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Phil's Rambling Rants

March 10th, 2006

March 10th, 2006
06:01 pm


Book review: Outward Bound
Today's book review is Outward Bound by James P. Hogan.

This is a short YA novel set in the fairly near future.  It explores some of Hogan's ideas about a better basis for society than our familiar money economy through a teenager's coming of age story.  The bigger social ideas are somewhat interesting, but not really presented very compellingly.  The examination of earth society seems rather trivial, and the story and characters are rather thin.  This is one of those YA novels where the author has dumbed down every part of his writing for the YA market, as if suggesting that if he's only writing a YA book it's not worth bothering to do a good job, which is unfortunate.  It's not a complete failure; there is some interest and some seeds of goodness.  It is a quick read and it does avoid the stupid pseudo-science that nearly ruined The Anguished Dawn.  But it's pretty disappointing on the whole.

5 out of 10.

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09:09 pm


Book review: Seven Wild Sisters
Today's second book review is Seven Wild Sisters by Charles de Lint.

After wading through Freedom and Necessity, I was looking for something quick and light, and even after knocking off Outward Bound I still wasn't ready to dive into anything deep.  So I thought this special edition of Seven Wild Sisters, with illustrations by Charles Vess, would be good.  It's a short novel; in fact, it's just a part of a collection of stories in the regular edition, but I'd picked up this special edition a couple of years ago, I think when de Lint was the GoH at Windycon.

This is a delightful little story.  It is the kind of story that might be marketed as YA, but only because it's a nice little story that isn't inappropriate for younger readers, not at all because it's not good enough for adults.  It's a modern-day fairy tale, really, but it's a fairy tale with a bit of meat to it, so that it appeals to me more than most fairy tales, while still being the kind of innocent story that can be called a fairy tale.  You might have trouble finding it as a standalone book, but if you have to get the rest of the collection -- I think it's in Memory and Dream -- that's not such a bad thing.

9 out of 10.

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