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Imagining Future Worlds,
This review is from: Gathering Blue (Giver Quartet) (Hardcover)
Lois Lowry has written a number of excellent books including "Number the Stars" and my personal favorite, "The Giver." In fact, "The Giver" is a book that I would consider truly great. Reminiscent of Orwell's "1984", it, too, describes an anti-utopian future of considerable power. But, whereas in "1984" we know the strangeness of the world we are reading about from the first paragraph, Lowry builds the strangeness of the world of "The Giver" slowly, with revelations that take the story to a fever-pitch. It is a wonderful book.
"Gathering Blue" has a similar flavor to "The Giver" but not the power. Whereas "The Giver" reminded me of "1984", "Gathering Blue" reminded me of "Planet of the Apes." Now, I'm a fan of "Planet of the Apes", mind you, but it's not the same thing.
Again, in "Gathering Blue", there is the story of an anti-utopian future society. Kira is a girl who has lost both of her parents. The book opens with her mourning her mother. Because of her deformed leg, Kira is now at risk of being killed herself as she can no longer contribute to her society made primitive after an event called the Ruin. Her unequalled skill with a needle and thread, however, keep her alive and get her close enough to the power of her society to see its secret horrors.
"Gathering Blue" is a good story. Certainly better than much of what's out there. What I like about this story even over "The Giver" is that it seems almost more real. While reading, I felt that this kind of primitive society could really develop. What it lacks is the tension and surprises of "The Giver." There is little tension in Kira's trial because we know she has to live for the story to go on. There are a couple of surprises in the last few pages but they are not a powerful as in "The Giver."
It is a risk to read a book by an author who has written one of your favorite books because it is difficult to beat the comparison. Still, "Gathering Blue" is an excellent book and well worth the read. But I would recommend "The Giver" to anyone who reads this.