Cybernation is a childrens novel, but one of those which is equally appropriate for older children or adults. It’s set in a futuristic world where the Wayfarers have become seen as an inferior race to the Appaloosians. Within this world all is not as it first seems, with apparently deadly consequences. It is down to Solly (a Wayfarer) and Lalune (an Appaloosian) who are both best friends and two thirds of the fulfilment of a prophecy to save the day. Whilst it was a fast moving adventure the ending was somewhat disappointing, ending a little too abruptly.
The plot develops in a gripping way and has a feel which is both ancient and modern with its mix of references to both technology and nature. The treatment of the Wayfarers is reminicent of the Jews in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s. Yet the stream of twenty first computer language which is intermingled brings this traditional theme up to date. There could have been more detail on what was happening to the adult Wayfarers throughout the book, but it seemed that might be the theme for a future book in the series. I am guessing that I am not the only older reader, with a knowledge of the camps who would have wanted reassurance or confirmation of what happened to the older Wayfarers.
I thought the way it was shown some Appaloosians were also victims and that the reality of the situation was far more complicated than initially envisaged was excellent. The glossaries were helpful, but would have been better at the beginning of the book than the end.
So all in all clearly an introductory book which was a good adventure but left you with more questions than answers. I am v. glad that I also got the second book in the series with my gift voucher for giving my opinions on post-grad training at the uni. If you are wondering what to buy for an avid male or female reader of the age of about 9 or above I recommend these as a bit of a stocking filler, night time or bit of holiday reading. For younger readers of about 6 onwards this would make an excellent thing to read them as a bed time story series.
As I said, the other book I read over the weekend was Julie Walters memoir “That’s Another Story”. It’s a book where she gives an account of a very ordinary but academically disappointing childhood and her subsequent path into a glittering acting career. She gives a series of anacdotes about her early family life, nursing career, first serious romance, acting career and success. The acting stories included odd references related to her more recent work aswell which was interesting.
Whilst there was alot of detail missing about her contemporary life, because she clearly wished to protect the privacy of her family, it was still facinating. It was also quite touching because there were points at which she acknowledged that not all the decisions she had made the wisest. This was a facinating and gentle autobiography which left you smiling and glad that she had made the decision to stay in Britain rather than moving full time to Hollywood when she had the opportunity.