Illuminae

Kaufman A. & Kristoff J. (2015). Illuminae. New York: Ember.

Illuminae is a stunning book about an illegal mining colony that gets attacked by a rival mining corporation. The plot is told in an unusual fashion, as the book does not contain 23395680.jpgthe normal word after word story. Instead it is mostly comprised of several chat rooms, emails, maps, interviews, transcripts, etc.  This style of telling the story makes a real impact and you feel like you’re right there experiencing these events with the characters. The story follows two main characters, Kady, onboard a science vessel called The Hypatia and Ezra, onboard an attack vessel called The Alexander. They’re just two of the thousands of refugees that escaped the attack. Now they’re part of a heavily damaged fleet that’s slowly limping towards safety, a wormhole station called Heimdall, with an attack vessel, The Lincoln, slowly closing in to mop up the mess. If they don’t think of something to get to the wormhole in time, The Lincoln will destroy the fleet, killing everyone. It feels like it couldn’t get any worse, except it could. From a faulty and somewhat lethal  Continue reading

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The Wild Robot

Brown, P. (2016). The Wild Robot. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Peter Brown’s art has come to middle grade fiction, and combined with his equally bare bones writing style, he has created a meditation on nature versus technology, a 26030734philosopher’s handbook, if you want to go that far.

After falling off a cargo ship and bobbing along in the ocean, Roz reaches the shores of an island where otters manage to open up her shipping box and activate her. Roz opens her eyes, looks around this place – the only place she’s ever known – and even though she is indeed a robot, she considers it home. However, survival quickly becomes her primary focus, when a storm sweeps her down in a mudslide, angry bears chase her, and a mama bird makes sure Roz lands with a clank out of a tall and sticky pine tree. Intriguingly, Roz begins to observe the island’s animals and learn their ways and their language. The line between real and robot is tenuous and appealing in Continue reading