Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card

Alright Sci-fi fanatics, here's one for the wishlist! Honestly, I had some trouble getting into The Worthing Saga at first. The structure of it is a little bit different and for some reason I've been picking OSC books with a bizzare structure lately. But it's good once you adjust to it. It's actually sort of three books combined into one - three prior works that he perfected into one work. It's a complex tale, but a very well told tale. It opens with the "day of pain" on a planet that has never known pain or sorrow. A civilization that has never grieved suddenly grieves the death of loved ones, suddenly feels physical pain and they don't know why. It's soon made clear why to a young boy named Lared when two strangers arrive on his planet named Jason Worthing and Justice. They appear to be walking on water and have eyes that are of an intense blue color. And they speak directly into his mind. We soon learn that Jason has come to Lared's planet so that Lared can record Jason's story, The Worthing Saga. Jason comes from a planet named Capitol and has lived for centuries due to a drug called SOMEC. Capitol was once a beautiful land like any other but now has no green space and is covered in steel. SOMEC allows a person to live seemingly forever by causing a drug induced hibernation for years where one doesn't age and then you'll be awake for a few days or a few years depending on your level in society. Card adds to the mix a character named Abner Doon who is a powerful man who sends Jason on a mission to colonize a new planet during his youthful years and as he tells Lared his story we see the uprising of a new civilization from it's roots. Card works his typical magic in these sections creating some amazing character interactions and some intensely emotional scenes that are heart pounding and heart wrenching. The second and third parts of the book are short stories that take place in different parts of the novel....things that are alluded to in the novel but are further explained in the short stories. Like I said, very different structure, but it worked out really well and it was a really neat reading experience. I really enjoyed this one and it's yet another excellent Card book to add to the library. Highly recommended!

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