Hmm, just realized I got a comment on this review (on GoodReads) from a drooling idiot, so I decided to update this review.
I just finished this story, written by Ted Chiang, and just in time for the movie it’s based on, Arrival. I thought it was fascinating — an alien first contact story told via the perspective of a linguist who is attempting to document and intrepret the aliens’ language.
I am writing my own alien story, and felt totally intimidated, because my story reads like an emotional mess. I dunno. I liked it though, but the end bummed me out, only because the aliens arrived, spoke with humans, and then left without telling the humans much about themselves.
The way the heptapods thought was reflected in the main character’s narration. The work Louise did with the heptapods was peppered with Louise’s memories of her daughter. Turns out that Gary, the physicist she was working with, was the father of her daughter, and that they conceived her after the aliens had left. I thought that was pretty cool.
The very last line was awesome, too. But I would have liked to know more about the aliens.
Anyway, I am looking forward to Arrival, and I am definitely going to see it.
Warning: Salty language ahead.
This is a review of all three books, mainly because I feel that they’re all rather formulaic at their core. These are fantasy novels written by the ostensibly left-wing feminist Kristin Cashore, and they take place in a mystical realm with two major landmasses separated by a mountain range: The Seven Kingdoms and The Dells. Graceling and Bitterblue both take place in the Seven Kingdoms, while Fire, the middle book, takes place in the Dells.
In the Seven Kingdoms, there are people with special abilities called Gracelings – each of these people are gifted in one area. Someone might be a phenomenal cook, someone else might be able to read minds, etc. They are distinguished by their odd eyes – one eye might be green, the other blue.
In the Dells, there are brightly colored animals called monsters. There appears to be no other major difference to these animals other than their outlandish coloring. There were human “monsters” with brightly colored hair and special abilities, like mind control, but they died out, and the book Fire starts out with the last human monster in the Dells – a dark-skinned, red haired girl named Fire.