Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Erstwhile Earthseed

Earthseed by Pamela Sargent

* Book received from the publisher for review
* Book is a reissue from 1983 that's been optioned by Paramount to become a movie.

4 out of 5 gnomes

It's hard to believe that this book was first published in 1983 aka two years before I was even born.  It just feels like something that could have been written today so it really has a timeless feeling going for it.  This author definitely believes in showing not telling, you're just kind of thrown into the action in some parts.  It was jarring at first but made sense as the story went along, kind of making it look like perhaps how the character of Ship would record history.

At first I really didn't like the characters but as I kept reading the story just really began to grow on me.  Some of the pacing was indeed weird but it did end up quickly moving the story along.  I think the action really picked up in the second part of the book.  As the story went further how the characters acted began to make more sense.

What might have been seen as acting unfeeling or cruel could just be because of how this group was raised.  All of these teens were raised with Ship as their mother and father.  This explains why they find it hard to be close to people and why there views on things may seem skewed especially when it comes to handicapped people. Some of the characters are seen as Ship's mistakes because they weren't born perfectly and this of course leads to trouble later on.

I was ready to hate Ship at first too and expected it to be evil kind of like the well known computer HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  This wasn't the case though.  Ship slowly became my favorite character and as cliché as it sounds it sometimes felt like it had more humanity then the humans on board.

Zoheret was rather annoying at first but she too changed and grew throughout the story.  At first she seemed rather aloof and like she was just going to go along with everything.  I like that she is by no means perfect and does make questionable decisions.  It's not easy to like her at first but I think she's the character that overall changes the most and impacts the others.

I thought I knew where this book was going and then out of seemingly nowhere some major twists and turns came into play.  Let's just say that Sargent is not afraid to kill off characters and I was surprised at the amount of shall we say adult events that transpired.  Overall definitely worth reading, this is one of those books that will stay with you.   


  1. DUDE I love your "oldie but goodie" tag! I'm really excited about EARTHSEED and am glad to know that it feels like it could have been written today! that makes me really excited, since YA books in the 80s and 90s were kinda badly written. (am I the only one who thinks this?)

    great review. Sucks that some of the characters were annoying, but glad they grow onto you! Also, I'm now frightened that she's one of those authors who isn't afraid to kill of MCs. Granted, I have the same motto when I write: nobody is safe. but still... it's scary when you are a reader! O____o

    1. Thanks the tag seemed fitting for the story :) Yeah I was surprised how current it felt while reading.

      Glad you like the review :) I was very happy that the characters didn't stay annoying for the entire book (it really got better after the first section.) Well it's only the first book and no main character deaths yet but there were some unexpected deaths. The unexpectedness though is what makes it interesting and really has you investing in the characters.


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