February 5th, 2015

Funny Boy

“Funny Boy” by Shyam Selvadurai isn’t just about being ‘funny,’ it’s also about being a minority in a country far less circumspect in its racism than Western countries. Happy people are few and far between in this novel. Arjie’s crisis of sexual identity lives under the looming threat of racial persecution for being Tamil in Sri Lanka. His mother is at least emotionally involved with another man, who is a journalist killed by the police for investigating their abuses, and her futile attempts to uncover the truth only get more people hurt. His father lives under the illusion that as long as he keeps his head down and voice quiet he can have a prosperous life, but that illusion is ripped away.

Now that I think about it, everyone in this novel, starting with Arjie in the opening chapter, believed at one point they had found a little paradise, their place in the world, and had it taken from them by prejudice of one kind or another.

Not that I wish to discourage any of you from reading such a well written book. I read it in one afternoon myself.

Abaddon's Gate, by James S.A. Corey

In book three of the Expanse series, the solar system is no longer big enough.

Abaddon's Gate

Orbit, 2013, 566 pages

For generations, the solar system - Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt - was humanity's great frontier. Until now.

The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

The continuing adventures of the crew of the Rocinante, with another rotating roster of secondary POV characters.

Also by James S.A. Corey: My reviews of Leviathan Wakes and Caliban's War.

My complete list of book reviews.