I really enjoyed this story and the character of the boy and his doggy. It reminded me a little bit of The Giver by Charlotte Lowery. The sense of sce...moreI really enjoyed this story and the character of the boy and his doggy. It reminded me a little bit of The Giver by Charlotte Lowery. The sense of scene and place was very tangible to me in the way things were described. I loved the inventiveness of the culture and the robots who were so versatile. I loved the metaphor for our own society where we think that everything out there beyond our normal life is rotten and barren and bad when really it is so much more lovely than anything we are clinging to in our little world of TV, materialism and "safety". These characters literally live in a bubble but we in our limited culture live in a bubble that is just as barren and ugly and lifeless. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.(less)
The pacing and writing were interesting. Some things did not hold together well or were not explained as much as I would have liked but in general the...moreThe pacing and writing were interesting. Some things did not hold together well or were not explained as much as I would have liked but in general the sense of a girl finding out things rapidly after being asleep her whole life came through. My complaint was that getting to the island and being able to chose to have buses would have meant bringing giant freighters with buses or metal and forges. None of this was really alluded to. It seemed that people came on "boats" which felt as if they were fairly small vessels which would have made the rich folks with pavement and wood furniture. live stock from the past and nice houses unable to create all of these things. It sounded like there was not much room on the "boats" So lots of antique furniture and real fabric jeans for the rich and growing cotton for real fabrics did not seem to be mentioned. Real machinery for processing and weaving would have taken up a lot of room on small "boats", sewing machines etc. Medical equipment, tool and die equipment to make the solvent factories. So this was a big hole in the plot for me. There would not have been such a big difference between rich and poor folks because stuff would start to wear out. That is what happens when you have an embargo like cuba has had for so long.
But I know it was just fiction and she was just having "fun" writing about dystopia because it is a popular topic, like zombies for instance. the author said on her site that she thought it was an exciting topic to write about because of the possibilities available when people are pushed to their limits. So basically the book is meant as entertainment and no real research was done to make it more plausible. Still I like that she did accidentally "go there". The author did tackle some interesting questions even though some details were spotty and not as well thought out as I would have liked.
It seemed as if the situation would have been a bit more like Cuba in that there was no new material and people had to just reuse things. Only I wish they had had the wisdom to do what Cuba was forced to do and grow lots of urban food gardens instead eating inedible crap that the governing body set up for them. I liked that it showed how stupid people are and how we are just setting for seaweed, cheese food and jelly fish instead of creating what we want when there are mangos all over our island and land to grow fresh food if we want it. Instead most of us mutely go off to the solvent factory to work every day. It made a wonderful point without being too preachy: We should learn to adapt to our world instead of destroying it by trying to mold it to our past likes and dislikes.(less)