An entrancing journey to far-off lands

Sami Beers

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Title:  Nation

Author(s): Terry Pratchett

Stars:  5/5

Summary:

  “Once there were many people living here, and then the wave came.” (Pg 85) When a wave sweeps through a small island chain in the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean it destroys everything in its path leaving Mau, a boy who has not quite become a man, as the sole survivor of the once great island of Nation. It also strands an English girl who goes by Daphne, on the same island after her ship crashes during the same storm. These two very different people are thrust into a world turned upside down, and are forced to deal with questions about belief, life, death, and everything in between while also working to bring together the few frightened and homeless survivors of the wave as they are drawn to the Nation. The people on the recovering island of Nation will have to overcome many obstacles and change their ways of thinking to uncover a long forgotten secret that will change everything.

Review:

Nation is a fantastic and immensely entertaining book that, as the warning at the beginning says, really makes you think.  While it has the humor characteristic of Terry Pratchett’s writing, the book also deals expertly with the more difficult ideas of staggering loss, seemingly insurmountable differences, and the ideas that make a culture.  From the traditions of the island, such as the rite of passage and making beer, to the creatures like the Grandfather Birds and sharks that inhabit it, Pratchett uses his words to paint a picture of a  fantastic place and a culture that is both similar and different from our own.  This book is ideal for high school readers as well as adults; although because of the complex themes it is not so good for younger readers. I would highly recommend this book to fans of either adventure novels or coming of age stories, and if you enjoy this book, Pratchett’s other books, such as the Discworld series are also fantastic and worth checking out.

Warnings: Makes you think

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