epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Book Reviews: The Other Side of the Island + Anti-Ice

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman

Honor and her parents move to Island 365 in the Tranquil Sea. Earth Mother and her corporation ensure that everything is orderly and predictable for life after the Flood. But Honor’s parents don’t follow the rules. They ignore curfew, neglect their children and flaunt their contempt for society not caring about the consequences.

This is a dystopian world and much is unexplained. Are the rigid controls necessary? Are Honor’s parents just selfish reckless idiots? Is the ending happy or unhappy? This is good and can be read in many different ways.

Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter

This alternate history steampunk tale is set in a 1870 where the British Empire rules supreme powered by the mysterious substance anti-ice. Ned Vicars is an ordinary chap who gets caught up in revolution, war and an unscheduled flight to the moon.

This is a good adventure tale. It starts out as a glorious what-if about the Victorians possessing anti-matter but as the story progresses you realise this Empire is a nightmare world of Imperialism, a shifting balance of power and toxic hatreds. This is good.

Best Line:
To set foot on another world was surely the most significant achievement in human development since the Ark – or, if Sir Charles Darwin is to be believed, since our monkey ancestors desisted from hurling bananas at each other and climbed down from the trees to walk upright on the land.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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