April 30, 2013

Review: 2312

2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an odd one. I loved Robinson's earlier Mars trilogy (Red Mars,Blue Mars, and Green Mars), and 2312 is set in the same science fiction landscape, although now most of our solar system's planets have been colonized to greater or lesser degrees, and most are undergoing some process of terraforming. Which is all fascinating. The characters are difficult and interesting, too. The plot is slim but fine (if a bit familiar from Blade Runner and Battlestar Galactica, among other sources). So I should've gobbled this up. Instead I kept falling asleep after reading a few pages, and the book took me months to complete. It's not Robinson's writing, exactly -- he's a clever science fiction world-builder and an unobtrusive stylist. So I'm not sure exactly why I found this to be such a soporific novel.

Even though it kept konking me out, I'm still giving the book four stars because of the brilliance of its world, its believeable and prickly characterizations, and its powerful themes of love, transformation, acceptance, and the difficulties of being human.

And because I feel a sense of accomplishment for finally getting through it.

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