Saturday, January 14, 2017

Blightborn by Chuck Wendig

Second book in the Empyrean trilogy. It picks up right away from the first book. It is a dystopian future based on mono-agriculture (fuel corn in this particular scenario) and a totalitarian regime using various techniques to keep the masses in check. The parallels are clear. No single character is particularly endearing, including the hero Cael. The painfully obvious hierarchy metaphor of the floating cities for the haves vs. the have-nots is juxtaposed with the lack of any nobility or vision on either side of things.
Besides, the Heartland treats the hobos the same as the Empyrean treats the Heartland. There’s always an order to things. Someone’s always on the top. Someone’s always on the bottom.
She’d rather be on the top, thank you very much.
I was as slow to read this book as it was for the first. Mostly because it's kinda depressing when there's no one to really cheer on. Everyone seems to be stumbling along trying to achieve their selfish ends.

The gay character gets to develop a romantic relationship. Perhaps it was controversial when the book first came out but now it seems kinda an overused point of conflict. Except the Heartland is a reflection of middle America so still an appropriate issue to address.
...We were a team. He didn’t think we were the leaders of the Sawtooth Seven, but we were, oh, we were. We were bound together in our hatred for the Empyrean. The skyrapers were just starting to really seal the deal, taking things away from us that we’d always assumed would be there: our farms, our education, our choice. We’d already had to put up with them floating above us and telling us who to marry, but now we had no choice as to what we did with our lives. And the way to the sky was shut.
Mission accomplished, but Cael might be dead. No other main characters missing. No one is particularly heroic. I'll probably read the third book in the trilogy soon, just to see if I feel the same way that the first two thirds of the book is a bit of a slog and last third is great fun.

Finished January 9, 2017