Bacigalupi won my heart with “Shipbreaker”, but I actually had this book on the shelf not too long before that was released. “Shipbreaker” is for theBacigalupi won my heart with “Shipbreaker”, but I actually had this book on the shelf not too long before that was released. “Shipbreaker” is for the YA market, and is about a post-petrol America, but that’s where the similarities end. “The Windup Girl” is an awful, wonderful future that is SO not for kids, about a new kind of slavery that may await our descendants if we keep going the way we’re going. This book just made me love him even more.
For those not comfortable about human trafficking, you probably shouldn’t read this book. Well, semi-human trafficking. You get what I mean. But even if you’re uneasy, the way Bacigalupi writes it is masterful, and only goes for the jugular with anything that might be considered triggery in the abuse catagory a few times when he could have gone wild with it the entire book. For that I thank him, it made things easier to digest.
This book is far in our future – or is it? Once again, we have a post-petrol world, a world where entire parts of countries and continents are covered by rising seas, and the Thai Kingdom is now the center of the world instead of America with its “generippers” (geneticists who literally rip the genes out of something to create chimera of anything – plants, animals, and now humans for sale) and the calorie companies, the new currency of the future. No longer oil, or dollars, or euro, or yen, but calories, and all the measures thereof. I had to pause at one early point in the book and wiki metric calorie count because I honestly couldn’t keep it straight, but once I did, it was smooth sailing from then on. The currency of the future is in joules, the measure unit of energy provided by calories, and fines are determined by how many you use versus how many you waste (for anti-pollution measures), and power everything from lightbulbs to factories.
Bacigalupi does not make this a beautiful, peaceful future. There is constant tension in the Thai Kingdom between everyone – the foreigners (farang), the Yellow Cards (Malay-Chinese), the gangs, the white shirts (bureaucrats, mostly in the inspector divisions), the market sellers, and the regular Thai people. So much tension that I was kind of on the edge of my seat going “Okay, who’s going to slaughter whom first?” the entire time. When it does happen (and I won’t say how or when), it was kind of a relief, with such a huge buildup. But again, it’s a subtle one, slowly pushing at the boundary of the already stress-taxed people in the book, until literally, all hell breaks loose.
I loved the characters. I want more out of this world, I’ll be frank – but I’m pretty sure we won’t be getting any more from the “Windup” universe. The characters were rich, but I want some kind of prequel telling us about how we got to this point of the calorie companies versus the world, and why everyone hates them (that’s kind of obvious, but still) – but considering what we got, I’m extremely pleased. The arc development of how the characters changed was excellent, and honestly, I couldn’t want more out of a futuristic almost-dystopic book. Seriously. It really is that good.
I could keep gushing on and on about how awesome Bacigalupi’s work is here, but for the sake of brevity, I won’t. Just go out and read it. Even if you’re not a sci-fi fan, go read it. It will teach us about how we can prevent such a future today, and about the basic nature of people (the human animal), period. The human animal. It sent chills up my spine for large portions of the second half of the book, and that’s pretty rare for me.
So, this has made my best of 2010 AND 2011 list, and it’s high up there on both. Congrats, Bacigalupi. Now get back to work on the sequel for “Shipbreaker”, and we’ll call it even.
(posted to goodreads, librarything, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com) ...more
Everything I love about the "Blue Bloods" series is captured right here in this slim volume. "Keys to the Repository" gives you a lot of insider inforEverything I love about the "Blue Bloods" series is captured right here in this slim volume. "Keys to the Repository" gives you a lot of insider information that was either hinted at or not given to the reader before in the previous four books. I was so happy this was released, because honestly, I was wondering when we were going to be getting some kind of companion book to keep track of everything. And then in 2010, this came out! Yay!
So why review it now, more than a year later? Well, the penultimate book is coming out in a few weeks, and netgalley thoughtfully provided me with a re-read version. So I thought I'd refresh my brain with the information provided then, and keep it mind for when "Lost in Time" comes out on September 17th.
The other great thing about this book is the wonderful short stories and outtakes from the "BB" universe that we hadn't seen before, or memos from within the coven that sheds a lot of light on the misadventures that have been happening within the Blue Blood world at large, whether it be in the States or Europe, or other places around the world. It's a little treasure trove of information and if you're a fan of the series, this is a definite must-have to refer to when you need it. I won't spoil what you'll find in here - so you'll have to check it out for yourself.
And possibly the best part of this companion book is that it sets up for books 5 and beyond with its epilogue/preview chapter at the end. It doesn't give us much to go on, but it sets the mood, and it gives you an undeniable craving for the next books in the series. At least, that's what it did for me. I was practically chomping at the bit for the next book after reading the teaser at the end of this book. Hell, I still am now.
So whether you're just dipping your toes into the BB universe, or are an experienced navigator in its waters, give "Keys" a read - you'll be thankful for all of the knowledge you've gained.
(posted to goodreads, shelfari, and witchoftheatregoing.wordpress.com)...more