The story was weak, it started slow and then when it finally finished it felt as if we had only heard half the story. The more I read/listen to Lois Lowry's "The Giver" Series the more it's clear that many of the most interesting and compelling events happen 'off screen' she hints and the events but never gets into detail. It's almost as if she never gets into what would be the true meat of her stories.
I have read The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and am half way through Son and in all three of her other Giver novels the story is compelling enough to overlook the way Lowry glosses over what would be the most interesting aspects of the world she has created. But Gathering Blue reads like an uncompleted novel, as if she reached the chapter directly proceeding the climax but she never actually shows us the climax or resolution.
That said the other two novels following this in the giver set, require you to have read Gathering Blue in order to understand and appreciate them completely. When taken as part of The Giver series Gathering Blue can be seen as a weak but necessarily link in the chain. But as a stand alone novel i feel it fails miserably
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