Stevelvis's Reviews > Nekropolis

Nekropolis by Maureen F. McHugh
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's review
Feb 17, 2008

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** NEKROPOLIS by Maureen F. McHugh

Wow! What a depressing book and I highly recommend it! It's the story of a poor woman in Morocco who indentures herself into servitude to a rich family because she thinks doing so will make her meaningless life of poverty easier and give her a purpose. She becomes "impressed" via a sort of viral nanotechnology into the service of a family where she quickly runs into trouble with the master's wife. Hungering for companionship she falls in love with and decides to escape with the wife's manservant who looks completely human but is actually an enhanced product of cloning, biological engineering, and artificial intelligence.

In escaping her slavery she becomes deathly ill because of the viral nanotechnological "impression" into servitude and must survive her illness while she and her lover find a way to escape and avoid political and sexual oppression, societal pressures and self doubts. The not-too-futuristic technology mostly takes a backseat and frames the story which deals with the freedom of thought and the freedom to love and focuses mostly on the feelings of depression and oppression of various characters throughout the book. Just so you know, there is one chapter which includes adult sexual content of a surprisingly realistic homosexual nature. At only 250 pages in hardback this book is a quick read by an author who has won or been nominated for many awards in the past, including the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda, Tiptree, and Locus Readers Poll Awards.

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