aryllian: (Default)
[personal profile] aryllian
I read a lot of books, and a lot of them flow by, not really sticking in my mind. Sometimes I look back and I wonder if I've already read all the books that are going to have a big impact on me, because there are so many books I've read in the last five or ten years that didn't stand out. Books that I look at the title in my book list, and wonder what it was about.

But some books do stick. In This House of Brede has been in my mind a lot since I read it, for example.

I am certain that Cyteen is going to be one of the books that stick.

The scope is large -- it touches on entire societies and how they're put together, grow, change, and either work or don't work -- but mostly this is the story of two people trying to grow into who they could be / would be / ought to be, and do the work that is theirs to do -- and what that means, and how it's never done in isolation. Plus, it's about being a clone of someone else, and the various ways that could go, especially if other people have ideas about who you should be and how to make that happen.

The character dynamics are fascinating. I had no idea what was going to happen, but everything that did happen made sense.

This book does do some things that are very very recognizably in the Cherryh pattern...I think Cherryh thinks very differently than I do, so sometimes her books have this alien sense to them, even when they're not about aliens. But this one is both very approachable (to me) and the patterns I noticed fit into the book in a way that makes sense. (Sometimes, especially in the Foreigner series, I feel like Cherryh just uses the same patterns because she's not interested in that part of books so she just uses whatever comes to hand most easily, which happens to be the same thing a lot of the time. And sometimes I do think the repeating patterns detract from the books...but I still read her books, because the things that she is interested in are usually so well done it makes up for anything else.)

I'm still thinking days later about what this book said about power and influence and the role of the individual in a society, the morals and ethics of using power and influence on other people, and also about how thinking works and how everyone effects everyone else on all kinds of levels. I love books that make me think.

It does have some really questionable stuff at the beginning, I almost stopped reading before I got to the good part. I'm really glad I didn't.
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