Monday, November 02, 2009

Book Review: Maximum Light by Nancy Kress

I didn't end up with a lot of time to read on Halloween, after all. I walked over to the library, got lunch together for everyone, settled down to read, then up and walked back over the the library area with Davan in costume for trick or treating. That was okay, though. It was a fun day and I'm getting better. And, regardless, I was able to finish Maximum Light on Sunday.

Having recently been reminded about Nancy Kress by my mom, I put holds on many of her books that I wasn't sure if I'd read before. Once I started Maximum Light, I realized I had, indeed read it before. However, I only remembered it in that this is familiar sort of way. I didn't remember much of anything that happened, so I decided to go ahead and read it anyway.

In the near future, humans are in trouble. The birth rate is way, way down. There are few young people. The old are living longer and longer thanks to cures for cancers and other maladies. Many of the children who are born have problems ranging from increased aggression to being blank babies - children who will never even learn to sit up, crawl or talk.

The story is told from the point of view of three different people, each from very different parts of society, brought together by circumstance (of course). They need each other to solve issues from each of their lives.

Shana is a fairly abrasive young person, serving her mandatory 12 months for the government when she sees something, that when reported, gets her labeled as a liar and kept out of the Army, which is her dearest dream.

Cameron is also young, but he is a star dancer who's had a voluntary memory wipe. He finds that he needs to know what happened.

Nick is a mid-70s doctor, serving on the congressional committee that threw out Shana's report as lies. He's interested in solving the problem of what's going wrong with the world.

It's a decent story and, some might say, pertinent to us now if we don't make changes. I give it a 6.5. It might have been higher if I hadn't read it before and, thus, had it be vaguely familiar, but it was still enjoyable and above average.

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