Sunday, February 24, 2013

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Short stories are awesome.  They give us in-depth insight into characters, providing anecdotal proof of why some characters are they way they are.  They entertain by creating a certain mood or focusing on a singular effect...some instance in a previous body of work (or one to follow) that might have been glossed over or ignored completely in a longer novel. 

And so, every Sunday for the foreseeable future, I would like to highlight short stories and novellas set in worlds I've already come to love and learn a little more about some of the secondary characters in my favorite novels.  I'll be underscoring some of my favorite aspects of these short works of fiction, in addition to offering up a mini review of each work.

This week I'm featuring a prequel story:

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Title: Foundation
Author: Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland, book #0.5
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
Source: free via Tor's website
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

In Ann Aguirre’s award-winning novel Enclave, humans have taken refuge in colonies below ground. Here is the story of what drove them there, told through the eyes of a teen who would later have vast influence over the fate of many, and who gave his heart to the one person who needed him most.

This is a really short story that takes place completely separate from the other story arcs in the Razorland series.  Instead of seeing characters we've already grown to care about, we meet a character that was in the College enclave almost from the very start.  This is only a beginning and doesn't provide much new information, but it also doesn't spoil anything for the rest of the series.*

What it does provide is a look at two kindred souls, forced together by fate, and how they forged a spot for themselves in a crumbling and decaying world.  Foundation suggests that the world as we know it is ending due to chemical warfare, forcing citizens to suffer a deadly disease or scramble underground to avoid it.  Regardless, things don't look good for the human race.

This is obviously not a happy story**, but fans of this series wouldn't expect that, anyway.  Those who haven't started this series yet may find that trying out the author's style in this piece, while it's being offered for free, is a good starting point.  But I rather liked reading this prequel after I'd already been introduced to the story, though I'm probably in the minority with that sentiment.

*Well, not really.  Not if you had the same suspicions that I did about the Freaks/Muties and how they came to be.

**I also feel obligated to note that just reading this short story and revisiting the world created by Ann Aguirre in the Razorland series gave me terrible nightmares last night.  But in my opinion, that's the sign of great invades your thoughts even when you're unconscious.  =)

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

Stop by next week for my review of Ann Aguirre's Endurance, book #1.5 in the Razorland series.

1 comment:

  1. This is just the sort of insanity-making awesomeness that I've come to expect from Ann Aguirre. Getting to see the beginning of the end was shiver inducing and reminded me of just how much I loved Enclave.
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