4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Macleod reinvents the genre!,
This review is from: Learning The World: A novel of first contact (Paperback)
**** spoilers ****
We all know that the old alien invasion cliche really has been done to death. Macleod cleverly turns it on its head though, by making humankind of the far-distant future, more alien than the rather endearing bat people, whose homeland the human pioneers are eyeing up greedily.
This is very clever stuff, which reminded me in places of the grandiose space opera of Iain Banks (high praise indeed). You may find, as did I, that you rush through the "human" chapters in anticipation of savouring the generally more fascinating alien chapters. The seeming paradox of an intelligent and compassionate species still relying on the horrors of slave labour, is skillfully explored through Macleod's splendid characters. Orro, Darvin, Kwarive and even the delightful Trudge Kit drive the plot along at a decent pace that will surely maintain any sci-fi fan's interest. The only downside, IMHO, is that the human politicising felt a tad laboured at times, and the long-awaited face to face contact occurs very late in the book and could have been explored to greater depth. Quibbles aside, this is a very worthwhile read that I enjoyed immensely and have no hesitation in recommending to you!