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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Midnight Robber

Copyright 2000 by Nalo Hopkinson

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (2/5)

I first read this in June 2000 and most recently in April 2001

Antonio is the major of Toussaint, a Caribbean-settled planet. Discovering his wife is cheating on him, he seeks revenge against her lover. Subsequently he flees Toussaint's implacable computer-controlled "Nanny" justice, taking with him his seven-year old daughter, the lovely Tan-Tan.

They escape to New Half Way Tree, the world where the bad people of Toussaint are exiled. So much for an escape! Conditions on New Half Way Tree are primitive and tough. This is all a little rough on Tan-Tan who is more used to a pampered life-style than grubbing around in the jungle. Life gets even worse for Tan-Tan until she in turn has to flee an unforgiving justice. Living with the Douen, the indigeneous race of New Half Way Tree, she slowly comes to adulthood and some rapprochement with her sense of guilt.

It's a lyrical lovely story steeped in Caribbean folklore. If you enjoy this kind of work, this book will leave you dreaming of Tan-Tan, or yourself, as the Midnight Robber, and you'll keep the book for your children.

For me, being of a more shallow disposition and with no knowledge of Caribbean folklore, it was just an interesting read that missed the mark with so many opportunities cast carelessly away: multi-dimensional parallel universes, superb aliens, Artificial Intelligence, nanocomputing, and the reclamation of civilisation.

Loaded on the 16th May 2001.
    
Cover of Midnight Robber
Cover art by Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon and Don Puckey



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