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  • Kingdom of cages by Sarah Zettel

    Edition: Aspect

    ISBN: 0446611069

    The author of the book: Sarah Zettel

    Book Title: Kingdom of cages

    Page views: 4219

    ISBN 13: 9780446611060

    Date of issue: June 1st 2002

    Uploaded: 1408 times

    Last download: 16 days ago

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Read full description of the books: Kingdom of cages

The story of a small family at the center of crises that could leave humanity extinct.Chena and Teal, and their mother Helice Trust are barely surviving on Athena Station, the independent space station serving the planet of Pandora. Pandora is the closest match found to the original Earth biosphere before it was mostly devastated by humans. It's also ruled by cities of ultra-authoritarian conservationists who maintain order among themselves by using brain implants called Consciences to enforce conformity and loyalty. Normally that would be plenty of reason to leave them alone, but Pandora is the only place in the galaxy that humanity is not suffering a spectrum of conditions called the Diversity Crisis. Humanity is dying and they're all coming to Pandora for a cure.The story begins with the small Trust family arriving on Pandora to build a life for themselves, unaware that the scientists of the conservationists (called hothousers because they live in domes) have identified Helice as having the perfect genetic makeup to be a subject of their experimental regime to "cure" the Diversity Crisis. They approach her, but she refuses. Unfortunately she's too important and they won't take no for an answer.This book is all about desperate people in desperate situations where everything that's happening is monumentally unfair. It's about right and wrong in situations so dire that right and wrong may not even apply. The hothousers are in a completely unfair situation, people who just wanted to live a life of isolation but are now forced to deal with the rest of humanity. The immigrants also are in an unfair situation, denied the basics of medical care and education, and subject to experimentation. And all the humans in the galaxy dying of the Diversity Crisis with the Pandorans who just don't seem to care (they don't; there's a chip in their heads that makes it so they can't).And what happens to the Trust family is even more unfair than any of that, because they are needed and that causes some profound violations.This was really well written. You feel for most of the characters, even the one that's going slowly insane, and at most points in the book it's pretty clear that all of these characters are screwed. The hothousers in particular, and their biomechanical AIs, have a really alien point-of-view because of their Conscience chips that comes over strongly in the book. And that brings up a fairly major theme of the book as well: family, in-groups, out-groups, implicit and explicit othering. It's all very chunky.The only criticism is perhaps that the overall length of the book makes the ending feel a little rushed, even though it's very satisfying.

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One of my favorite

Bad book.

I recommend it.

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