The Windup Girl - Paolo Bacigalupi

Review from Queen of Swords Book Reviews.

 

LIKED:

* It's very refreshing to have a book set in a non-Western country with plenty of non-Western characters.

* The world-building was well done. Windup Girl shows a future plagued (often literally) with the bad effects of gene manipulation and rampant corporations. This vision of the future is compelling because it's believable.

* I loved the exploration of the varied outcomes of genetic manipulation. The author manages to cover the issue fairly even-handedly, at least in regard to mammals (New People/Windups, Cheshires). It's incredibly imaginative.

* The tale reads a lot like a Neal Stephenson book with each chapter being told from a different character's perspective. Mr. Bacigalupi packs a lot of information about the characters into the relatively small spaces devoted to them, and as a result, the players seem real.

 

LIKED LESS:

* Though I felt that the coverage of mammal gene manipulation was covered in a balanced way, I thought that the author tipped into preachiness when discussing the genetic modification of food crops.

* I felt like Gibson was kind of just thrown in there. I couldn't really get a feel for him at all, and I think he could have been cut out entirely without changing the plot.

* Though the style is similar to Neal Stephenson, it's missing the punch. With Stephenson, I get moments of sheer "OMGWTFBBQ that just happened!" Bacigalupi delivers more of a "They really did that?!"

 

Overall, a solid and imaginative science fiction read.