Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Book Review: Nomansland

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Nomansland, written by Lesley Hauge, is a pretty good story about a group of Amazon-type women who live in a postapocaliptic world. Their world is tightly governed by rules and restrictions. Girls are strictly raised with specific tasks in mind. There are the Housekeepers, Librarians, Cooks, Mothers, etc. 

The story focuses on Keller, who's function in this society is to be a tracker, trains alongside other teenagers to defend the island where they live from their enemy: man. Upon discovering things from the previous civilization, the girl's lives change as they start to question the rules and structure they live by. 

As many have mentioned, this book is similar to Lois Lowry's book The Giver. But, I think this book is more reminiscent of Lowry's Gathering Blue, the second one in the 'series' and Ayn Rand's Anthem in its largely dystopian premise. Like Anthem, it explores a socialistic society and explores the weakness of its collective thinking. 

Although a young adult book, it explores rather interesting and deep subjects. Whether intended or not, this book espouses the idea of the anti-collective minded society through its narrative. It shows all of its weaknesses and none of its attributes of the type of society presented in the book. The rules are irrational and the whole does not tolerate any possible individuality or advancement past its approval. Like I said, it explores many subjects.

The books is very slow at first and mostly Keller's reflective point of view. There are issues with pacing and every time all the girls kept looking through their discoveries I got bored. But, near the end, the book quickly picks up the pace to a semi-satisfying end. I would have liked more examination into the group of women that lived in the city. I also would have liked better character development for the adults in the book. 

It is still a good book and offers an interesting exploration into the dystopian future, one which is dominated by rules and where individuality is shunned. 

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