Son by Lois Lowry

Hey bibliophiles!

I just finished reading Son by Lois Lowry, the last of The Giver Quartet. You can read my reviews of the other novels in the series here: The Giver, Gathering Blue, and Messenger. Each book could essentially be a stand-alone novel, but the stories all intertwine as well. Let’s start with a summary of Son:

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

Let me just say, I love The Giver series…except for this book. I think it would have been much more powerful just as a trilogy. Furthermore, Son was such a departure from the rest of the series. It stuck out like a sore thumb.The first three novels were all about weighing the needs of individuals versus needs of society; so much so that the books didn’t feel like they were about Jonas, Kira, or Matty, but they were about community. Son, on the other hand, was about Claire. Yes, there was society in the background, but it was really just her story. Which isn’t bad in general (I love plenty of books about people’s journeys), but it wasn’t what I expected from a novel in this series. Additionally, this novel was twice as long as it’s companions and was extremely detail-oriented, which stood in stark contrast to the simplistic style of the rest of the series.

There were some nice moments and a few inspiring quotes. I was reminded that we can’t let fear control our life, but we have to face it head on and we have to look forwards, not dwell on the past. But that’s about all I got out of the story.

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All in all, Son just felt repetitive and I didn’t gain as much from it as I had with the other novels. I didn’t hate the book, but I wish The Giver Quartet had stopped with Messenger. With that book, the ending was so appropriate for the series and the story lines had all tied up nicely. Son felt unnecessary.

Just as an update: I’m currently still listening to Paris: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd and I’m going to read The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare next. And don’t worry, I have Drums of Autumn, the next Outlander novel by Diana Gabaldon, on my nightstand to read as well.

Until next time, bibliophiles…

Messenger by Lois Lowry

What’s up, bibliophiles?

I’ve been reading my way through The Giver Quartet and recently finished Messenger, the third book. If you read my reviews of The Giver and Gathering Blue, you’d know that the second book in the series wasn’t really a continuation of the story first introduced in The Giver. Well, Messenger ties up the loose ends and brings the two stories together.

Here’s a little synopsis, without giving away too much of the story (NO SPOILERS!):

Matty has lived in Village and flourished under the guidance of Seer, a blind man known for his special sight. Village once welcomed newcomers, but something sinister has seeped into Village and the people have voted to close it to outsiders. Matty has been invaluable as a messenger. Now he must risk everything to make one last journey through the treacherous forest with his only weapon, a power he unexpectedly discovers within himself.

Like the other novels in this series, this story is mainly a commentary on society, self, and how to balance the needs of one against many. It’s a discussion about the power within each of us and how we can utilize that power to affect the world around us. Especially poignant was the perception of “outsiders” in the novel. That part of the story really had an impact on me, considering the world we live in where suspicion comes so naturally. Along those lines, my blogger friend Eve Messenger recently posted a powerful story depicting that same sense of suspicion. See it here.

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I loved this novel and thought it did a wonderful job continuing the story in a meaningful and creative way. The character building was as beautiful as ever. If you loved the other novels in this series, you’ll love this one as well. But, BE WARNED, it’s not a story with a happily-ever-after ending. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Until next time, bibliophiles…