- Series: The Sea of Grass Trilogy
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: BenBella Books (May 11, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1932100474
- ISBN-13: 978-1932100471
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,376,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Child of Earth (The Sea of Grass Trilogy) Paperback – May 11, 2005
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In an era when Earth's scientists are opening multiple gateways to parallel worlds, Kaer is a precocious 12-year-old with an unusual dream. Linnea, one of the worlds being settled, is a haven for beautiful, oversize horses, and Kaer yearns to relocate there with her large, multiparent family. To decontaminate settlers and prepare them for crossing the gateways, gargantuan domes that simulate the more promising worlds have been built, and after embracing Kaer's dream, her family begins the arduous process of adapting to life in the Linnean dome. Visions of a utopian frontier paradise quickly vanish as hardships multiply, and learning a new language proves maddeningly difficult. Yet Kaer's family pulls even more tightly together, and the adventure builds when Kaer is given a surprising mission: to visit Linnea ahead of schedule. Gerrold's blending of adolescent space adventure and cultural extrapolation resembles a hybrid of Heinlein's juvenile novels and Le Guin's future primitive world sagas. Readers hooked by Kaer's quest can look forward to the two further volumes of a projected trilogy. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top customer reviews
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Gerrold brings in all the elements you'd expect from a Gerrold novel--bad puns, redheads, creatures and characters from former Gerrold works, friends from Gerrold's real life, political commentary, more bad puns, and chocolate, all framing the main photograph, which is the action surrounding Kaer's family, the giant horses of Linnea, and leaving one wondering how many years it will take for book 2 of this trilogy to hit the shelves.
I'm not sure why this is classified as a "young people's" book, since it involves some pretty complex scientific descriptions which I am either too old or too dense to follow thoroughly.
I managed to finish this book on an 8-hour drive from one end of California to the other and will now twiddle my thumbs until the sequel gets written. But then I've been doing that about Gerrold's Chtorr series for decades, so I'm used to it.
Good read. Buy it.
An unexpected time slip in Linnea's development left humans stranded for 3,000 years. They developed their own society, while plagues helped them forget that they had come from Earth. They aren't nearly as technologically advanced as Earth people, and they are very suspicious of outsiders. The people of Earth, nevertheless, need to colonize Linnea and hope to do this without the Linnean humans being aware that the new people are from another planet.
The narrator, Kaer, is a child of a group marriage. When she's eight years old, her family decides they want to help colonize a new planet and choose Linnea. Kaer is pleased because she's fascinated by the horses, descendants of Earth horses which have grown larger than elephants in Linnea's lighter gravity. After a few years, the family moves into a huge dome environment set up to emulate just about everything about Linnea except the gravity.
There is a lot of exposition of how the Linnean environment in the huge dome is made to work. Kaer, her family, and other prospective settlers absolutely must learn everything they can to fit in on Linnea without arousing suspicion among the natives. Failure could result in execution by the theocratically ruled Linneans. Kaer and her family must not only learn to speak the difficult Linnean language, they must learn to think like Linneans. They also have to abandon just about all modern technology. The training is long and hard. Some families just can't make it work. Kaer's family wants very much to succeed, but at times they question if it will all be worth it.
This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Child of Grass, is available, which is a relief because the ending of Child of Earth is somewhat abrupt. Fortunately, you don't have to wait to continue reading Kaer's adventure. I've already started the second book. David Gerrold has done an outstanding job of world-building and I want to see what comes next.
I don't understand why, together with his Dingillian saga, this novel has been billed as "fiction for young readers". Although, if you think of it... If being an adult means you cannot immerse yourself in the world of someone else's imagination and chew on the implications of the ideas and scenarios thereby presented, you must definitely be of a certain age to enjoy this.
I loved the world building and the sense of joy and wonder I got from this book. I was sucked in from page one, and sad to finish it because I just wanted more.