Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: Nakba

Title: Nakba (The Civilizing War, Volume 1)
Author: Jason S. Walters
Publisher: Blackwyrm
Publication Date:  June 1, 2013
Reviewer: Elisa

Summary:  A thousand years ago humanity’s dissidents fled, leaving behind a peaceful, unified world content to exist in a state of perpetual hedonism. Then a daring escape plunged civilization into chaos, forcing its rulers to expand outward to maintain order. Now all that stands between a newly imperial Earth and the rest of the solar system is a loose coalition of Maasai tribesmen, cloned feminists, shape shifting humannequins, and vengeful Berbers led by the least likely hero in human history: a young woman with Down syndrome and a bad attitude.

Review: A short little sci fi novel with surprising amount of world-building. I was very impressed with how much is stuffed without overdoing this story.

This is a future earth that has finally decided to deal with the colonists that left centuries before. A bit of a dystopian government because, "Everything in Posthemogeny society had to do with not being suspicious. Not being "interesting", even if you genuinely weren't up to anything." (Loc 89)

I can't describe anything else because I think it will spoil it. I was amazed at how much detail Walters shares through the story itself. There is a blend of pop culture (Rita Hayworth and Elvis Presley) and a crazy artificial intelligence future. Loved it. It is poetic, quoting some Wordsworth even, yet dystopian with a controlling, large government. And what do we love about dystopians? Well, you know, overbearing government which thinks it knows best and puts the pressure on until something happens. :)

Anyway, it is a tiny bit silly at times, I was reminded of an Austin Powers scene but the story makes me wonder about our world and our treatment of people or things that scare us. Humans are not very nice sometimes and this book it brings up some good discussion points about humanity. Walter's daughter influenced a character as well, super fun.

Also, the writing was interesting and descriptive "Yet technology kept lurching forward, a Frankenstein's monster stumbling amongst terrified, reactionary peasants desperate to burn their way back to an understandable world even as the desiccated corpses of the Earth's nations swatted feebly at one another with the last of their dying strength." (Loc 886)

I will be looking into Walters other works and look forward to the second volume of The Civilizing War. I really enjoyed the writing and was impressed with the ideas and the style. My version (pre-release version) had a couple of typos, no grammar issues, but misspelled words, like campaign instead of champagne. That one confused me for a second! I give this little story 3.5 AI stars that can drive your car and run your house for you. I am hoping I can convince one to stay with me. :)

- Elisa

PS - I received this book free to provide an honest review. 

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