Dragon's Teeth by Suzanne van Rooyen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ok, I am posting this a day early, hope that will be fine with all of you :). First off, this book definitely starts out a little differently than I expected it to. We do follow the story of Cyrus, but it seems as if we should be following the story of Benji, at least from how the prologue plays out. Even with that little shift I think this book does very well in explaining the events that are going on, why they occuring and giving the back story as to how they got to the point they are at. The book is separated into three parts, which I think helps group the content of the book better, but I do think that the way in which the story was told could have been more linearly, as well as allow you to focus on a single character, as opposed to jumping between the three that it does. The way the parts are told though does help with the mystery aspect of the story, but does give away the ending revelation if the reader is paying close attention. With that said, the author does very well in keeping the story consistent and flowing. She could easily have gotten caught up in any part of the story and neglected the overall plot but does well not to do that. I did think that some of the plot twists were a little transparent and were easily discovered many many pages before they were revealed while others were concealed very well and as such gave the reader a shock when they were revealed.
The actual plot of the story interested me very much as I am a biologist so the genetic modification and manipulation was very cool to me. I felt that the views on the modification were fairly limited in this novel, and possibly showing a side that was more against the the modifications would have interesting, but that does not detract from the overall plot as that isn't a main theme of the novel, more like a general subject a story is set in. I think that split between the northern Theocratic dictatorship and the southern-ish capitalistic society has interesting points. I do think that more of a conflict between the two would have been good, as it was you really get the feeling that they are two separate worlds and have no real connection to one another. Granted there are a few instances where the reader is reminded that they are existing in the same world and time, to me it was lost amid the rest of the story. As a whole i thought the story was very good but I think the author could have done a whole lot more with it and am curious if she chooses to do so.
Now for the characters, all were good but none were really spectacular save the twin sister. She was the one character that really stuck out to me and made me cheer for her. I don't know if it was that she was the first to step out or if it was just the way that she did it, but i was hoping that she would have a good ending, which she did and didn't in the same way. Again I think the author could have done a lot more with this character and am curious to see how the archetype will be used in her future works.
As with a character to like, i didn't really have any character that i just despised. It isn't that there aren't characters to despise, it was just that there wasn't that constant evil or negative presence, instead it was the concepts and ideas the people followed/were forced to follow. I guess the closest thing that there was to an evil character was the priests of the northern religion that ordered the heinous actions to be carried out.
So all in all, I do think the book is good, with a very good writing style and story progression, I think the characters are a little lacking but it is not so much that it takes away from the story. I recommend it for any sci-fi dystopian reader.
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