Sunday, January 20, 2008

Second Foundation


So I finished the third book in the original Foundation trilogy. (The other two being Foundation and Foundation and Empire.) Of the three, I must admit a strong preference for the middle novel. There is something magical that just works about Foundation and Empire. But that's not to say that Foundation and Second Foundation weren't enjoyable enough reads.

What can I say about Second Foundation? Well, it was originally published in novel form in 1953. It had previously been published as two separate short stories in 1948 and 1949. If memory serves me, around four hundred years have elapsed since the opening of Foundation. (It *might* be three hundred or five hundred. But my gut is saying four.) The stories share a theme--a strong theme. While all of the novels--the stories--have shared the theme of preservation and ambition, Second Foundation expands on that theme. This novel is all about the quest.

In the first story, those doing the questing are The Mule and the Mule's men. Han Pritcher, a character first introduced in Foundation and Empire, is one of the main characters. Bail Channis is a new character. He plays a rather large role in the story. These two have been paired together by The Mule to go on a quest--a search--for the Second Foundation. Their goal? To find out where it is so The Mule can finish his conquest of the Galaxy and rule supreme over all. Ambitious? Definitely! Doomed to fail? Probably. But the two have been given the mission without the option of saying no.

In the second story, those doing the questing are the descendants of Bayta and Toran Darell. Their son, Toran, and granddaughter, Arcadia, unknowingly hold the fate of the Second Foundation in their hands. Arcadia (or Arkady as she likes to be called) is only a teen--14 to be exact--but she is determined to have her chance for glory--her chance to be a hero. Her idol? Her grandmother who helped take down The Mule. Arcadia's quest? To be the one to find the Second Foundation. Her goal to help the Foundation destroy the Second Foundation. She's definitely an original, spunky kind of heroine. Very opinionated. Very determined. But can it be down? Can one person single-handedly do the seemingly impossible?

2 comments:

Carl V. 10:44 PM  

Eventhough Arkady had a much smaller role than I had anticipated...simply because of her presence on the cover and the fact that the blurb mentions her...I really did enjoy her role and felt like she had a great impact on the story. I like how, as far as bookends go, the whole trilogy started and ended with the idea of how much one person (first Hari Seldon, at the end, Arkady) can be important in the course of history. If one takes the time to analyze this trilogy, there is really alot of interesting things going on that are not readily apparent upon a first read through. I certainly look forward to reading this trilogy again in the future as well as trying other Foundation novels.

Steve M,  11:51 AM  

hi. this posting did not come up just now when i did a search for the word "Asimov" on this blog. Probably because it did not contain the word Asimov. Now, thanks to this comment, it does contain the word...well, you get the idea. :-) great blog posting, by the way, as usual, thanks.

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

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP