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Iron Jaw and Hummingbird Hardcover – October 2, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up—Like Roberson's adult sci-fi novels, this book is set on 26th-century Mars, which has been colonized by China, Earth's dominant cultural and political force. Rescued from homelessness eight years earlier and educated by a wealthy socialite, Gamine is stunned when, at age 13, she's thrown back onto the streets to fend for herself. The same day, Huang, an 18-year-old underachiever, is commissioned as an army officer and sent to a far-off outpost. As the years pass, each one travels a different path. Gamine reluctantly falls in with a con man and they make their precarious living as grifters. When they eventually form a sham religious movement, she is renamed Iron Jaw for her playacted ability to withstand any blow. Huang's convoy is attacked by a bandit airship and he's taken prisoner; he eventually sides with his captors and becomes Hummingbird, their chief tactician. When the groups join forces to overthrow the corrupt government, the main characters form a spiritual (and sexual) bond. Hummingbird's growth from spoiled playboy to wise leader is well realized, as is Iron Jaw's guilt about scamming people. More thoughtful readers will understand the reasons for the somewhat anticlimactic, philosophical ending. With a well-realized setting, this novel will appeal to teens who like martial arts, adventure, and stories with tactical battles.—Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
With a well-realized setting, this novel will appeal to teens who like martial arts, adventure, and stories with tactical battles. --School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Geared towards teens and older, this science fiction story has the feel of a fantasy, as Roberson's other books Set the Seas on Fire and Paragaea also do. But this story is completely unique as it is based solely on an alternate reality Mars. Granted the planet itself has little bearing on the story, which revolves around the two central characters Gamine and Huang. Both go through tremendous ordeals and hardships which eventually lead the two together, aiming for a common goal. Both Gamine and Huang also have to go through a range of emotions that eventually force them to deal with the thoughts of revenge in their hearts.
Gamine and Huang's stories began as completely different situations. Gamine, as a child from the streets, who eventually grows from a thief and con artist to a respected leader. And her ideals slowly change over time as well. And Huang, as a spoiled rich boy, bored with army life, who eventually evolves from a slave of a group of bandits to their leader. But meanwhile, he discovers the bandits are more than just thieving monsters, they have a past and a purpose.
Iron Jaw and Hummingbird is a fascinating story of two very different young people and their journey to finding themselves and a fight against a corrupt authority .