When W.R. Widerberg asked if I'd review his series of books about the future of the world, I have to admit I hesitated just a bit. Don't get me wrong. I love science fiction. I love futuristic stories. I love reading, as you know. But, what did I know about W.R. Widerberg? Nothing.
I took a chance because the cover of the book was compelling, and the blurb on the cover drew me in, "Far in the frozen future the fate of the Camarilla, the last civilisation on earth, rests in one girl's hands..."
Mind you, I was prepared to be disappointed, as I had been in The Hunger Games. But, I was also game.
Turns out, my gut knew better than I did. This series of stories told in a futurist world is far more entertaining and engrossing than that other one... I need not continue to mention the name of it. The second movie is already being promoted via the web.
6001 Ice World: Invasion of the Torterats outshines many other books in its genre. The writing brings the world to life by drawing the reader into the story - you care about the people of the Camarilla, you care about the young girl chosen to lead them, you care about the war with the Torterats.
I had no trouble breezing through the book and wanting more. This story weaves the past and the present in rich prose that takes you from today - where technology and war with military grade weapons threatens us all - to the world the Camarilla live in, all snow, ice and hunger. The Camarilla know nothing of the times before (well, until book two)- they struggle to survive each day...but they have family, they have friendship, they have intelligence. And they persevere to live another day, despite the torterats.
The leader, revealed further in the story, is female. Strong, not smarter than others, but with the kind of leadership qualities we talk about today - drawing others to her; doubting herself but making the decision anyway; always mindful of the clan, the small group of humans who trust in her to choose correctly. There is an antagonist, of course. Another girl who feels she is the better leader. The struggle between them is worth a story of its own, in my opinion.
The unfolding of the tale - life in a frozen tundra, a small band of humans led by a worried girl who is never sure of herself (but rises to the occasion more than once...and who grows and learns with each tough choice she makes), ever pursued by a terrible band of beasts intent on ending the human race, is full of danger, of wonder, of anxiety and ...yes, hope.
The beasts are very interesting and play a big part in subsequent books, by the way.
I recommend this as a great weekend read - get the entire series, 6001: The Sleepers and 6001: Land of Fire. You'll be entertained, you'll be enthralled, you'll be cheering the Camarilla on to success - and you'll forget about that other book...
When you're done with all three, I predict you'll write to the author asking where book #4 is.
So, W.R. Widerberg, when can we see book #4?