Son by Lois Lowry
Series: The Giver Quartet #4
Genre: YA, dystopian
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by HMH Books
Read From: 3.21.13 - 3.23.13
They called her Water Claire.
When the young girl washed up on their shore, no one knew she had been a Vessel. That she had carried a Product. That it had been carved from her belly. Stolen.
Claire had had a son. She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. When he was taken from their community, she knew she had to follow. And so her journey began.
But here in this wind-battered village Claire is welcomed as one of their own. In the security of her new home, she is free and loved. She grows stronger. As tempted as she is by the warmth of more human kindness than she has ever known, she cannot stay. Her son is out there; a young boy by now.
Claire will stop at nothing to find her child. . . .even if it means trading her own life.
Characters: I would never say that these stories are character-driven, and Son is no exception. While I didn’t mind Claire as a protagonist, and I liked Gabe well enough, I also did not especially care about them. I was willing to follow them along through their adventures, but whether they lived or died, it wasn’t going to affect me emotionally. But I did actually form something of an attachment to Einar, and I’m not entirely sure why. He just had a nice personality, some depth, and was a quiet sort. I was glad that Trademaster came back as the villain. He creeped me out in Messenger, and I lamented that he wasn’t in it more. He’s still creepy, and I still lament that he wasn’t more of a presence, especially since he ended up being so important. He’s one of those villains that it seems he ought to have been present in all four books, rather than just two.
The Romance: Einar and Claire like each other, but because Claire must leave to find her son, their romance doesn’t go anywhere. It was a short, sweet romance that I actually really liked, and I felt kind of sorry that Claire didn’t stay to be with Einar.
Plot: Quite honestly, not much happens. Claire leaves her original community to go find her son, loses her memory, gets it back, climbs a mountain, and then we’re led to a rather sedate conclusion. The first part of the book, where Claire is still in the community, is nothing new to those who have read The Giver, but it was fun to read about events we already know about through the eyes of a new character. The second half, when Claire loses her memory, is dull. The seaside village she finds herself in isn’t sinister or especially oppressive. The part where she climbs the mountain, at least, wasn’t nearly as long and boring as I was expecting, but overall nothing happens. There’s a potential for a lot to happen, but it never does.
Believability: As much as I love the community of The Giver, there’s still something not quite ominous about it to make it a believable totalitarian government. True, everyone is sedated into perfect compliance by pills, and they get rid of people who don’t fit in, but utopias just don’t experience economic perfection like this world does. History has proven this.
Writing Style: Simplistic, but pleasant. It’s probably the style that keeps me reading. As I’ve said, nothing happens in this book, and yet it still somehow holds my interest, and I have to admit that I liked it.
Conclusion: It could have been so ominous, so exciting, and scary. But it wasn’t. It was at a sedate pace, very simple. Just like the rest of the book. And yet, despite the lack of engaging plot, I still liked this book. There’s something appealing about the worlds, even if they’re really not all that ominous.
Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, fifteen-and-up due to interest level, Ally Condie fans.
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