Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pastwatch


While nothing can displace Ender's Game from being my favorite and best Orson Scott Card novel, I love, love, love Pastwatch. I'm not quite sure how I can convey that. But I'll do my best.

It's set in the future. I would guess several hundred years in the future. Humans on Earth have become technologically advanced, but they're still paying for the mistakes of the past--most notably the environmental mistakes of the past. One of the technologies available is the ability to watch past events fold out before your eyes on the big screen. In the early stages, this technology could only watch vast regions--note climate changes and social changes--the building of communities and sometimes their collapses. But as this technology is developed further, it becomes possible to watch history in greater detail, minute detail. Scientists, historians, researchers (whatever you want to call them) can do studies on communities, societies, or individuals.

What's the point of watching the past? To learn. To understand. To answer impossible questions.

Pastwatch has multiple narrators--each one with a special interest, a special research area, together they are trying to answer some BIG questions.

How is Christopher Columbus involved? Well, he's one of our narrators for one thing. But secondly, he becomes the subject of interest for most of our other narrators. It is HIS life that is being dissected and held up for study. What our researchers learn is that at some point in time, future scientists, interfered or manipulated the past that turned Christopher Columbus' interest to sailing west. Their quest to figure out how and why of this manipulation will lead them on a journey with massive consequences. For they're debating whether or not they should do something along the same lines...

Semi-Apocalyptic fiction. Alternate histories. Time Travel.

Pastwatch is exciting. While the characters are well developed, they aren't as memorable for me as those in the Ender books. But that could be because I've read Ender's Game about a dozen times and Pastwatch only twice. Overall, I say this is a must-read. Those with an interest in history will find it fascinating. As will those with a love for science fiction.

4 comments:

Chris 7:42 PM  

Totally agree with you that this is a must read! I love Pastwatch and I really hope that he revisits it one day. I'd love to read another Pastwatch novel. Writing this review was a birthday gift to yourself, wasn't it? ;)

Megan 7:50 PM  

Sounds very interesting - one for the wish list. Thanks for the review!

Becky 9:16 PM  

You're right, Chris. I was savoring both the book and the writing of the review. :) I would love it if OSC wrote another Pastwatch novel.

Sherry 10:07 PM  

Happy Birthday, Becky!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

My Blog List

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP