TSS: June 28 (A utopia that doesn't suck)

The Sunday Salon.com So I’ve finished reading all the available Sookie Stackhouse books. Wow! I haven’t enjoyed reading a series so much since, like…the Dresden Files a few years ago! Unfortunately by reading them all at once they’ve started to blend in my mind and so my reviews are going to be one long post instead of eight little ones. Um.

Anyway, I got Drood and The Hunger Games out from my (public) library last Wednesday, but I haven’t started either of them. Drood is enormous! 700-ish pages all encased in a gigantic hardback, sheesh. I can’t lug it back and forth to work/class/home with me, so it’s going to have to stay here. And yeah, the size is kinda intimidating. The Hunger Games is less intimidating, but I just don’t feel like reading it at the moment?

So I’m reading There Will Be Dragons instead. Turns out the paper version is 700+ pages, too, but since I’m reading the ebook I don’t worry about the weight! Ha. Based on the cover (and the title) you may think There Will Be Dragons is an epic fantasy adventure kind of book, but actually it’s a futuristic sci-fi with “fantasy” creatures (they’re actually genetically engineered humans). It’s set in a utopian world, where no-one has to work and everyone is pretty happy, if a little bored. And then! War breaks out. And things start going awry. Suddenly everyone who survived the Fall is thrown back into a pre-industrial world, practically unable to fend for themselves and ignorant of basic things like menstruation and suturing. All they have to rely on is the few reconstructionists (as in, the people who go to Renn faires) to show them how to survive– and that’s the lucky ones. It is really good so far (I’m about 62% into it).

I took a class on utopias and dystopias last fall, and the books we read– especially the utopian ones– were kinda boring and pretty much what you’d expect (Fahrenheit 451, 1984, Woman on the Edge of Time). I didn’t like any of the utopias we read about (though the dystoptias were more interesting), mostly because everyone in them were so smug and “look at how much better we are than you. We live in a UTOPIA and you crawl around in the dirt! Ha!” Or else it was written with a more academic kind of tone and thus was boring. There Will Be Dragons comes from a sci-fi/fantasy writer’s perspective, and even when the characters are talking about heavy things like war or birthing babies, it doesn’t come off as preachy or teach-y. Instead, it sounds just like people who didn’t have to think about those things before would talk about them. Plus there’s all sorts of interesting futuristic things in there, like people having lifespans of 500+ years, elves (which aren’t the fantasy elves you’re thinking of), transporters, a computer that controls the entire Earth plus a bit of outer space as well, etc.

I will admit it’s kind of ridiculous that the doctor character doesn’t even know how to stitch someone up after they’ve been cut (yet the blacksmith reconstructionist does?), but I suppose it likens to our doctors not knowing how to place leeches in the optimum spots on a human body. (Doctors two thousand years in the future hardly even touch their patients, instead doing a kind of virtual reality, nannite-filled…uh, thing?) I’m having a lot of fun with the world in There Will Be Dragons, and I wish we had read that in my class instead of the other stuff.

Books read this week:
130. Definitely Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries #6) – Charlaine Harris [rating: 4/5]
131. The Princess Diaries (Princess Diaries #1) – Meg Cabot [rating: 3.5/5]
132. Princess in the Spotlight (Princess Diaries #2) – Meg Cabot [rating: 3.5/5]
133. Princess in Love (Princess Diaries #3) – Meg Cabot [rating: 3.5/5]
134. All Together Dead (Southern Vampire Mysteries #7) – Charlaine Harris [rating: 4/5]
135. From Dead to Worse (Southern Vampire Mysteries #8) – Charlaine Harris [rating: 3.5/5]
136. Not A Girl Detective – Susan Kandel [rating: 3.5/5]
137. Shakespeare’s Landlord (Lily Bard #1) – Charlaine Harris [rating: 3/5]

Books reviewed this week:
The Dealer (CHERUB #2) – Robert Muchamore [rating: 3.5/5]
Magic Kingdom For Sale– Sold! (Landover #1) – Terry Brooks [rating: 4/5]
Merchant of Death (Pendragon #1) – D.J. Hale [rating: 3.5/5]
The Undomestic Goddess – Sophie Kinsella [rating: 3/5]
Well Witched – Frances Hardinge [rating: 4.5/5]

0 thoughts on “TSS: June 28 (A utopia that doesn't suck)”

  1. I once had a class on utopias too. I totally agree that they’re boring, especially the old ones, because they’re just too perfect and superior. Dystopias are far more exciting.

    I’m amazed that you read all the Sookie books so quickly! And here’s me hoping I can do that in the next year. LOL.

  2. Isn’t Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series great? I’m also a big fan of the Dresden Files, which reminds me; I need to catch up on those!

    I really want to read Drood, but I’m waiting for the paperback version to come out. I figure I wouldn’t have time to read it just yet anyway, I can be patient. I don’t want to have to lug the hardback around if I can avoid it. There Will Be Dragons sounds good. I hadn’t heard of that one before.

    I hope you have a great week!

    1. Oh! I need to catch up on the Dresden Files books, too. I haven’t read, like, the last three? But I keep thinking I need to reread the entire series before starting on the newer ones, and I’m procrastinating. *cough*

      I think even the paperback of Drood would intimidate me!

    1. Nope, we just read cliche/boring books, lol. I kept making a list of books I would use in a utopias/dystopias class if I ever taught one, and I think they’d go over a lot better than the one we were forced to read! 😀

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