Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Archangel: Fiction by Andrea Barrett Review

I won a copy from Goodreads First Reads.

"During the summer of 1908, twelve-year-old Constantine Boyd is witness to an explosion of home-spun investigation—from experiments with cave-dwelling fish without eyes to scientifically bred crops to motorized bicycles and the flight of an early aeroplane. In 1920, a popular science writer and young widow tries, immediately after the bloodbath of the First World War, to explain the new theory of relativity to an audience (herself included) desperate to believe in an “ether of space” housing spirits of the dead. Half a century earlier, in 1873, a famous biologist struggles to maintain his sense of the hierarchies of nature as Darwin’s new theory of evolution threatens to make him ridiculous in the eyes of a precocious student. The twentieth-century realms of science and war collide in the last two stories, as developments in genetics and X-ray technology that had once held so much promise fail to protect humans—among them, a young American soldier, Constantine Boyd, sent to Archangel, Russia, in 1919—from the failures of governments and from the brutality of war."

The Investigators

Twelve year old Constantine Boyd travel to his "uncle's" farm. He discovers and witness the inventions and creativity. He spends most of his summer trying to find the cave-dwelling eyeless fish and doing chores on the farm. The lesson at the end of the short story is meaningful and insightful.

Rating: Four out of Five

The Ether of Space

Okay... Someone hand me a dictionary. What is this I'm reading? The Ether of Space is mostly confusing and puzzling. I spend most of my valuable time trying to decipher the description of the Ether of Space, only to find myself giving up in the end. Really confusing. It's rocket science, only not quite literally.

Rating: One out of Five.

The Island

The island is amazing. We see a young girl, curious in evolution and caught up with Mendel's influence. Torn between two sides of science, the girl has to betray one of the two directions. 

Rating: Four out of Five

The Particles

Sam, no longer the young boy from "The Ether of Space", journeys to find his future. In the Particles, his story is told.

Rating: Three out of Five


The star of the book. Constantine Boyd, the same boy from "The Investigators," returns as an American soldier. He is tough and brave. But he's caught in the line of fire between two sides. All he wants to do is to...

Rating: Five out of Five.

Overall, it's a 3.4 out of five, which will be rounded down to three out of five. 

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