I first read this some years ago - not, I think, in my teens or twenties, but still probably over 20 years in my past. I knew I'd read it, and I knew...moreI first read this some years ago - not, I think, in my teens or twenties, but still probably over 20 years in my past. I knew I'd read it, and I knew I'd been struck by it, and I knew the basic premise, but beyond that I discovered as I listened to it on Audio that I'd forgotten everything.
There's an excellent article on Wikipedia about the book and about the various attempts at censorship that have befallen it, which is wonderfully ironic given that it's about the extremes of censorship. It's also about the dumbing down of education and about mass apathy.
This is a powerful book. Some might find it a bit wordy, but it's worth immersing oneself in. After all, there are many injustices still in the world and we could all do with some philosophizing to help determine our place in it so our actions (or lack of actions, as the case my be) are informed.(less)
If you've read Big Honey Dog's first book (Curse of the Scarab) you'll already know how delightful this dog is. If you haven't, I can assure you you'l...moreIf you've read Big Honey Dog's first book (Curse of the Scarab) you'll already know how delightful this dog is. If you haven't, I can assure you you'll enjoy it just as much as this little Christmas mystery.
Big Honey Dog and her friends obviously thrive on solving mysteries, and when they read a fragment of a note hidden inside a Christmas bauble they're eager to help out. They have to face up to a CAT and get past a sinister MAN, but, with their team-work sometimes brilliant and sometimes bumbling they can do anything! However, not everything is as it seems .......
This little book has a great plot and great characterisation, and has just the right mixture of excitement and humour to keep any reader (children, their parents, their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, their ...) totally engaged.(less)
Paolo Bacigalupi has created a thoroughly believable future for our planet - climate change has caused the seas to rise so much that entire cities are...morePaolo Bacigalupi has created a thoroughly believable future for our planet - climate change has caused the seas to rise so much that entire cities are swamped, and the families that currently make a living by picking through rubbish dumps are now scavenging metal from wrecked supertankers. Genetic engineering has created a new servant class - these 'half-men' have dog and tiger genes spliced with human, making them incredibly strong and fast, and are engineered to be bonded to their human owner, so much so that if their owner dies, they also do (I can't remember the specifics, though).
The reader is dropped into this world as young Nailer is forced to re-enter the ship for a second time that day, despite already having made quota. He can't refuse. If you don't work, you don't eat. And his father isn't going to be lenient on him.
I listened to this on AudioBook and thoroughly enjoyed the narration. The story kept me riveted, with lots of action and a good range of different scenes. I liked the interactions between the characters, and Nailer's thoughts about them. And I really liked the way a few characters are left loose - will they or won't they be in the next book? - while we're encouraged to name a few others we're pretty sure will be there.
This book had lots of excitement right up to the end, and a nice, tidy conclusion. I'll definitely be reading the second in the series.(less)