I love this book. I quite like the description of the struggles that Caitlin (a young blind girl) goes through as she's trying to make her way at a neI love this book. I quite like the description of the struggles that Caitlin (a young blind girl) goes through as she's trying to make her way at a new school in a new city (Kitchener-Waterloo). I love the characters in this from Caitlin, to her parents, her friends, and of course, the artificial intelligence (AI). The AI subplot is a slow building one. There's also other subplots, like the chimpanzee Hobo that don't really pay off in this book, but do in later ones in the series.
While some might consider this book YA, it's definitely not for kids who are too young as it describes the Chinese government ordering some bad things done (but not really describing the the details of them). The subplot is necessary, though for the overall plot. That said, it's not much worse than many things on the evening news.
The audio production is very well done and the multiple narrators (one for each portion of the book from that viewpoint) are excellent, aside from mispronouncing "Laurier", although since the person in question is American, who only recently moved to KW, it might be on purpose.
It's very much set up as a sort of science-fiction version of The Miracle Worker and Helen Keller is definitely throughout the book. I highly recommend it. While I love this book, I only like the sequels mainly because the plot went in a different direction than what I wanted. They're still well done, though. ...more
I listened to the audio version and the performance was well done on the whole (although, I wasn't a fan of Michael Hogan's). The overall concept is qI listened to the audio version and the performance was well done on the whole (although, I wasn't a fan of Michael Hogan's). The overall concept is quite interesting, and some of the stories are excellent, while others are just okay....more
This book starts out with a beggar buying a young slave boy for very little money and might set certain expectations in one's mind, but the beggar isnThis book starts out with a beggar buying a young slave boy for very little money and might set certain expectations in one's mind, but the beggar isn't all he seems to be and it's one of the best things that could happen to the boy.
This is one of Heinlein's better juvenile novels. It really breaks down into three distinct parts. The first two are excellent, but the third (and final) part comes across as rushed and kind of thrown together. It's a problem with many of his novels, but most (including this one) are good enough before this to make up for the poor ending.
While books like The Star Beast and Red Planet are light adventure stories this is a more serious book that's better suited for older children. It deals with more adult themes (like slavery) and Thorby (our protagonist) has more important decisions to make than the protagonists in those other books.
So, I'd recommend that younger readers might want to start with another book (such as the two I've mentioned or Have Space Suit-Will Travel) this is an excellent book for a truly young adult audience....more
I've read this book many times, but just finished the audiobook for the first time and as such I've finally decided to review this book.
I love this boI've read this book many times, but just finished the audiobook for the first time and as such I've finally decided to review this book.
I love this book. That said, there are other Heinlein books that are better overall. The main problem with this book is that this book can be viewed as two books pushed together. In some sense, it seems like he wrote himself into a corner for the first half and pulled out the second half so he can hand wave the questions that arise in the first half.
So, why I do I give 4 stars for a book with this problem? Mainly because of the clever dialogue and some of the characters, including the title cat, Pixel who doesn't know that cats can't walk through walls so he does it anyway.
This shouldn't be one's first exposure to Heinlein. There are too many ties into other books of his, most notably, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, The Number of the Beast, and Time Enough for Love. In these cases, there's direct plot elements (and characters) in this book that relate specifically to those books. There's also references to some of his other works as well, but not quite as blatant as these three. So, this book is a little treasure for fans of Heinlein's works.
If one hasn't read Heinlein, either start with Moon or one of the juveniles (with the caveat that the juveniles are definitely a product of their time), but if people have read at least the first two of the aforementioned books, they should give it a try....more