Monday, August 27, 2007

And now for something different

First off, an announcement: I am just about finished with the dratted pair of socks! I'm just about to begin the ribbing on the second sock! The heel has turned, the sock is fitting, everything is going beautifully. Wahoo!

And now for a review of the latest book I've read.

Over the weekend, I read the book First Light by Rebecca Stead. The book alternates between the view points of its two main characters -- Thea and Peter. Peter is the son of two scientists who have taken him to Greenland with them on an expedition to study Global Warming. Lately, Peter has begun to suffer from severe headaches, similar to the ones his mother has, and he has begun to see things that others do not. Thea is the last female in the First Line of ancestors who originally settled Gracehope, a community located underground in the middle of Greenland's ice cap. Lately the community has begun to outgrow the space where it is living. Thea is anxious about the possibility of exploring the surface above them to look for more space, and when she and her friend Mattias find a way up, they run into Peter, who is out exploring the area around his parents' camp. After Thea and Mattias return underground, Thea learns a disturbing secret about her mother that her family has kept from her throughout her life, but just as she discovers it, Peter arrives with his mother, who apparently is Thea's aunt who had been banished from Gracehope years before by Rowen, Thea's grandmother, who has refused to allow anyone to go to the surface out of fear of the persecution that drove community underground in the first place. After a climactic showdown between Rowen and Thea, the novel ends relatively happily. But the readers are left with the question of what the long-term effects of Global Warming are going to be on Gracehope, and how much time there is before the cap melts and the community falls into the ocean.

It was a captivating read. I finished the book around 12:30 at night because I simply couldn't wait until the next morning to find out what was going to happen next. There were enough twists and turns in the plotline to keep me interested, although the intelligence and technological adeptness of the Gracehope citizenry stretched my mind at times.

Anyone who has read and enjoyed Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember, or Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue would enjoy this novel.

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