Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Speed of Dark

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
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May 05, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, novel, speculative-fiction, reviewed
Recommended to Lisa by: Sandi
Read in May, 2009

It’s going to be a challenge to write a review without using a spoiler box but I will do it, as I have written all my other reviews without spoilers.

This is kind of a cross between The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and Flowers for Algernon, both books I also really liked.

The writer is the mother of a son (adolescent at the time of this book’s publication) that has autism. The main character in this book has autism, but it takes place in the future where he has received better early intervention and treatment than exist today.

It is speculative fiction that takes place in a (not too distant) futuristic world but this story is one hundred percent character driven so it was easy to forget the science fiction aspects. The science fiction aspects are somewhat subtle: there are definitely more advanced medical interventions and treatments available; occasional things are mentioned that make it clear global warming has gotten worse.

I found this story very moving and I really loved the main character and all the characters are well drawn. The author tells a very engrossing story.

I loved the main character's musings on various pieces of classical music; it was fascinating.

There was some unexpected, for me, humor that made me laugh & smile and I really appreciated that because much of the story was sad and there was quite a bit of suspense as well.

It’s the mark of a wonderful storyteller when I become very interested in some subject I’d never had interest in – fencing in this case – I did get an intro in high school gym/drama and two of my friends continued and took intermediate fencing, but really I haven’t been at all interested since then.

This book reminded me to never judge or underestimate anyone based on their disability or appearance, and it did make me think what exactly makes someone who they are and what makes a human being valuable. It also said a lot about change and about risk.

I thought that the story very nearly fell apart at the end, but then it ended ok, I guess, but I did not like the end; I did not like the end much at all, and it also felt kind of rushed. However, it was still a remarkable achievement. I just loved Lou’s voice, so very much! It wasn’t a flawless book and the end was not as good as the majority of the book, but I’m giving it five stars anyway.

I got a library copy that had tons of notes and also underlining/circling of the text and it took quite a bit of effort for the “autistic” part of me to ignore it and focus on just the text of the book, but for the most part I managed to do that.

Edit: I loved this book so much that I recommended it to two friends when I was still in the early pages. While it did go a bit downhill at the end, I would still recommend this book.
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Reading Progress

04/30/2009 page 1
0.28% "Grr. The library gave me a copy that has voluminous notes & much text that's underlined. I'll have to try to ignore it."
05/01/2009 page 38
10.8% "I am just loving this. Like a cross between Flowers for Algernon & The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-time."
05/02/2009 page 84
23.86% "It's interesting that the writer is the mother of a son who has autism; he was an adolescent when this book was published in 2003."
05/03/2009 page 170
48.3% "This is so fascinating. I can't wait to see what happens."
05/03/2009 page 255
72.44% "I'm still really, really enjoying this. Great characters, especially the main one, and I really care about what will happen."
05/04/2009 page 301
85.51% "I hope I like the last 12% of this book as much as I've liked the first 88%, but I'm a little worried about it. Wonderful so far!"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lisa Vegan well done on not including spoilers

Thanks! It was hard with this book.

I did like Lou but I do tend to like quirky characters.

I will have to check out her other books and decide whether to try any of them.


Lisa Vegan Chandra, Even though the last 12% wasn't as good as the first 88%, it was fascinating.


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