Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
The Pale (The Chronicles of the Pale Book 1) Kindle Edition
The best device for reading, full stop. Learn more
A gripping tale of resilience, survival, and how we define the 'other' - this is intelligent SF that speaks to our time.' --Jennifer Mills, author of Dyschronia and fiction editor at Overland--This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07CJR552Q
- Publisher : Odyssey Books; PublishDrive edition (16 September 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 4476 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 317 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 723,801 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from Australia
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The world came alive for me, through the characters, the dangers they faced and their actions toward others. In the Regent, ruler of the Pale, I found a character I loved to hate. She was contrasted perfectly with Tad, the humachine who was considered to have too much empathy. His actions to save a human boy revealed the human side that had been suppressed in the other humachines. In the caste system of the Settlement, I found a leader worthy of the title of Chief as Valkirra struggled to do what was right for her people, even if that meant going against custom and the guidelines of the Temple. But it was the canini and the tribes that offered the most hope in the dark times, with the way they cared for their own and for others, and worked to live lightly upon the land that provided both food and shelter. It offered hope that all was not lost for humanity in the dark shadow of the cataclysmic events that rocked their world.
It was wonderful to see some of my favourite characters meet up and join forces despite their differences, even as I worry what the future holds for them considering the events taking place in the Pale toward the end of the book. One thing is for sure, navigating the dangerous landscape they live in will not be an easy task, and I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series to find out what happens next. In all, this story might have had a slow start, but it made up for it with a heartfelt message of hope amidst so much adversity.
Rhoden demonstrates tremendous descriptive powers and impressive world building, The Pale reminiscent of the intelligent science fiction novels of old. I am reminded of my favourite science fiction author, Phillip K. Dick. The Pale is filled with well-crafted and engaging characters – including dogs – in what amounts to a classy read with an important moral message, making the reader question where we are heading and whose side we are on and what it means to be fully human. Add to this an elegant writing style which makes The Pale accessible to teens and adults alike, and I imagine it won't be too long before this novel catches on big time.
The allegorical aspect of The Pale provides much fodder for contemplation in today's pre-apocalyptic climate change reality, something all good high school teachers should relish were they to lay their hands on copies for their classrooms. In all, Rhoden has penned a feast for the speculative fiction aficionado.
'How does anything live out there?' Tad murmured. Serviceman Tad patrols the Pale, the last place left that bears any resemblance to a city. Within the walls exist - you can hardly say 'live' - a hierarchical society of citizens who, like Tad, are partly liveware (tissue) and partly hardware. The Pale has wholly adopted technology and rationality as its survival mechanism. Subservience by the citizens to the poli-cosmos is the order of the day. (I think it no accident that the author's use of 'policosmos' without a hyphen somehow gives it an overtone of 'police state'.) Even so, there are unsettling signs in at least two Servicemen, Tad and his protégé Hector, of the Pre-catalcym human trait deemed most dangerous: empathy. The story of how this 'weakness' affects the Pale could have made a good novel in itself, I think, but Clare Rhoden interweaves it with so much more.
Outside the Pale, somehow life clings on. Here subsist the humans (fully liveware) of the Settlement. In their zeal to live up to Pre-cataclysmic ideals they have turned to biology. Strict breeding protocols result in a caste system. Beyond the Settlement roam Tribes. Some tribespeople have close bonds with the packs of Canini, wolf-like creatures. I defy any reader to not be fascinated by the Canini. Their codes and imperatives also serve as a contrast with the humans. All living things fear the Ferals, hybrids of biology and machine, a nightmare offspring of the former technological world. These scour the plains hunting biofuel i.e. flesh.
Clare Rhoden quickly establishes this ghastly world in our minds. At the same time she moves the narrative along with fascinating characters to care about. I particularly liked the depiction of how the mentality, society and even biology of humans could evolve to accomodate the need to survive and also to try to eliminate the weaknesses and disasters of Pre-Cataclysm humanity. In some dystopian stories all we really see, I think, is the last angry male humans mindlessly fighting each other to the last club and bullet. Here, to my relief, and I'm sure yours too, we have leaders, mostly female, relying on mutual respect, discussion, and the cross seeding of ideas between groups. This intelligent and thought provoking series looks at how the best attributes of we humans, empathy, hope, kindness, can have the power to raise us above struggle and misery.
Top reviews from other countries
The author has created a fascinating, multilayered, and complex world. At times, I felt a bit overwhelmed, bouncing around among the various cultures. But that is not a criticism; if one sticks with this book, one is richly rewarded. Several themes are raised throughout the book—the challenges of communication among groups with entirely different cultural expectations, questions of ethics, for instance in regard to population control as well as exploitation of labor, and questions of what makes a viable community. Throughout the reader is reminded that cultures change constantly and that some patterns of behavior that may have been adaptive at a certain point in time need to be reconsidered. Just like anthropologists have repeatedly discovered in the course of such fieldwork, the strange and inexplicable after a while becomes more comprehensible at the same time as one finds a number of familiar patterns of behavior and cultural dynamics. The “other” is not as different from oneself as one might think.