It's Carnival time and the Caribbean-colonized planet of Toussaint is celebrating with music, dance, and pageantry. Masked "Midnight Robbers" waylay revelers with brandished weapons and spellbinding words. To young Tan-Tan, the Robber Queen is simply a favorite costume to wear at the festival - until her power-corrupted father commits an unforgiveable crime.
Suddenly, both father and daughter are thrust into the brutal world of New Half-Way Tree. Here monstrous creatures from folklore are real, and the humans are violent outcasts in the wilds. Tan-Tan must reach into the heart of myth and become the Robber Queen herself. For only the Robber Queen's legendary powers can save her life...and set her free.
©2000 Nalo Hopkinson (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Robin Miles narrates Midnight Robber with a strong patois that was initially a turnoff for me. It was like listening to narration in a foreign language. The story itself is an unusual mix of old and sci-fi, there are 'aware' buildings with artificial intelligence the characters interact with and devices like toilets that measure one's physical health. There are also 'duels' with machetes and a lot of rank poverty. It reminds me of Firefly, with its combination of space ships and people riding horses. I believe the narrator's patois is of Haitian derivation, lots of 'oui's' and I definitely learned to love it. I found it musical and mesmerizing when all was said and done, DoDo. I listened to the novel at least three times and found things I missed in each subsequent listening. I grew to love Tan Tan, the main character in the novel. We meet Tan Tan when she is about 7, and lord, does this child have trials and tribulations to endure! In the end endure she does. I felt the story was also a reflection of the treatment of native, indigenous peoples. I find Nalo Hopkinson an engaging artist, introducing characters of locales of interest. I found the primary story line sad, however. Even into the future, across dimensions, girls are not safe. Despite that, I gave the novel top ratings across the board. I will read Nalo Hopkinson again. I actually think there is a good possibility of a sequel to Midnight Robber. I want to know what happened to Iony, Melon Head, Chichibaud, Tifa and other characters it would be a spoiler to mention here. I recommend the book, it is very good and I'll probably listen to it a fourth time. That's one of the things I love about audio books, you can always invest in another reading!
Midnight Robber ranks almost at the bottom of the books I've listened to.
I think the author lied when she set up the father and the little girl as good characters in the beginning of the book. As the story went on, I found them both morally bankrupt and could not enjoy the story. The only reason I finished it was because I thought that Robin Miles' reading was sublime and I enjoyed the uniqueness of the patois.
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