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on Oct. 19, 2012 :
I enjoyed reading Adversary - a futuristic story in which the remnants of humanity dwell in some kind of space habitat, after having abandoned a hostile Earth thousands of years before. Their religion tells them science and machines are friends and the nearby planet is the enemy, hostile to all humans. One family, questioning the religion's warnings, decides to visit it.
I did feel an important element was missing here. The people in the space station hadn't reverted to primitives. They were still educating their children, teaching them high-level science, sufficient to maintain their space station, mine asteroids for resources, and to keep spaceworthy, a fleet of craft. So how had all knowledge of their ancestors' relocation to the space habitat been lost? A reason for such wide gaps in their education needs to be given. Here's a possible one:
The original sets of refugees fleeing to the space station had contained a group of religious zealots who, rather than blaming humans for making the Earth hostile, blamed the Earth itself, and decided that nature was the enemy of mankind. These zealots, through sabotage and rebellion, killed the leaders and took control of the space station. They destroyed all the information data cubes except those relating to the pure sciences, and forced their own version of history/religion onto the rest. Some kind of explanation along these lines would have made the premise more believable.
The story is progressed through the viewpoints of different characters in the family and this works well. Like astronauts setting foot on a new planet, they explore the sensations with trepidation and excitement, and the reader silently urges them on, delighting in their delight.
I'm not sure the ending was entirely realistic but it certainly came with a bang. Overall an enjoyable story that gives readers something to think about.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)