Sunday, October 6, 2013

Shaman A Book Review


Kim Stanley Robinson

Orbit Sept 2013

4/5 Stars

       Summaries for everyone, “Kim Stanley Robinson, the New York Times bestselling author of science fiction masterworks such as the Mars trilogy and 2312, has, on many occasions, imagined our future. Now, in SHAMAN, he brings our past to life as never before.

There is Thorn, a shaman himself. He lives to pass down his wisdom and his stories -- to teach those who would follow in his footsteps.

There is Heather, the healer who, in many ways, holds the clan together.

There is Elga, an outsider and the bringer of change.

And then there is Loon, the next shaman, who is determined to find his own path. But in a world so treacherous, that journey is never simple -- and where it may lead is never certain.

SHAMAN is a powerful, thrilling and heartbreaking story of one young man's journey into adulthood -- and an awe-inspiring vision of how we lived thirty thousand years ago.”


         There is plenty to love about Shaman, especially the details that only people who have studied Neolithic or native cultures would catch.  The characters are well drawn and have their motivations laid out for the reader to explore.  I loved all of the crossroads of the real and unreal.  The supernatural realism almost drips from some of the pages of this book.  My usual opinion of the author is that his books are too long.  On this, Shaman does not stray.  Not that I would be the first in line to cut some of the things in the book; but there are certainly areas that could have been trimmed a little.  Also, while the beginning of the book does an excellent job of world building.  It is a bit slow.  While I wouldn’t have traded some of the details of the beginning of the book for anything.  Some of the more general readership picking up this work might not appreciate it or be as patient with the book as I was.  Perhaps, this would have been a good place to make cuts.  Anyway, this book is an excellent read for anyone looking some thing different.

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