Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Review: Stranded: A Strand in the Web by Anne Bishop

Stranded is a short story collection about being stranded in space. The three stories are written by Anne Bishop, Anthony Francis, and James Alan Gardner. Though each story deals with the same subject matter, they are each unique. The second story in the book is by Anne Bishop "A Strand in the Web".

The characters in "A Strand in the Web" are somewhat typical teenagers doing a less than typical job. They are on assignment to repopulate a world, starting from the ground up. Many years previously, humans had left living on earth and moved into space. Now as part of their 'Atonement' for something done long ago, they refurbish worlds that have been destroyed. They do this through Restoration. The group we are following are Restorers yet, but they want to be and this assignment to bring back a portion of the planet will get them closer to their goal.

Willow, our focal character, is assigned to care for the trees of this project. Something which is made harder by the incompetence of several other team members. After being unceremoniously removed from the team following an altercation, she finds herself on a new project, restoring an island as a Restorer (a position she doesn't yet have) would. She initially brings in only one teammate, here friend Stev, but they end up as almost a full team when her friends Thanie and Whit join them.

The idea of bringing back an entire planet is intriguing and looking at it from the nuts and bolts perspective gives you a new appreciation for how hard it is to get things back in 'balance', a term that is used often throughout the story and a concept that each character strives for their projects.

Throughout the story, I was struck by the sincerity of the characters and their beliefs. From Willow who is a strong as the tree from which she derives her name to Stev who tries everything to be a good friend and somehow maintain a touch of distance. The characters as much as the idea intrigued me. 4.5 out of 5 You can pick up Stranded from Belle Books HERE

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