Monday, May 7, 2012

Earthseed by Pamela Sargent (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Science Fiction, Adventure
Publication.Date  February 28th 2012
Published By:  Tom Doherty Associates(TOR)  | 
WebsitePamela Sargent 

Earthseed - Goodreads
My review copy:Finished copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

The classic YA science fiction adventure by Nebula and Locus Award–winning author Pamela Sargent The ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children—fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates—whom it has created from its genetic banks.

To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them...but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers—and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves? (Goodreads)

“Nature often allows a person only one mistake.”
“The weapons are held to the head of all the world, and the world behaves. No one has an advantage; no one can win.”

     A mind-bending and intense classic YA science fiction, Earthseed by Pamela Sargent is a timeless masterpiece that raises many important questions and leaves the reader with intriguing issues to ponder. This book has the sweetly familiar feeling of old-school science fiction books that offer far more psychological drama and adventure than typical flashy space operas. It delivers plenty of intelligent, head-spinning action, but at the same time it's definitely more ideas-driven than your usual YA sci-fi. It's also suspenseful, thought-provoking and thoroughly engrossing. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have discovered this series! 

     The premise of this series is incredibly ambitious and dazzling: Ship travels across the universe in search of a habitable world, a new Earth - a new home. On board of it there are many young passengers - kids that were born from artificial wombs and raised with the help of an AI programmed to be their mother/father figure and mentor. It also carries DNA of various Earth fauna and flora. Ship's purpose: To deliver its human passengers to a new planet and help them settle down upon it, in other words - to preserve humankind. Ship has always taken good care of its teenage passengers, providing them with every-day necessities, knowledge and training. It's responsible for keeping them alive and teaching them how to stay alive on their own when they finally land on a new planet and Ship will no longer be there to assist them. In order to learn all the necessary survival skills, every now and then Ship sends the kids into the Hollow - an area of the ship designed to simulate Earth-like environment. Now, for the first time ever, Ship decides to send them into the Hollow without any guidance or monitoring. They will be all on their own, and they will soon learn that they don't always agree with one another. The tension between the shipmates raises and things quickly go wrong, putting everything they've learned so far about life, survival and each other to test. And that's only the beginning of their many problems... 

     I found this novel to be quite chilling and claustrophobic, and most definitely more adventurous than I expected it to be. I loved the idea of the Hollow - the vast, treacherous space filled with all sorts of dangerous species of animals and plants (and there was a river, too)! The wilderness within the enclosed space of the ship added a very interesting element of unpredictability. I thought it was a brilliant idea! It was fascinating to watch the kids do their best to survive in this new environment without any help from Ship, trying to tame the nature around them, form some sort of community and learn how to be self-sustainable. They made mistakes, but thanks to those mistakes they learned a lot about themselves and their nature. And what I loved the most about this novel was the fact that it really makes you think about many relevant issues, from the essence of human nature to human's ability to create and self-destroy at the same time. This book raises so many important questions! Is it possible to start over and not fall into the same patterns? Are we bound to repeat the same mistakes out ancestors made? Can we change who we are, and how we behave, in order to create a better world, or are we destined to drive ourselves to the brink of extinction again, sliding down the spiral of violence, anger and despair? This book is profoundly meaningful. I ended up thinking about the many issues it evoked for days after finishing it. 

     I also really appreciated the lack of romance in this book. It was unnecessary and I was so glad to see that the author didn't try to squeeze it in the plot. This book was all about survival, life lessons, and exploring the depth of human nature. More of an intellectual feast than a romanticized vision of space travel, and definitely not some cheesy space love story! 

     I really liked the main character, Zoheret. She possessed some great qualities and I found myself really connecting with her. She was strong, smart, selfless, caring and full of fierce determination. She always put others before herself and didn't hesitate to help her friends, even if it meant risking her own life. On top of everything else, she was a great leader - trustworthy, sensible, and thoughtful. I really enjoyed following her adventures.   

     Overall, Earthseed is a remarkable and astonishing novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I was extremely excited to learn that it was recently optioned by Paramont to become a major motion picture, with Melissa Rosenberg, who also wrote the movie adaptations for the entire Twilight series, set to pen the script. I also can't wait to dive into the next book in the series, Farseed (2007) as soon as possible! I strongly recommend this book to everyone, especially to fans of science fiction and adventure novels!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Anonymous said...

This sounds like something I would love. Thanks for the review! :)

M.A.D. said...

I just started reading Earthseed this evening and am really enjoying it so far! :)

Lauren @ Story Bound said...

sounds good! thanks for the review!

roro said...

thanks for the review!
exited 4 this1

Barbara E. said...

From everything I've been hearing, and now from reading your review, I think Earthseed sounds like a fantastic story. I'm looking forward to reading it to see how the author handles the kids being on their own on a new world.

Amy said...

This sounds like a great book. I had not heard of it before. I like that there isn't a big romance in it. That's refreshing once in a while to just have a great story without having to put romance into it.

kimba88 said...

Wow..a strong protagonist, thought provoking and a fresh concept..awesome review. Earthseed sounds like a great read..thanks for introducing me to this one!

Sarah Elizabeth said...

I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds like you really enjoyed it :)
I haven't read much sci-fi recently so I think I will give this one a try :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an interesting premise - this sounds like a really intriguing read! And I like the idea that romance wasn't squeezed in for the heck of it. I love romance in YA novels, but once in awhile it's nice to read something that doesn't have a lot of romance in it. It's like a breath of fresh air. :) Great review!

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