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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Book Review: Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress

I picked up this book when I found it used because it’s a favorite of my best friend. It’s a very interesting commentary on discrimination in society, as well as a great cautionary tale on genetic engineering.

The book concerns the creation of the Sleepless, genetically engineered children who do not need to sleep, and are able to use that extra time to accelerate their intellectual growth (the action kicks off in 2007, which I found amusing). It’s very apparent by the time these kids are teenagers that their arrival has changed the world forever, and people are naturally afraid of what this means for the Sleepers – all the normal people soon to be left in the dust of evolutionary change.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book, which was the story of the childhood of Leisha Camden, one of the earliest Sleepless, the best of the four sections. It’s not that the other sections, which started to get into far weightier matters weren’t as good as the first section, but the first section had a certain lightness to it that really pulled me into the book. That being said, the last section, with the conclusion of the many actions taken by Sleepless and Sleepers, was quite satisfying.

This goes on the shelf. Definitely rereadable.

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