I read this to help a child with an assignment. Assumed it would be a rather mediocre YA science fiction. But the literature major in me was impressed.
The story is told from 3 perspectives. One is classic fairy tale. One is classic science fiction. And last is . . . advanced science fiction? Space opera? Anyway, the sections alternate and I was impressed with the change in perspective and language. It's not a long book, but fit quite a bit in.
More important, it's a significant commentary on symbolism. While I understand that many people life science fiction for the world-building, I like this particularly because it lacked that. The author even said something to the effect of, "We'll just call it a ray gun. Or a dragon." There's no need to create new words or re-define anything. She used simplicity of language to focus on the real message. Which is....
The real message is . . . growth and maturity, for both individuals and civilizations. Also sacrifice, choices, perceptions, motives, love, success, and letting go. There's a lot going on, but each of the main characters are struggling through their own version of similar issues. Also, there's a deep grasp of the reality that life isn't perfect and that suffering is real. We sometimes see green grass on the other side, but there's suffering and struggle there too. The three perspectives achieved that in a way that is not usually possible.
Overall, not only did I thoroughly enjoy it.... I will probably re-read it in the future. I haven't done that often since I was young, but this one feels worth the re-visit in a few years.
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (1 June 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1681196131
- ISBN-13: 978-1681196138
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.7 x 20.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 367 g
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