Tuesday, April 24, 2012

REVIEW: Earthseed by Pamela Sargent


Seed Seeker

Earthseed was originally published in 1983. The three part series has been completed for some time, but now that a motion picture is imminent, Tor has re-released the entire trilogy. I’m very glad they have! I knew nothing about the author but the premise of this book really drew me in.
Zoheret is the center of the story. This doesn’t make her stand to much apart from her community. In fact Zoheret has many of the same emotions and worries of her community. She does how ever have a firm sense of right and wrong and is not afraid to act on it.
Zoheret lives on Ship. For the past fifteen years ship has been her home. Ship monitors every aspect of Zoheret and her companions life: their food intake, physical activity and social interactions. Ship is also monitoring the universe she is hurtling through looking for a planet the community of teens can settle on.
Earth is far behind them, presumably destroyed or uninhabitable, all that remains of the human race is the group of children onboard Ship. As Ship is closer to releasing the children on a suitable planet, she must test their readiness in a yearly survival competition. This year though the combatants are strangely  changed. Two boys Manuel and Ho are in the midst of a fierce personal rivalry and teams are being formed and lines are being crossed.

As ship moves the children into the Hollow, a simulated environment that separates them from all of Ships comforts, tempers rise and fights begin. In the Hollow the children have to build their own shelters, hunt for food and form leadership councils. Ship doesn’t interact with the children at all during this phase of their training but they can still communicate with her in case of emergencies.

Seeking advice and medical treatment for  an injured friend from Ship, Zoheret finds out there are many secrets aboard her familiar home and that they may not be the only ones onboard Ship.

With echoes of themes from the book  Lord of the Flies , and a keen  observation on the nature of human society , this book was really engaging.  Even millions of miles from home these children are still human, and fall prey to human fallacies. Combine that with their youth and there is a powder keg of emotions and violence to be explored.

I really don't want to give much more of this book away as there are several plot twists that change the direction of the book quite quickly. I thought a lot about the Beth Revis’s  Across the Universe while reading Earthseed. Their are a lot of differences between the two but fans of the psychological and Science Fiction elements of that story will really enjoy Earthseed.

Thanks to Tor for the opportunity to review this book, I’m really looking forward to reading Farseed!

No comments: