Friday, March 27, 2009

Streams of Babel


Plum-Ucci, Carol. 2008. Streams of Babel. Harcourt. 424 pages.

I sat very still, waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive.

I liked this one. I really liked it. It wasn't quite what I was expecting. But I liked it all the same. Told through multiple narrators, the book follows a terrorist attack on "Colony One". The water lines for a neighborhood have been poisoned with "Red Vinegar." And the race is on to find just what this Red Vinegar agent is, and to discover a cure before (even more) people die from drinking tap water. At the heart of this story are teenagers. The year is 2002. The threat of terrorism--the doomsday fear--is large. But for this New Jersey community, it is all too real. Unfortunately. With two fatalities already, this is no laughing matter. Can the case be solved? And quickly?! Help may come from two unlikely sources: a boy named Shahzad Hamdani, a v-spy who for some of the book at least lives on the other side of the world (Pakistan); and an American hacker-boy, Tyler Ping, who suspects his own mother of wrongdoing (though not necessarily in this terror cell). They along with the American teenagers of Owen and Scott Eberman, Rain Steckerman, and Cora Holman, are the narrators of the novel. It is through their perspectives that we grasp the terrifying (and isolating) situation.

It's a complex novel, but a good one.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
If you're reading this post on another site, or another feed, the content has been stolen.

2 comments:

Debi 11:05 AM  

I had to return this one to the library unread because someone requested it. :( Sounds like I'm going to have to sign it out again. And actually get around to reading it this time. ;)

Anonymous,  4:05 AM  

Streams of Babel is another similar story following the 'teen crime & investigation' theme in many other good novels, a good read, reccomend to all

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

(Old) Challenge Participants

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