terpkristin's Reviews > Earthseed

Earthseed by Pamela Sargent
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's review
Apr 15, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, audiobook, re-read, sci-fi, ya, sffaudio
Read from April 15 to 28, 2012

Audiobook from Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Narrated by Amy Rubinate
Length: just under 8 hours

I'm reasonably certain that I read this book when I was a lot younger. When I saw that the entire Seed trilogy was coming to audio, I looked into them and thought I'd read Earthseed. I know I didn't read the other two books in the series, Farseed and Seed Seeker (the last two were written much later). Regardless, it's understandable why this book is getting attention again, almost 30 years since it was written: it's another YA book that is similar (ish) to The Hunger Games.

In Earthseed, the reader is introduced to Zoharit (spelling? I dunno, I listened to the audio book), one of many teenagers aboard a ship traveling through space. Zoharit, and her ship mates, were all "born" on the ship, created by the ship (known as "Ship") from DNA samples of Ship's creator. Ship was sent from Earth with samples (and programming) from "the last of humanity on Earth," set with a mission to find another world where no intelligent life exists and "seed" the world with humans. Ship raised these kids (about 50ish in total) from birth, teaching them, fulfilling a parental role. We enter the story as the kids, now teens, are getting ready to spend time in the "holo" (I presume it's "holo" and not "hollow," either way, it's a wilderness environment on-board the ship) to train for what it will be like on the surface of the planet. At this point, I'm sure you're thinking that some Lord of the Flies-type story is going to happen (I know that's what I thought), and in fact there are some parallels between Lord of the Flies and Earthseed. However, Sargent does a wonderful job of making the story engaging with some surprising twists and turns along the way. While listening, I felt myself making excuses to listen to more of the story, not wanting to stop. I won't spoil the story, but I will say that at the end, Ship's residents find themselves making a life on the surface of the new planet and Ship goes off to seed another world.

I think it's worth mentioning briefly that I thought Amy Rubinate's narration was superb. I normally don't care for female narrators. Usually they sound too dramatic. But Rubinate did a great job. I could always distinguish the voices of the characters, whether it was two females, two males, or a male and a female talking, and at no point did I feel like it was overdramatized. Also, the voice she used for Ship was a perfect matronly but somewhat robotic voice.

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Reading Progress

04/15/2012 page 82
27.0% "Listening to audio version. Usually I'm not a fan of female narrators, so I'm happily surprised that I'm liking this one well enough so far."
04/25/2012 page 148
49.0% "Interesting story so far. Kinda predictable the way the kids are acting/what's happening to them but I just came to a bit of a twist that I wasn't expecting. Also, this spaceship has more expression/free thought than a spaceship should have."

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