Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've had this on my Kindle for far too long & decided to finally read it. I'm so glad that I have! The story follows Leisha & others genetically modified before birth not to require sleep. They don't age in the usual way either & with all the time they save sleeping, they are able to achieve much more than their sleeping counterparts. The novel spans many years & gives a broad look at how their lives proceed & the effects of the society they create. Ideas explored are what the strong owe to the weak & why & how much control does one need to exercise over others. What is truly evident is that regardless of intelligence, paranoia, zealotry & extreme tribalism can captivate humans to the point of criminality & cruelty. Most specifically this is displayed in Hawke & Jennifer. They're two sides to the same coin.
I admit that I was most interested in Leisha's relationship with her non-modified twin, Alice. It was Leisha's most constant & interesting relationship for most of the story even when they were estranged. Second to that, I found Drew an interesting sort & wanted more detail on the followup to his accident as it's not even mentioned that his attacker had any consequence for his action. Many of the other characters aren't given depth either & simply help moving along the plot but I did want to know more about them & how they felt & were motivated in the world in which they lived. Still, I found it an engaging story & couldn't put it down for long (when I didn't have my Kindle to hand, I continued reading it on my phone).
The ending was solid but felt a little heavy handed. I will likely read the rest of the trilogy but as of the time of this review, they aren't available on Kindle. Perhaps they will be soon or I'll find them at the library.
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