Saturday, October 6, 2012
Son (The Giver Quartet #4)
Author: Lois Lowry
Rating: 5 stars
Summary: They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.
For a while I wasn't sure I'd be able to write a review of Son because it's one of those books that leaves a good peaceful feeling, and so creating a whole constructive review outlining why exactly I liked it would kind of pop the bubble, so to say. So I'll keep it short and to the point, because it is an excellent book and deserves some recognition from me.
I reread The Giver right before reading this, because I had read on the back that we meet all the old characters. I'm glad I did, since it'd been a while and lots of things I had forgotten. But I had no patience to reread the other two, and it turned out okay. But I still recommend reading The Giver before you read Son as a refresher, and because it's a classic.
I had the book on my shelf for a few days, while I finished up Girl of Nightmares. But I picked it up to put my bookmark on the first page, just to get it ready, and of course...I couldn't help but start reading it. Before I knew it 50 pages had gone by, and I had to make myself put it down while I finished my other book. It was so hard!! From literally the first page, I was sucked right in. Lowry's dystopian world is so recognizable, from the lingo of the Claire's community, to all the character's naive way of viewing their world. As a perfect utopia.
One of my favorite things about her dystopia/utopia is that it's really not about the world. In fact, there is quite little world building outside the Communities mentioned. And the handful of times we exit one of the sheltered places, the writing gets sort of other-worldly and it's hard to keep track exactly what is going on. I like that, because it sets it apart from the rest of the genre.
I also like the almost magical aspect of these stories, with the "gifts". I think magic is not the right word, or supernatural. Almost spiritual? But that's not right either. It's something else and special. And there's more of it in here, whatever it is, with Gabe's gift. But I won't say more than that. It must have something to do with those oddly pale eyes...
Son is split into three parts. (It's a 400 pages book unlike the previous three.) The first part is when Claire is a part of the community (I can never remember if that's capitalized.) and she has her child as a Birthmother, at the age of fourteen. The span of this first part is about two or three years, and ends at the point nearish to The Giver when Jonas leaves with Gabe. Now I never really gave any thought to what would happen after that...which leads us to the second and third parts of the book. At first I was sad that she leaves her home in search of Gabe, because I like the safeness of the place. Then once the confusing start of Part Two ends, the view clears of another interesting town where Claire spends about six years at. Part Three then switches POVs between Claire, Gabe, Kira and Jonas.
Now I know that sounds a bit confusing, sorry. But it makes sense when you read it. :)
What I was most amazed at, is how much time actually passes in here. I think almost 20 years go by, from the first page to the last. And it's discovered how the other three books are so interweaved into the plot, and finally when all the pieces come together, it's incredibly intricate. I had no idea until recently that Lowry's new book was the conclusion to The Giver quartet and Son turned out to be an amazing last book. It was sad to see all those little kids we meet in the other books grown up, but finishing it left me in a peaceful mood while sipping my morning tea.