3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Good to Great Writer, poor choice of protagonists,
This review is from: Hybrids (Tor Science Fiction) (Mass Market Paperback)
These three books are the first books I've ever read by Robert J. Sawyer. He is a very good writer, but I have a real problem with his choice of the main characters. First is Mary, homo sapien. At the beginning of the series she is attacked and raped by a white man. That sets the whole story line from there. The second main character is Ponter. Neanderthal. He comes across as being straight out of a romance novel. Very manly. In every extreme. Even his faults are manly and forgivable. The books are well written, but come across as way to much of an attack on American White Males. Mary becomes pretty much what many men would call a Femi-Nazi. Every thing is the fault of men, white men most of all. Even through the author at times seems to try to reign this in, in the end it just gets to the reader. As an American White, even if I am a liberal white male, the tirades the trilogy goes off on become offensive. There is nothing that white males can do right.
Ponter comes across, as I stated before, as just a bit to manly. Super strong, a lover to beat all others, understanding, ect. ect.
The whole problem with the series is that there is no balance, no opposing point of view. Judgment is given, but no defense. With the main characters given there is no journey of discovery, no growth. Ponter and his world start out perfect and remain perfect in the end (by keeping male homo sapiens from it). Mary starts out hating males (white males and white AMERICAN males most of all) and ends up still hating males, in fact even feeling more resolved about her feelings.
Although the story is great the main characters and the diatribes about the evils of being a male keep the trilogy from being great. I can't really say if I would recommend it or not. I can say that if you are a male (white male, white AMERICAN male) with any sense of dignity that you WILL be offended much of the time making this trilogy very hard to read. I kept hoping at least Mary would learn the error of her Femi-Nazi ways, but alas, she only end up strengthening them.