Champion of the Oppressed.” What the hell were you thinking, DC?
image from comicbookmovie.com
I finally got around to reading The Maze Runner, the first of the trilogy by James Dashner.
It slots neatly into the trend of dystopian teen novels, and has been a huge seller, along with Divergent (excellent) and Hunger Games (if you haven’t heard of it, you’re not only living under a rock, you’re living under a really remote, subterranean one).
The book has a teenage boy as a protagonist, who at the beginning of the book wakes up with no memory of his past life, knowing only his name. He is in a place with other teens, in the middle of a giant, deadly maze.
Dashner does a great job of maintaining the suspense of the mystery, while advancing the plot. I was a little surprised at how violent the book is – this is definitely for older teens, considering how quickly the body count mounts. That same body count does a good job of illustrating what it’s like to make decisions when your decisions can get someone else hurt or killed, however, and is not purposeless.
In many ways the book reminds me of Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card, which is one of my favorite sci-fi novels (see previous review). I will be reading the next two novels in the series, plus the recently released prequel, next, so I’ll let you know how they go.
I recommend this for anyone who likes the dystopian genre, although I would say that this is aimed, despite the violence, at a fourteen or fifteen year old, from the style of writing. If you have a teenager who loved Hunger Games or Divergent, or The Knife of Never Letting Go, this will probably hit the spot.
Filed under Books, Review
I’m still on my Orson Scott Card kick, having read Ender’s Game, followed by Speaker for the Dead. Now I’m reading Xenocide, which is also really excellent.
Much mixing of moral dilemmas, exciting storyline, and the amazing ability to have you on the edge of your seat for more than half the book. Now that’s tricky.
Best of all, to me, are phrases like: “…a place that doesn’t even have any placeness to it.” How can you not love that? There is also discussion of “whereness”. Of course, this is from someone who, if possible, would take up quantum mechanics as a hobby – because it is both crazy-weird and true.
There have been a lot of students coming into the bookstore lately, looking for Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. It has been a very, very long time since I read it last, so I decided to re-read it. If you find it starts off a bit slowly, be patient. It will be worth the wait.
The premise of the story is that Earth is at war with an alien species. Earth only won the last battle by a narrow margin, and now is preparing for the next one. Because the technology of war is all computer based, the military powers have found that children are actually better than adults at operating it, their minds more flexible and agile, responding and adapting quickly.
Put a little boy named Andrew, nicknamed “Ender”, into the scenario. He is both mentally and emotionally perfect for the army’s purposes. A genius in every way. In fact, they want him to potentially command the entire fleet. He’s six.
I couldn’t put this story down. I dragged my e-reader with me everywhere I went, in case I might have a spare second to read. There were so many fascinating aspects to the story, the gripping plot, the moral and ethical dilemmas. Is it okay to destroy a child’s life, or even more than one child, in order to to save an entire species? So that there will be future children? I was reading through teared up eyes more than once.
I hear that a movie is planned for next year or so. There’s also a graphic novel. Obviously this book is still relevant, and very very good, despite being more than thirty years old.
Even if you aren’t normally a sci-fi fan, I urge you to give this book a try. I think that the story is good enough to make it’s genre irrelevant.
I am now reading book three of the series. Anyone know of any Ender’s anonymous groups out there?