science fiction novel

Reading Corner – Take Me Tomorrow

take me tomorrowTake Me Tomorrow is hard to describe. My impression of it is that it is an intriguing story of a future, dystopian North America. The United States has dissolved into a fractionated world of Regions due to a war precipitated by a clairvoyant drug called tomo. Following an uprising from tomo users and supporters that results in a massacre, the Regions are created and strictly controlled by the governing body, the State. Travel and communication between Regions is rare. Punishments for any illegal activity are swift and harsh. Within these strict boundaries, curfews, and rules lives Sophia Gray and her father. Sophia exists in a Matrix-like bubble of ignorance of the ongoing undercurrent of war between citizens and the State, but her ignorance is slowly stripped away as she learns that she and her friends are right in the heart of the resistance.

The story is told from Sophia’s point of view and readers learn along with her as her perceptions of the world change. Details about the plot and the structure of world are revealed slowly through the dialogue and action surrounding Sophia. It’s a style choice that isn’t my favorite but Thompson handles it well. She unwraps the story piece by piece in a way that keeps readers guessing and turning pages for more. I wanted even more detail in some regards but I think that the lack of detail is either intentional and will be revealed in a later installment (Thompson is already working on Book 2) or it is simply a result of writing for a younger target audience.

Overall, I think Thompson does a good job of crafting a unique young adult story with relatable characters. There is a bit of romance but it’s not heavy-handed (which I appreciated) and it doesn’t detract from the main plot and action. I have personally outgrown the young adult genre but despite that I still enjoyed the story and I think that fans of the Hunger Games, Divergent, and similar stories would really enjoy it.

Unfortunately, Take Me Tomorrow isn’t currently available for purchase. I was provided a review copy in exchange for an honest review (many months ago. I’m really behind schedule!) The good news is that Thompson is working on re-releasing it, probably in conjunction with Book 2. You can keep an eye on her progress here.

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.
~ Neil Gaiman

Reading Corner – Ender’s Game

Like many others who never read Ender’s Game as a child, I was eager to read this before the movie comes out. I am glad I managed to stumble across a copy and do so! I can’t wait to see the movie because it looks fabulous but I’m certain it won’t encompass everything the book has to offer. Science Fiction is often slightly more difficult for me to read and this was a prime example but not in a negative way. It’s just so incredibly different than other genres. I could not “see” a lot of the story but I could feel it. Another reviewer perhaps describes it better by saying,

“Card’s prose is of the clear, clean-cut variety, in the tradition of George Orwell, who said that good writing is “like a windowpane.” He doesn’t draw attention to himself as the author; instead, he steps aside and focuses on enveloping the reader in Ender’s world.”

I also agree with this reviewer that I can’t say much about the book without spoiling things for you. But if you’re interested in a little more detail, this plot summary is very well written. Suffice to say, I enjoyed it. I think it’s worth reading because it’s one of those books that makes you think. That deals with a multitude of morality issues. And there’s plenty of action for those who like that too.

I think that most of us, anyway, read these stories that we know are not “true” because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: the mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about someone who lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about oneself. 
~ Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game