Top positive review
I love this book too much.
on 22 February 2016
The book that helped me learn to read, because it was the first story that ever made as much sense or was packed with as many interesting things as a textbook on dinosaurs (I was 12), and none of sexist rubbish that puts me off so many other stories I'd come across before that (gender-stereotyping in casts of characters and events that happen to them). Finally I found a character - a female character - that I could identify with.
To be honest with you, this book authorised me being who I am naturally born to be, in the gendered body was born to have, more than any kind word or encouraging role-model (very few of *them* to look at) ever did. Before this book, I identified with Batman, but he was male. I identified with Kirk and Spock, but they were male. I identified with frankly an awful lot of male characters, and I was starting to feel very lost, not least because at school I was being told daily my looks, my attitude, my behaviour, my way of speaking, my choice of dress, all meant I couldn't "qualify" as female.
LoL - I would likely have likely wanted to become transexual if it weren't for something - this book - saying "Oh here's a character that has extremely god interconnective reasoning and problem-solving skills and is very practically minded [and isn't male] and a story where she isn't subjected to sexual assault, or control by a man, and she also isn't lesbian either. She's just an experienced, strong-minded, smart and exceptionally capable leader... Yes women can be like that too."
Apologies, I know this isn't a review about the story, or this edition of the book, or anything else. This is just a review that says: This book is *great* to help get an otherwise incredibly smart and talented young woman into reading, and to help her feel like she doesn't have to become male to get acknowledged for her skillsets or personality type. It gives courage. It gives you a world where a woman being like that is never even questioned. It also shows you examples of what one might just do with those skills and mindsets... That you *could* make a good leader, a good entrepreneur, a good problem-solver and that yeah, people might actually look up to *you* for these things (and stop overlooking you) when you're the only person who can get the job done right.
A brilliant sci-fi adventure from the perspective of an alien. Understanding balances of power, where a character thrown in at the deep and and completely over her head, uses her brain and her reasoning (and a very smart, hand-picked crew) to rise to the level of responsibility required to not only save her own skin, but save her family's reputation *and* the life of a random thing with mostly hairless white skin that turns out not to be just an animal but a member of another sentient, space-faring race.
Even better: no breasts. Yes that's right, you read that correctly. The author did not look at Earth and decide that even though only *one* group of animal life has mammary glands, and even though of those there is only one species amongst them - one in fact on the *entire planet* that keeps those mammary glands swollen from puberty until death, they would *not* use that as a stable definition of *all* female life that exists in the known universe. That alone is enough to make you do a double take. You don't even know what gender some of the characters in the book are. Gender isn't a big deal. There *is* a white male... but he spends most of the book in a traumatised state. :D And what makes *him* remarkable are the physiological weaknesses of his species that are common to all of us, but in the end his meekness, loyalty, and bravery in the face of fear from an oppressor that saw him as a mere object - a tool...
I love this book too much.