Maurinejt's Reviews > Specials

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
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's review
Aug 07, 2012

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Read in August, 2012

This was a very hard book for me to get into. Of course, it's a scenario we've already been through with Tally--twice. It's actually an interesting study in character development; each time you start at zero and any character growth that occurs is reset back to zero for the next book. It was beyond frustrating to read however. I did find one of the major themes of the series, highlighted in this volume, extremely interesting. It's the rather revolutionary idea that living responsibly in the environment HAS to go hand in hand with enormous censures of freedom. That for the measures to work, they have to be so severe as to seem barbaric to us as we are. I've come across this notion in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow, and Children of God, and it was the same situation: a culture so severely repressed it almost couldn't function, but one that lived perfectly within its means. Lift the repression and the world may drown in violence and exploitation. The Greater Good is a term that blankets many an atrocity, but what kind of courage could it take after seeing humankind almost die in a fiery bath of blood and ecological corruption to say, no, our descendants are going to be different. This cannot happen again. And deliberately consign future generations to a kind of half-life where great potential is muted. There may be no good answer. I can't imagine the solution presented at the end of the novel is going to work for long unless it gets a lot more organized and wide-spread...which could become its own downfall.

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