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Bibliophilic Monologues


Earthseed  - Pamela Sargent I found Earthseed to be fascinating for more than the obvious reasons. We've had a recent spate of many young adult novels set on spaceships and will continue to do so in the near future. What sets Earthseed apart from them is the fact that it was written when the young adult genre was barely defined and if I'm not incorrect, was hardly recognized as a genre in its own right. The reading experience, too, is markedly different from reading other novels that may be superficially attempting to do the same thing and tell the same story. There is a gravitas to Earthseed that is somehow lacking in contemporary young adult novels. What I mean by that is in my experience with reading some of the more popular young adult novels, I've found them to be very concerned with material things. Sometimes to the detriment of the overall narrative itself. That is not the case with Earthseed. Also the multicultural and diverse cast of characters in Earthseed is very welcome and I like that this multicultural-ness does not feel contrived to make the world in the narrative all encompassing but a natural progression of the circumstances that led to the creation of this solitary "world." The characterizations, too, were fascinating and while I cannot exactly articulate why, I reiterate that there is a certain more gravity, more solid-ness in the characters in Earthseed than I usually expect in characters in young adult novels.Perhaps what is most different is the romance bit. There is no insta-love. There cannot be, these kids have known each other from birth but also lacking is the melodrama, the deep importance placed on romantic love. I found that really refreshing. The focus of the novel remains the spaceship, the self-discovery, the growing into their skins and the growing up of the children who represent hope and more. With all these important issues, romance, while present, does not take center stage and I applaud that. I also thought it was very interesting how there is no "true love" and the accompanying refrain of "soul mate" in the novel. What this says about recent novels is something I feel is worth pondering.Earthseed explores themes of growth, mental and emotional. It also challenges the rights a creator has over the created. There are several sequences of intense action and danger that will have you reading rapidly and almost breathless with anticipation. This will make an awesome movie. Anyway, I recommend this to you. If you haven't ever read science fiction, try this. It actually is a science fiction novel and not a novel just masquerading as one.