Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review: First Light by Rebecca Stead

When Peter’s father takes him and his mother to Greenland on a scientific trip, Peter is excited to finally be a part of the adventure he’s heard about all his life. But this is not just Peter’s story – it is also Thea’s, a girl who lives in a dystopian society under the ice. And it’s also the story of how they meet.


This novel, a middle grade that Newberry Honor winner Rebecca Stead published in 2007, gets off to a slow start but really picks up once Peter stumbles upon a hidden path to Thea’s underground home. Of the threads, Thea’s is more interesting, and the novel might have benefited by sticking to one thread but fleshing it out. There are so many elements of her society that were mentioned but never explored in any depth – the matriarchy and the fact that fatherhood is kept secret, the “hunters” that the original settlers were fleeing, and the reason why every settler is given a special dog companion.

Otherwise, it’s well constructed, with sympathetic characters and a central mystery that is worth discovering the truth about.
2 Zombie Chickens – Entertaining but not essential

Find out more about the book at the official website. And read the first few chapters at the publisher's website.
 
See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

7 comments:

Amanda said...

I still have yet to try anything by Rebecca Stead.

Trisha said...

I like the under the ice concept.

Suzanne said...

I love dystopian YA fiction. I like the idea that there is another world under the ice too! Too bad that the novel fell short of it's potential, but thanks for sharing! I'm adding a note to check this out anyway because the story itself sounds interesting.

christina said...

This book was listed as one of the Sunshine State books of Florida last year. I never read it though.

Staci said...

I have this book at my school library and every time I reshelve it I want to read it just because of the cover. 2 zombie chickens...maybe I'll hold off on that!

Zibilee said...

It sounds like this one wasn't exactly up to par, but the synopsis that you provided does intrigue me a little bit. This one might be best taken out of the library.

Peaceful Reader said...

I loved When You Reach Me and wondered about Stead's first novel. The concept is interesting-too bad it fell short.