Thursday 5 January 2012
Zoo City - Lauren Beukes
This was more alternate universe than sci fi but it was a great way to ease in to the challenge. I've been wanting to read it since I saw it reviewed in SFX over a year ago and then when it won the Arthur C. Clark award. From the first page I was immediately sucked in to the story. Not so much for the mystery behind the girl who had gone missing. It was for the story behind the animals. The book is split up with interviews and news items and a lot of it links back to when animals first appeared and how those with them are then ostracised from society. We see it first hand with Zinzi who has to overcome prejudice just so she can carry out her investigation. I loved it and the whole idea of it. Reminded me very much of the animals in Philip Pullman's Northern Lights. In fact there is even a reference to it but of course in this book it's not scene in quite so much a positive light.
I loved the atmosphere of the book and the fast pace. The setting was perfect. You definitely got the feel of Zinzi living in what can only be a slum but there is a sense of community too. Zoos (as they are called) pull together although there is still gangs and killings. As I said the mystery was secondary for me but I still enjoyed it. While I did have my suspicions as to who was really up to no good I certainly wasn't expecting the final outcome.
I would give the book a full star rating apart from one complaint. It felt like the ending was just a little too rushed. I would have liked it pulled out just a little bit more. Other than that it was a brilliant read and I did like the very ending of the book. I would like to hope that another book set in this universe might be on the cards as I would love to read more.
This is the first book I read for Ellie's sci fi challenge over at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. Ellie picked this one for anyone who wanted to read along although it no one had to in order to join the challenge. If you want to see what others have been reading Ellie has posted links here.