I very much wanted to like this book enough to give it five stars, but the truth is giving it four stars may be generous. The concept behind the novel is brilliant. Unfortunately, the delivery of the story is erratic. While some reviewers suggest only Wyndham fans would enjoy the book, I would tend to disagree. In a better developed form, this book could have enjoyed wider acclaim.
In a book about hostile spiders, Wyndham lays the setting for more than half of the book. Past the halfway point, the reader finally meets the spiders, who are introduced as a "brown patch". Having introduced the villain so late in the book, the conflict comes even later. Thus, the ending seems rushed. Having been subjected to nuclear experimentation, the island of Tanakuatua has only recently been declared safe for inhabitants. An idealist, who's dream of building a perfect society needs a site, purchases the island. Upon arrival, settlers begin disappearing and the natives reveal the source of the "taboo".
Wyndham may be better known for other works, but this brief work is enjoyable despite its flaws. The story demonstrates brilliance in political ideology as well as it understanding of biology. These traits make the book somewhat surprising to be labeled for young adults.
- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Longman (7 September 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0582434777
- ISBN-13: 978-0582434776
- Boxed-product Weight: 18.1 g
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