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Lois Lowry – Son

October 3, 2014

77. Son by Lois Lowry (2012)
The Giver Quartet, Book 4

Read my review of book:
1. The Giver

Read By: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 8h 11min (400 pages)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction (although shading strongly into Fantasy)

Started: 02 September 2014
Finished: 07 September 2014

Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? It got mentioned at our book club when we were reading the Giver, and even though Messenger annoyed me to no end, I’m a completist (and apparently a bit of a masochist), so I thought I’d give it a try.

I’m not leaving this
dystopia without my
C-section baby!

Summary: Claire never really had any plans for her future, but she was still disappointed when she was selected to be a Birth Mother at her Ceremony of Twelves – despite her parents’ reassurances, everyone knows Birth Mother is not a particularly prestigious job. But when her first pregnancy goes wrong, and they have to cut the Product out of her, soon she doesn’t even have that to hang onto. She’s transferred to a new job, but she makes a secret vow that she will one day find her baby – her son. But that path is longer than even she could have realized, because her baby is Gabe, the infant that Jonas took with him when he fled the Community. Claire must leave as well, but how will she find her way in a world that’s unlike anything she’s ever experienced?

Review: The action in this book takes place in three sections – one with Claire in the Community, as she’s a young woman, one where she is living in a pre-industrial village and suffering from amnesia regarding her former life, and then the third where she has encountered the Tradesmaster and come to the town where Jonas and Kira and Gabe are now living. So this book echos the three books that came before, in a way, and my opinions about this book tally fairly well with my opinions about those books.

Specifically, the first two parts were pretty enjoyable. It was interesting to see another side of the Community other than Jonas’s, and although I still have issues with “how things got to be this way”, I was able to suspend disbelief enough to just go with the story most of the time. The second part was equally interesting, nice to see Claire grow up and learn to interact with the people around her. However, a lot of this part is taken up by what, in the movie version of this book, would be condensed into a training montage, so I thought that could have been a little quicker.

It’s the third part where things went awry, much like the third book that I really didn’t care for. In theory, I don’t mend the melding of sci-fi and fantasy, but so much of this book (and the ones before it) is spent building this dystopian world (or worlds, in the various villages), that all of a sudden you toss in some magic, and some magical realism, and some woo-woo blathering about the human spirit or something, and that’s where you lose me. This book, and the series as a whole, would have been so much better if the Trademaster didn’t exist. But as is, I enjoyed the first two thirds of the book – they’re not perfect, but they’re enjoyable – and then I spent the last third rolling my eyes out of my head. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Better than I thought it was going to be (translation: better than Messenger), and fans of The Giver will enjoy it for sure. It needs to be read after The Giver for sure, but would probably be understandable without reading Gathering Blue or Messenger – it’d been years since I’d read them and I’d forgotten most of the details, and I still followed along just fine.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: The Book Nest, Killin’ Time Reading, Waking Brain Cells and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: The young girl cringed when they buckled the eyeless leather mask around the upper half of her face and blinded her.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2014 9:53 am

    Thanks for the review. I read the Giver and have been curious about this one.

  2. October 3, 2014 2:40 pm

    I’ve shied away from this series because of the science fiction/fantasy element.

  3. October 5, 2014 8:54 am

    I’m happy with The Giver as a standalone. I’ve never read any of the other books in this series because I feel like The Giver is enough of a complete story. I don’t need more details.

  4. October 12, 2014 9:35 am

    I’m with Jenny. I did read Gathering Blue, which was an okay book, but The Giver really hit the ball out of the park. Gathering Blue was getting a single on the next at bat. A single is good, but it’s kind of a let down after hitting a home run.

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