Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Clay's Ark (review)
Clay's Ark (Goodreads | Amazon ) was a very pleasant surprise. I bought the book at a library sale because it was an out-of-date sci-fi book with a purple cover. I didn't know the author was rather prolific or that the book was the 3rd in a series (oops). It didn't sound terrible but the cover was just so old looking and I was charmed.
Despite being the 3rd in a series according to Goodreads, this book never felt like a sequel. All of the information you needed was in this book so as far as I'm concerned for reviewing purposes it's a stand alone novel. The book started quickly, throwing characters and situations at you and pulling you into the story immediately. Maybe it's because it's a shorter sci-fi novel, but it didn't fuss a lot about slow-burning world building and I liked that. It was quick to read and very readable.
It's interesting to read a book that was written in the past but set in the future, especially where race relations play into it. The three main characters in this book are a white father and his two biracial daughters. The father feels like he constantly has to explain that they are his daughters. At one point a character points out that despite his great credentials as a medical doctor there was no way a white man married to a black woman would've been accepted into the space program.
I know things aren't all peachy-keen perfection in race-relations, but it's interesting to note that we're further along than an author from 1984 imagined we'd be in a far-off future where we're sending people to other planets. They couldn't have imagined a white man married to a black woman as an astronaut. Our president's father was black and his mother was white. Regardless of your politic opinions, it's something interesting to notice in this book.
This book did have it's share of problems. Characters were never fully developed (it's not a very long book) and there's a lot of rape or talk about raping in this book. There's a reason for it plot-wise, however that doesn't make it any less triggering. Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about every scene regarding this topic.
At times the writing is obviously dated and not the best, but overall this was a very enjoyable science fiction/dystopian story. I recommend it especially if you're looking for a quick read. If I can find them easily I want to read the rest of this series. It's always interesting to read a throw-back-book, especially one like this where they're envisioning a future and see how different the world is now from when they imagined back them.