Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Review 1: Full Tide of Night by J.R. Dunn

I have been reading again and looking over my handwritten book journal I started several years ago. This lead me to the decision of posting, more formally, reviews of the books I have been reading. So I am calling this book review one, despite that I have posted a couple of book reviews in the past. Also, these book reviews are not going to be in depth, or even creative. But I want a record of the books I have read, reminding me if I liked them or not and why.

Full Tide of Night by J.R. Dunn (1998).
First, I have to admit that I was drawn to this book by the cover and the size of the book. It is about 4 inches by 6 inches. Relatively small for a hardcover book. The description of the story on the inside of the book sounded really interesting. It is categorized as a science fiction book.

For me this book is difficult to review. The story was compelling, but it left me confused. Basically, it is the story of a woman, Julia, who escaped from the destruction of earth by a people called the Erinye, travels through space to a icy planet, and, using genetic technology, populates the planet with humans. All of this with the help of Cary - an artificial intelligence computer. The story starts 150 years after Julia's escape from earth. Her "children" are rebelling against her, as is Cary which is going through the AI equivalent of adolescence. At the same time, a mysterious ship is headed towards the planet which may contain the evil Erinye. Most of the story however, focuses on the splintering of the rebels: the regular rebels and a group called the Rigs, who are very much fashioned after communist China. The story gets mired down into the political rantings of the Rigs and the counter movements of the leader of the regular rebels. On top of this, there is the rebellion of the computer.

I was confused by a lot of the story and felt like the more boring points were discussed in detail while the interesting points (how did Julia populate this planet, how did the communities evolve) were barely touched upon. There is a strong anti-communist, ant-totalitarian sentiment about the book. The story thus is more political than science fiction.

I guess overall, I did not really enjoy the book and probably would not read another book by this author.

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