Cindy's Reviews > Beggars Ride

Beggars Ride by Nancy Kress
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Apr 26, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: female-authors, social-sf, sci-fi, dystopic-or-apocalyptic, biopunk, robots-n-androids
Read from July 13 to 17, 2010

Third in the Beggars series: Beggars in Spain, Beggars And Choosers and Beggars Ride.

What a series! Social SF at its best!

Kress starts off with a simple premise: what if we could genetically modify our children so that they didn't need sleep? She follows all the complicated, society-changing implications from there. (Hint: there's way more than you'd think!) Honestly, after reading the Hugo-award winning novella, I didn't see how it could continue; I thought she had explored all the moral and societal issues with the Sleepless. How wrong I was! Each book has a new simple premise (or two or three) and explores the outcomes and knock-on effects from various individuals' points of view and the wider-reaching societal complications. The brilliance lies in each book presenting a different commentary on society - following a slightly different cast of characters, through new political, economical and emotional terrain.

Specifically about Beggars Ride: It was a good, satisfying conclusion to the series. Sadly, this is the weakest of the three books, but still holds up. For a book that has a couple of huge events, not much action happens. There is too much thinking and talking about stuff, and not enough doing. In most chapters we're inside a character's head, alone with their thoughts. That's just not very compelling. On the other hand, Kress explores new society-changing questions only touched on in the previous books. In addition, this book was grittier, dirtier with depressing elements and reluctant heroes. Yay for grit and dirt!
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Reading Progress

07/15/2010 page 156
38.0% "Somehow vol. 3 is feeling more scattered?"
07/16/2010 page 215
71.0% "Lots of solo characters thinking & planning. I want action!"

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