Sunday, July 28, 2019

Quick review of The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Windup GirlThe Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazing world building, peopled with very flawed characters who are mostly looking out for just themselves. The novel is set in a future Thailand in a world that is near apocalyptic as it deals with climate change and rising sea levels, running out of fossil fuels, and famines caused by diseases attacking genetically engineered crops. Thailand is a holdout from food conglomerates who want to introduce their genetically engineered crops into the kingdom and get access to the Thai seedbank which the Thai's have used to create crops that are disease resistant. Add to this mix are windup people or clones, servants that have been create with jerky movements, hence the term wind-up. The plot has four main strings, a battle between the trade ministry, who want to open up Thailand to the overseas food conglomerates, and the environmental ministry who don't. The second plot revolves around a conglomerate agent's attempts to access the seedbank. A third plot is the plight of a windup girl who has been abandoned to degrading work in a brothel and her attempts to escape her predicament. And the final plot is that of a Chinese Malay who escaped slaughter in his own country and is attempting, through dubious means, to survive as a despised foreigner in Thailand. All the stories intertwine and the novel comes to a satisfying conclusion.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Quick review of When the Floods Came.

When the Floods CameWhen the Floods Came by Clare Morrall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very well written, and an imaginative take on a future and how people might behave. It is set in England where a virus has wiped out most of the population and a few people live in isolated pockets using technology that is slowly running down. The main focus is a family that lives by themselves in an large apartment block. The story is told from the POV of a twenty something female. Children and people that age are rare. The story centres around her waiting for her finance (who she has never meet in real life, all their interactions have been on the web) to arrive, by bike - there are no cars or pods still running, while a mysterious stranger turns up, is he good or evil? The plot is not fabulous, but the story is more about how a family that has been cut off from physical interaction with others copes with this new worldly stranger and the world he introduces them too.

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