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7 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A second reading really surprised me, 5 Oct 2005
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Paperback)
I first read this book more than 20 years ago. I remembered some of the basics of the plot but not too much more. It's the story of Mia Havero, aged 12 when the story begins and 14 when it ends. She's one of a number of priviledged survivors of a catastrophe, caused by unlimited population growth, which destroyed Planet Earth. She lives on a spaceship created in an asteroid, with access to education and technology, while less fortunate descendants of Earth's survivors live on colonies on planets scattered throughout the galaxy. In order to control population growth, the citizens of the Ships are sent down to planets for 30 days after they turn 14, to survive as best they can with some pretty extensive training and a limited amount of supplies and tools. This is the Rite of Passage.
The story is told in 1st person and at times I felt it went into a bit too much detail, but Mia's voice is very convincing and I was impressed that the author -- who I think was in his 20s at the time he wrote this -- could write from the point of view of an adolescent girl so well. The future society he's created is very interesting and the book is a fast, easy read. But it's not simple. It raises a lot of moral questions which, when I read the book for the first time in my teens, mostly passed me by. After rereading it recently, I was left feeling actually quite shocked by the ending. The book is very thought-provoking, and like the best science fiction, it raises more questions than it answers. Highly recommended -- I gave it 4 stars only because I think it could have been a bit more tightly written and/or edited.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A second reading really surprised me, 5 Oct 2005
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Paperback)
I first read this book more than 20 years ago. I remembered some of the basics of the plot but not too much more. It's the story of Mia Havero, aged 12 when the story begins and 14 when it ends. She's one of a number of priviledged survivors of a catastrophe, caused by unlimited population growth, which destroyed Planet Earth. She lives on a spaceship created in an asteroid, with access to education and technology, while less fortunate descendants of Earth's survivors live on colonies on planets scattered throughout the galaxy. In order to control population growth, the citizens of the Ships are sent down to planets for 30 days after they turn 14, to survive as best they can with some pretty extensive training and a limited amount of supplies and tools. This is the Rite of Passage.
The story is told in 1st person and at times I felt it went into a bit too much detail, but Mia's voice is very convincing and I was impressed that the author -- who I think was in his 20s at the time he wrote this -- could write from the point of view of an adolescent girl so well. The future society he's created is very interesting and the book is a fast, easy read. But it's not simple. It raises a lot of moral questions which, when I read the book for the first time in my teens, mostly passed me by. After rereading it recently, I was left feeling actually quite shocked by the ending. The book is very thought-provoking, and like the best science fiction, it raises more questions than it answers. Highly recommended -- I gave it 4 stars only because I think it could have been a bit more tightly written and/or edited.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Rite, 5 Sep 2003
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Paperback)
I borrowed this book from an aqcuaintance a few years ago and have been looking for it ever since. I truly enjoyed it the first time, found it to be an inspired tale and a very well written insight into the mind of a twelve year old girl given that the author is neither female nor twelve years of age when he wrote the book (to my limited knowledge).
I really enjoyed the attention to detail; of a world which doesn't (yet) exist, of the thought processes of the main characters. I felt that although the main character, Mia Havero, is going through a maturing process designed to bring her to adulthood, she still maintains the thoughts and feelings of a 'normal' teenager. She is no 'genius child of the future', just an ordinary kid with ordinary feelings who is thrust into a situation she has little or no control over.
I thought that it reflected real-life to a degree, although metaphorically, as all young people go through an experience in life that defines the person they later become.
On a lighter note, it is also a really good read, with excitement and new ideas, colourful characters and a complete story that leaves you mildly interested in what might happen next but not chomping at the bit for a sequel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem, 1 July 2008
By 
D. B. Rose (South Africa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Paperback)
Other reviewers have told you about the story.
This book is one of the unforgettables, with a permanent place in my library. I re-read it every few years, often finding something new in it.
An outstanding piece of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 24 July 2013
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Kindle Edition)
like others I read this book about thirty years ago and its memory has stayed with me ever since. I have recently ~ on my teenage daughter`s insistence ~ read the Hunger Games trilogy and was immediately reminded of Rite of Passage. I am delighted to be able to get hold of this book again and am looking forward to re reading it ~ and insisting that my daughter does too!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Communities living in spaceships, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Latenighter (South-East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rite of Passage (Kindle Edition)
Having deposited colonists on over a hundred planets in a dash to preserve humanity when the Earth has been destroyed by over-population, the spaceships have continued to travel between these primitive colonies, trading their superior knowledge for things they need from the colonists. To avoid over-population on the ships, it is the custom to drop 14yr olds, separately, on whichever planet is nearest, with camping gear and weapons, and pick up survivors after a month. Dangers include wild animals, resentful colonists, and loss of the call-button which indicates each child's location to the pick-up ship.
Rite of Passage describes the life of one girl on the ship, culminating in this life-changing test.
I enjoyed the story but occasionally got the feeling I was being preached at, hence only 4 stars.On the other hand, it's a good book, perhaps after another reading I might give it 5 stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars As the Nights Draw In, 13 Sep 2010
This review is from: Rite of Passage (Paperback)
One of the Science Fiction Novels that has always stuck in my mind (I'd bought this Paperback Edition to replace the one that was Lost) was Panshin's "Rite of Passage", even though we hear this phrase more and more in connection with the Youth Cultures of today and their Rite Of ... issue's. It's makes good reading and has a good storyline, even though it's in the usual Science Fiction Style, the relevance of which, even today, you can read inbetween the lines and find Modern Day Parallels Alexei Panshin's Award Winning Novel is one which, you'll like it or hate it.
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Rite of Passage
Rite of Passage by Alexei Panshin (Paperback - 1 Feb 2007)
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