This was originally printed in Watch The Skies for the September 2013 meeting.
This book grabbed me by the nostalgia and would not let me go. I tore through this book at a manic pace and that hasn’t happened for me in a long time. I really did have a great time with it. I’m really interested to see what happens with the movie version. I will definitely go to see it in the theater.
Should you go and read this book? That’s a fine question. That is also where I would offer caution.
Why did I love this book? Because it was aimed directly at me, that’s why. If you’re outside of my demographic I don’t know if you’d enjoy it nearly as much as I did. There are about a zillion (scientifically counted) references to things I grew up with through the late 70s and 80s. They hit home with me. Would that hit home with you? That’s the part that worries me about telling folks to read it. If you don’t remember the Tomb of Horrors you’ll understand how the story moves forward but you won’t have the depth of background to really get it. I was there, I lived that sort of get it. There might be some of a younger generation that will appreciate the history of certain parts of it. I hope they do.
Beyond the knowledge / nostalgia aspects, this story is a straight up hero’s quest. It reminded me very much of the myriad stories I read as a teen. It ended the way it was supposed to, and that matters to me. I actually found myself trying to fit a more modern story telling bent to certain aspects of the story and those things didn’t pop up. I was looking for the anti-hero, the dark betrayal, or the jaded character that really doesn’t want to participate. I didn’t get them, but it was distracting from time to time. There were parts of how this dread future society worked that confused me when I gave it a little deeper thought. There were parts that I just didn’t think would work from a world building point of view. These bits of “looking deeper” are really the parts that keep me from giving this book a full on five stars. I will however give it a strong four and a half. I hope you go out and pick this one up. I will be reading it again I’m certain.