Josiah's Reviews > The Speed of Dark

The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
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it was amazing
bookshelves: sci-fi, best-of-2019

This book is amazing. Full stop.

When I first heard about the story's premise--about an autistic protagonist in the future who needs to decide whether to take a new cure that's been invented for autism or not--I was sold. Idea-books are very much up my alley, and the question of if autism is a disease to be cured or a part of someone's intrinsic personality is an important question for stories to explore. So I came to this book with very high expectations for what I was going to read.

Those expectations were largely met. Interestingly enough, though, while I may have come to this book originally for its ideas, I largely stayed because of the character. I wasn't prepared to get a deep 1st person POV from an autistic protagonist--or how wonderful Moon's depiction of it would be. I was captured by Lou's voice like few other narrative voices captured me and I loved the way we were able to get to see everything through his eyes. While the plot of the book seemed to meander at times, I could hardly care less--that's how engaging the narrative voice was.

Of course, the central question that drew me to the book was also handled rather well. The author provided a variety of different responses to the idea of a cure through the several autistic characters in the story, and I particularly appreciated the way Moon showed Lou grappling with this issue himself. The thematic question wasn't thought-through abstractly, but in a very embodied, characteristic way for the protagonist, and I really appreciated that.

The ending, as some of the reviews here focus on, is a bit divisive. (view spoiler)

My only criticism of the book is that, as also reviewers pointed out, the ending of the book is rather rushed and could have deserved further unpacking. Apart from that, the characters and themes of this book are masterful and this book is easily going to be one of my favorites for this year.

Rating: 4.5-5 Stars (Extremely Good).
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2018 – Shelved
July 24, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
March 6, 2019 – Finished Reading
April 6, 2019 – Shelved as: sci-fi
January 11, 2020 – Shelved as: best-of-2019

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