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- File size : 2002 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publisher : Walker & Collier, Inc. (June 15, 2018)
- Publication date : June 15, 2018
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B07CRYHQHH
- Print length : 356 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #347,561 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Enter Beth, a primatologist hired to study the Tanda and get them to breed. Beth and her husband Charlie run a primate shelter, a shelter strapped for cash.
In order to keep the center running, Beth reluctantly takes the job, mainly for the money. She soon realized that the Tanda are unique and special...highly intelligent creatures who do not deserve their fate.
Once she tells her husband, Charlie hatches a plan...to break the Tanda out of the building they are being held in. (Breaking primates out of captivity is his specialty.)
Add several unsavory, unscrupulous villains who wish to exploit the Tanda for cash, and the rescue is on! Will it be a success, though?
New was a fast-paced exciting read. Meet Joe, Betty, Jack, Jill, Flutter and Crunch and travel with them as they are exploited and learn from their new surroundings.
This is a book that makes us look inside ourselves, and wonder who are the more civilized creatures here.
I liked the idea that the novel is based upon (the current existence of homo floresiensis) but I felt like the plot driving this idea was contrived, formulaic, and written to be a TV movie or series. Actually, it would probably make for a better TV drama than most TV science fiction, but in my opinion, it falls short of what the story idea could have achieved. The Kanda’s slave labor could have been used to criticize the wage slave system used by all corporations. The idea of “what constitutes humanity?” could have been explored more than it was. The intelligence and humanity of the Kanda could have been revealed more gradually for greater impact on the reader.
Now, I realize that my criticism of the New plot-line may be biased by my pessimistic view of the world. I think the discovery of surviving homo floresiensis beings would result in their seizure by the US government (abetted by corporations) and their existence classified along with UFOs and Directed Energy Weapons. They would be experimented upon and no anti-slavery law would save them. Mr. Strieber doesn’t go there. He has the Kanda’s suppression and suffering coming from a “bad corporation” with the government remaining impartial, and eventually coming to the Kanda’s aid via anti-slavery law. For me, this presents a framework of the rule-of-law that strains credulity.
For all those criticisms, I thought that Mr. Strieber renders the Kanda compellingly, and the scenes told from their point-of-view are well done. Their intelligence is limited by a dreadful living experience, but we cheer their development and their eventual run from imprisonment through the hazards of corporate guards, regular people, and the wider world that is beyond their experience. It should have been bigger in scope, however, and I thought the story’s resolution was too gratuitous.
Showing love as a higher virtue that the Kanda understand and desire is a good theme, and that’s the theme that works best in this novel. It is meant to be mirrored in the relationship of the human protags, but that doesn’t come off as well for me. The backgrounds of the human protagonists (Beth and Charlie) seem incompatible to each other, and Charlie’s background is a current stereotype of the “wounded warrior” who uses his military skills for good purposes (with no criticism of the Iraq war where Charlie served).
Overall, the storytelling in New is too light-weight. The escape scenes are unbelievable and should have been more Spielberg-like in intensity. The idea of a novel based on the discovery of living homo floresiensis beings (the so-called “hobbits”) is brilliant, and the scenes depicting them are brilliant. It’s just that this idea is developed within a mediocre thriller plot and it comes off weak. Mr. Strieber does try to say something about what defines humanity and about love as an advanced concept, but that’s all watered down by the cheap plot.
Now, I took much greater enjoyment from New than I did from Mr. Strieber’s novel (that was a SF Channel series), Alien Hunter. It’s not a bad read, it just could be so much better, and I know Mr. Strieber is capable of better storytelling (re: Majestic). Of his recent works, though, Mr. Strieber’s nonfiction has been much better than his fiction. For instance, I was greatly inspired by his book about the passing of his wife, Anne (re: The Afterlife Revolution).
I consider New to be a good book, an OK SF story, but one that doesn’t live up to its potential.
Note: This is for Strieber's "New," not his similarly titled and also recent "A New World." Amazon seems to be conflating the two books.