Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review- The Shadow Speaker

I just finished my second last book for my school board review committee, which is good considering our meeting is next Tuesday! The book is The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-mbachu. And I am still not sure what I really think about this book.

I don't think I will be recommending it for a middle school audience. I do however, think it would be a great read for high school students. The book is set in a futuristic Earth where magic has returned after "the big change". The landscape continually changes, forests pop up all over, there are mutations in humans and animals. The many character is Ejii, a 14 year-old girl who is struggling to control her abilities as a shadow speaker. She must set out on a quest to strengthen her powers and potentially save the world.

The author of this book certainly has a vivid and interesting imagination. I found myself drawn into the action of the book and looking forward to reading on and on. I did struggle with the unbelievability of the setting, seeing as it was Earth. I normally love fantasy and science fiction books. I love being transported to other lands and suspending my disbelief. However, most of those books are set in different lands. I throughly enjoyed the description of the Ginen world where the homes and buildings are all made of plants.

Overall, I think was drew me most into this book was that it reminded me of the Feminist Science Fiction class I took in university. SB, did you take that class with me? The Shadow Speaker brought me back to when I read Door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski and Dawn by Octavia Butler. Both of which I recommend to any woman, or lover of science fiction.

Think overall I am still unsure about The Shadow Speaker. I know I enjoyed it, I know I wanted to continue reading it...but I don't know how I feel about it. It made me think for sure. About the role of women, role of pollution, role of racism. A very interesting read for sure.

3 Thinks and Thoughts of Others:

SB said...

Were we in the same class? Or did we just have the same prof? Man I cannot remember! I LOVED both of those novels and to this day site Science Fiction as my favourite genre! Seriously! That class MOVED me. I might like this read then.! Have you seen AVATAR? B/c that REALLY reminded me of the sci-fi eco-feminism!

Beth said...

I really can't remember. I know it was a women's studies class that I had to get special permission to count as a language credit, but it wasn't a big deal because it was an essay course.

I haven't seen Avatar actually. Nothing seemed appealing to me about it. I don't like animation that much...but maybe when it's on pay per view I'll see it.

StephTheBookworm said...

Hey, I came over from the Saturday Network. Great blog you have. I love the name of it, and the picture of your puppy is absolutely adorable!

This book sounds pretty interesting, though you're right that it may not be good for middle school. It sounds like it may be too complex. Do you teach English? I was going to school for that, but switched and am now studying to be a librarian.

Anyways, I'll definitely be keeping up with your blog. You have some really neat things going on here. Have a good day!

Last Words...

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe