Thursday, 27 June 2013
Book: Sami by H S St Ours
I was given an ebook copy of Sami, along with the first and third books in the Water World series, Young Moon and Simma respectively, by the author in exchange for my review.
Sami picks up a century (ish) after the events in Young Moon. Sami herself is a young girl living within the five-tunnels complex, in Tee-Four. After the death of her parents she is looked after and became an indentured servant, for the Judge, the spiritual and physical leader of Tee-Four, but Sami doesn't like living within the Judge's rules and she runs away. The book then follows her as she is caught by the Judge, and her subsequent escape with her old friends Glyn and Sef, along with her trusty dog Scout, and finds the things that have been hidden from her in the world outside.
I really enjoyed Young Moon, and so when I picked up this book I expected it to be similar in its writing style, how wrong I was! The way that Sami is written is mainly in slang, and in some cases in phonetics, which is understandable as a concept of what people would talk like and spell like after the end of the world. However I wasn't really 100 percent sure that I liked that writing style, at times I noticed it a lot, and at others I completely glossed over it, but I'd rather be able to fully understand what the characters are on about. On the other hand, the differences between the writing styles of Sami and Young Moon, really illustrate the talent of H S St Ours, in the way that he is able to change the style of his writing.
I didn't feel that the character of Sami was as well developed as that of Young Moon, though I think that that could simply be because Young Moon's past was told to us as she documented the end of the world, whereas Sami's story tells us of the society that has been rebuilt, and because that infrastructure is still there, her past and past stories aren't needed as a literary device.
The setting itself was interesting, a dystopia within a fully functioning society (albeit with shortages of stuff because of the end of the world), and I guess you would say that this dystopia was the same as dictatorships that have been seen in our past, concentrated to a very small area. The dictator character of the Judge was interesting, you found that he was mentioned a lot more than he was seen, and in the end he seemed like a very shady and secretive person (even ignoring the fridge). I'm not too sure what the purpose of him being a cannibal is exactly, though it is hinted at being a religious thing, but I have the feeling that all will come clear in book 3, Simma.
I did like the way that this book didn't skirt over issues that would probably become an issue if the end of the world was to occur, such as cannibalism. It is even explained to Sami that at the beginning of the five-tunnels, cannibal-ism was a big issue, and included murder. As much as most people would hate to admit it, it is an issue that would be relevant in that situation.
Overall though I got the idea that after the devastation occuring in Young Moon, Sami is a book about hope, particularly the hope that humanity would soilder on and rebuild itself, from scratch if necessary.
I'd recommend this book, purely based on the fact that I still want to know what happens next, though not as good as Young Moon, the book is still interesting in its own right, and is different which means that it has avoided putting me off the series.