Saturday, September 18, 2010

Review of Grace by Elizabeth Scott

Grace A fable of a terrifying near future by critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Scott.

Grace was raised to be an Angel, a herald of death by suicide bomb. But she refuses to die for the cause, and now Grace is on the run, daring to dream of freedom. In search of a border she may never reach, she travels among malevolent soldiers on a decrepit train crawling through the desert. Accompanied by the mysterious Kerr, Grace struggles to be invisible, but the fear of discovery looms large as she recalls the history and events that delivered her uncertain fate.

Told in spare, powerful prose, this tale of a dystopian near future will haunt readers long after they've reached the final page.

I have to admit that when I first started Grace, I didn’t think I would be too fond of it. While I found the setting to be very original, I was frustrated because the novel begins with my primarily descriptive passages, and I felt like Scott was throwing a dystopian world at me without explaining its backstory as much as I would like. I also felt that the writing, though “spare” as the description said, erred dangerously close to the melodramatic and choppy side. Thankfully, as I continued to read, I found myself pleasantly surprised.

It was easy for me to feel sympathetic towards Grace, considering what she had to go though. Her narration created a world that was a horrifying mixture of barren and lifeless or excessively sterile to the point where I refused to pick this book up right before bed for fear of nightmares. Yet as sad as her story was, I felt that I finally connected with her when she thought more in depth about her surroundings and the people around her.

For me, the strongest part of this novel was, without a doubt, the last 50 pages. I loved the way the story ended both in terms of plot and the emotional tone. Scott’s final message is one which I believe any reader can relate to: it’s a message for anyone who has ever sought to live life more fully, or lived in a violent time.

Considering how grim certain parts of this book are, I certainly don’t think this book is a good choice for readers who are uncomfortable with violence. Given its length and the way its told, I’m not sure if I’d call it your typical dystopian novel. I do, however, believe that Scott’s final message will stick with readers long after they’ve read the book.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This is a book that didn't wholly work for me but I would have to agree that the last 50 pages or so really amped up the book.

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