Review: some mini-reviews of Oryx and Crake, Dream Houses, The Slow Regard of Silent Things, and Anansi Boys
Time to catch up on some reviews:
This book from the author of the seminal The Handmaid's Tale is set in the future in the wake of an apocalyptic disaster. Snowman, aka Jimmy, may be the last human on earth after a genetically engineered virus wipes out most of mankind. His story is told mostly in flashback, showing us the events that led up to the disaster and showing us not only what happened but why. This book is cautionary tale from multiple angles on some of the dangers from capitalism, rampant genetic engineering and so on, but also from the other side if we go too far to try to correct things.
Dream Houses is a limited edition novella written and published for this year's Capclave, a SFF convention in Washington D.C. The story is about a woman who works as a grunt on a freighter run to a nearby star system, but wakes up early to find her crew dead and she faces a long voyage alone with the ship's A.I. It's basically a tale about what happens to a person when they face madness from a long time alone with no people for company. The story is well told, though it didn't feel like anything that I hadn't already read before.
Like the forward of this book says, "you may not want to buy this book." The reason why is because it's a short story about Auri, a secondary character from The Kingkiller Chronicles. It doesn't further the main trilogy storyline, nor does it feature any other characters from the books. All it does is follow Auri in a small period of time to show us what her life is like in the tunnels of the city and university. On the other hand, being a Rothfuss story, it is of course very well told and certainly worth a read if you don't mind something a bit different.
Anansi Boys is sort of a sequel to 2001's American Gods in that it is set in the same world with one character from that book. However, that character, Anansi, has only a very small role and the story is really about his sons. The style of the book is also different in that it is smaller in scope, more about family, and is also much lighter and funnier in tone. If you're a fan of Neil Gaiman, then this book worth a look.