Thursday, January 20, 2011

MoxyLand - review


Lauren Beukes

This cover of MoxyLand is freakin awesome! This cover had me picking the book up at the bookstore every trip for at least five bookstore visits...but for one reason or another I always delayed buying it...(limited funds, there for a specific book, not sure if I would like it...hell, not sure if I would understand it...etc.) But then I finally bought it with Zoo City...and

This is the story of the future - set in South Africa. The timeline isn't clear, yet with clues you find it's past 2018. (not so future, huh?** I just read the website page of the book for the first time - and it's 10 years into the future. I also saw that my take on the characters is similar to the descriptions on the webpage, so go over and take a look - click on the book title above)
This is the story of Tendeka - a man living on the fringe of society, poor and wanting to make a difference in his life and the lives of others. Tendeka is trying to make a difference with protests and things are beginning to get a little...past control.
There is Kendra, a young woman who has just discovered photography with an old-fashioned film camera, which is now obselete. She has a sad past and has made the deal of a lifetime...yet she's not quite ready for the reality of this deal.
Then there is Lerato - a poor girl that has clawed her way up, and is aiming higher in corporate business. She happens to be a whiz at programming chips, and keeping people at a distance. She's a survivor.
Finally, there is Toby, a spoiled rich kid who is rebelling against society and mostly his mother by uploading a v-log type of program that deals with a mix of things...and he dabbles in revolutionary activities.
All four, although they don't all know each other, end up connected. Two of them have grown up together, two of them are "frenemies". All four of their stories come to a resounding crash by the end of the book.
Moxyland is told in first person present tense - alternating between characters. It's hard for me to describe exactly what the novel is about without huge spoilers...but the way Lauren Beukes draws out the story and at the same time pulls you into the story is amazing. Each character is a strongly realized character with very distinct voices and though processes. They aren't all totally sympathetic characters, but once you start reading you keep on reading - learning as you read without quite realizing that you're learning things...and then suddenly you're at the end of the book and feel like you've been through an extreme a good way.
There's messages in this book also - big brother, corporate greed, the scary places that technology can take us....the possible future....Within this interesting and entertaining novel is a taste of what can happen, or what is already happening in the world.
Excellent world building, great dialogue and wonderful narration - I loved this book. Of the two by Lauren Beukes that I've read (Zoo City and Moxyland) I would say that Zoo City is my favorite, but this is a close second...although it's almost apples and oranges in a way - since one is science fiction and the other is urban fantasy. Both books were great - and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys subversive style novels that are interesting reads.
Now that I've read two extremely good books....I'm going to have to read something way off track for me. Like a romance or something. Kind of like water for the palate after a good wine (I hate wine, so that's not a great analogy, but it works)
I should have joined a book challenge for fiction. -

No comments:

Post a Comment