Ursula LeGuin is so much head & shoulders above most other SciFi/Phantasy writers it's not even funny. This world is beautiful and a dream. Allegory with guns, but not a shoot 'em up. Not for every one,it's somewhat slow. This is not a long novel, but so dense I relisten to chapters just to get it all. And then on re -reading/listening get more. Here the author does not spell everything out but it implied in a masterful way, that it engages your own imaginative function.
This novel is fast paced and full of great imagery of the strong and courageous Deuce and her 2 beaus. Not too lengthy, just the right amount of gory, bloody fight scenes and intertwined with those, the somewhat victorian love story. If you think about it; In those days, they did have to often fight in hand-to-hand combat too, vs. today's WMDs.
I am, at the moment, really into the current wave of post-apocalyptic drama. I just consume them as fast as they come out, mixing flavors, if they are any good... as many of them have turned out to be. I read Enclave, then Angelfall, then Outpost. For me it turned out to be the perfect complement of ernest dramedy and satire/comedy. That was great fun and entertainment; just what I needed.
I am not giving 'Outpost' the full 5 stars, because I don't think it deserves the 5, due to the fact that I found several of the inner monologues too long, boring. I also did not find it as innovative as others of it's kind, even though it has the potential. There is a lot of basically phantasy stuff that the reader just has to accept.
Overall recommended as enjoyable entertainment.
Got to about 3/4 and gave up. Now that will say something; I'm normally feeling obligated to finish a book, if I can. I've really tried to like Mieville. The synopsis always sound so fascinating. I blamed part of my problems with 'Perdido Station' on Lee's narration [ I experience Lee as undigestible] This one was a different narrator, who did okay, a different story from 'Perdito Station', but so bleak, so confusing that I could not find it in me to finish this one. The aliens are just too mysterious and I did not get anywhere with their description and all the humans seemed to have been beamed over from '1984', they are depressed, scared furtive. Maybe I'm just not artistic enough to get it.
This book really captured my imagination and I enjoyed the ride. It also has a message, but it is so nicely wrapped that it does not offend at all. A good quality entertainment/ escapism with a credit well spent.
Now this is why I became a Sci Fi fan; here you have a fully formed idea, how our present trajectory could look like. This is set in a very plausible story, with fully formed, engaging characters. It is told suspensefully, entertaining and thought provoking. You might not agree with the author at all levels, but at least it is a serious contribution to the discussion. The prose serves the story, does not get in the way of the story, the narration also works.
Could not put it down, NS is still able to create a panoply of characters that engage, tour de force of suspense, entertaining waste of time but ultimately not satisfying. I don't remember much of the characters, nor the story. Coming from the author who brought us some truly stupefyingly awesome masterpieces [my favorite is 'Anathem'], this is mediocre.
This book is an incoherent mess. I had expectations for this book; it has all kinds of Sci-fi premises that I go for; such as bio engineering, cloning, our food supply. It also takes me to my neck of the woods, the west/ southwest, New Mexico. Main characters are women. Other main characters are local minorities.
Unfortunately the story just is very indistinct, vague, in part maybe because too many different view points are vying for expression through a number of characters, that i am trying to care for but never can do. The author does not explore the characters deeper and I am left prying to piece it together, which feels here frustrating. In other authors I can appreciate missing back story, because it is somehow implied, but not here.
It almost seems that Ziegler has gathered various themes of more successful writers and novels and mashed them together, but has not been able to create a coherent, engaging whole. That is too bad because some of his main ideas are interesting and would be worth exploring, describing. Maybe the author will write another book in this particular future and become a better writer with practice?
The narrator herself is good, but miscast for this book. She is skillful at expressing various characters, but then it's not her fault that they are so wooden and uninteresting, un sympathetic. Her voice would be great for a more lyrical story, one with beautiful descriptions, but it is jarring even embarrassing to hear her read the more crude expressions sprinkled throughout this narration.
In this story, set in the same future earth as P B's earlier novel 'Shipbreaker', the world economy has fractured, the global seat of power shifted to China, and the former US has descended into barbarism, where religious gangs, gathered around warlords, perpetuate unimaginable violence. P B has obviously taken many current events, from global warming to civil wars in Africa and crafted a plausible and intricate future. As in 'Shipbreaker this world is viewed from the eyes of young adults struggling to survive and make sense out of the chaos,brutality and remnants of former greatness. If you enjoy suspenseful journey novels & dystopian novels then you might enjoy this one. I admire the authors ability to project current realities into the future and his ability to create scenarios that are detailed, original and plausible.[ see Greer's 'Ecotechnic Future' where Greer names the next step to be a ' Scavenger society' ]
I am not sure that this is a novel to let younger readers get into though. Again, as in previous novels, the author describes terrible violence in graphic detail. And, though I understand why it needs to be part of this story; I do not like it.
There is something about that novel overall that is a real downer; but then again it is about dystopia. There is a glut of dystopian novels coming on the market right now, many very violent as del. I think that P B is a little ahead of the pack in some ways. He has the stomach, the diligence & the talent to re- package current trends, and current realities and present them to us in an imaginative, exciting and sometimes strangely beautiful way. He tricks us, so that we have to face an aspect of human nature as evidenced in current events. If we let the supporting structure of security and affluence erode through decisions we make , even our own civilized way of live can give way to a brutal, hellish, barbaric scrabbling for survival.
I like audiobooks now better than written books, because i can do things while listening. My iPod is small and I can keep it in my bra, while digging in the garden, sweeping the floor or doing dishes.
When I realized that this is a book that presents cutting edge research data in an interesting and approachable style and which I can use in my work and life to quote from and sound smart.
Where they say that even if people listen to word salads of only seconds length, people can get the gist... hmm maybe I should get my PHD
I have to listen to the book again to tell you
If the friend had a camp sense of humor and wanted to be entertained with a detective story set in an alternate victorian England, I would. Must want to laugh about vampires and werewolves.
The heroine is very unusual and the love story that develops is not predictable. Strong heroine in any era.
She gives a great performance, very well suited to the tone of this satire, ernest where it needs to be, light in other parts, she gives Alexia the perfect voice. Often made me laugh out loud
It often made me laugh or guffaw at some of the more camp passages. I got the book on a promo sale and did not know what to expect, what i was getting into. Now I want to get all the rest of the series.
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