About the Book

Title: Earthseed (Seed #1)
Published: 1983
Series: Seed

Cover Story: Cheesetastic
BFF Charm: Ehhh?
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Mr. Roboto
Bonus Factors: Lord Of The Flies, Spaceship Life, AI Computer
Relationship Status: Great Pre-Hunger Games Friend

Cover Story: Cheesetastic

Since this book was originally published almost three decades ago, there are several different variations of its cover. And yet, almost all of them are completely cheesetastic. Sometimes you’re just jogging in your futuristic track suits. And sometimes you’re just standing around in your sexy camo outfits. The cover on my version (above) is pretty misleading since 98% of this book takes place on a spaceship. But the mohawk is a nice touch (wait, WHAT?!)

The Deal

Zoheret is one of a group of teens who have spent their entire lives aboard a spaceship. Created in a lab, they have no parents or older generation to guide them. All they have is each other and Ship, the AI consciousness of the vessel they reside in. Zoheret and the others are part of a project to find a new planet and continue to spread the human race. Ship has been preparing them for the day when they eventually must survive and prosper on their own. To do so, Ship has sent the teens to live in the Hallow, a large area of the ship with trees, wildlife and even an artificial sun. But surviving on their own proves more difficult than Zoheret and the others expect. Can they survive the internal conflicts that arise in creating a new community/civilization? And what happens when they find out the project isn’t quite what they think it is — and that Ship has been keeping secrets.

BFF Charm: Ehhh?

BFF charm with a :-| face

Ehhhhh, I’m not so sure about these kids. Zoheret is mostly all right, but I just can’t get over how creepy some of these kids are. I’m pretty sure it something to do with the whole “raised by an AI spaceship instead of humans” thing (go figure). But some of these kids seem like serious sociopaths. And the others just seem cold or cruel. Also, I expected children raised by a ROBOT with minimal outside distractions to be a little smarter? With NO outside influences whatsoever, it should have been pretty easy to indoctrinate these children on whatever philosophy Ship wanted. It’s almost as though none of them even understand the basic tenants of the social contract? Because as soon as they’re on their own, they are dicking each other over. I guess what I’m saying is that I’m a little wary of these kids. They’re fun to watch, but I won’t be handing over any BFFs charms anytime soon.

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

Not much swoon to account for here, but I never felt the story really needed it (or that it would even be all that realistic, given how the children were raised). Sure, the kids on the ship can boink each other consequence free since they have birth control implants, but there certainly isn’t any romance here. And (SPOILER SPOILER!) the end finds our main character, Zoheret, being offered the chance to life-partner it up with someone. But the dude refuses to promise he’ll be faithful, so Zoheret can be the one he makes kids with/be his #1 bitch. I know, grab a tissue, isn’t that just the sweetest?

Talky Talk: Mr. Roboto

The narration of this story felt quite different than a typical YA book. Both because it was written in the third person and because the characters tended to be much less emotional than characters I’m used to. Which in really nice in some ways — not having to put up with overwrought or whiny thoughts. But on the other hand, it did mean I didn’t really connect emotionally myself with the characters. My favorite characters may have been Ship, whose programming lends it to always have an answer (right or wrong) – like its theory on nuclear weapons:

“The weapons are totems,” Ship sad. “Humankind keeps them as reminders of its past savagery, so that no one forgets. The weapons are guardians, forever holding the powerful in check, as a king on a chessboard is limited by the position of the opponent’s pieces. If someone held a gun to your head, you would do as he told you. The weapons are held to the head of all the world, and the world behaves. No one has an advantage; no one can win. By now, knowing that they will fight with them no more, they have most likely dismantled the weapons.”

Bonus Factor: Lord Of The Flies

Young boys standing around a pile of sticks trying to start a fire from the movie Lord of the Flies

Children left to their own devises to survive/create a society and/or run amok? Bingo!

Bonus Factor: Spaceship Life

Space shuttle flying over earth in space

Besides the part where you’re confined to an unnatural/limited space, everyone knows living on a spaceship is the COOLEST!

Bonus Factor: AI Computer

The logo of Skynet from THE TERMINATOR

An all-powerful AI computer! Will it turn evil?

Casting Call

This book has actually been optioned as a movie, with the woman who penned the Twilight scripts set to write. So it’s possible we’ll be seeing this one on the big screen in the near future!

Relationship Status: Great Pre-Hunger Games Friend

This was the perfect week for me to start up a friendship with this book. In anticipation for tomorrow, I’d been in a mood for some Hunger Games-like action. Except that actually re-reading the book this close to watching the movie would only set me up for disappointment. So instead I spent my time with this book. It was different enough that I couldn’t compare them, but gave me a bit of the bloodlust and crazy that I’d been craving. I think I’ve found myself a solid companion in this book.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). Earthseed is available now.

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.