Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Book Review: The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Engdahl
Elana, newly graduated from the Federation Anthropological Service Academy, is sent immediately into danger on the planet Toris-a world poised on the brink of nuclear war. She is ordered to merely observe, and must not reveal her alien origin or interfere with the planet's natural course of evolution. But how can she stand by and watch? Her fellow agent, Randil, is not properly trained to work in the field, and his compassion for the Torisians may lead him to intervene. Yet his very actions may bring about the holocaust that he is so desperately trying to prevent. Elana must make a crucial decision: side with a renegade agent, or stop him at any cost. . . .
"[A] surprising, haunting, poetic book ...full of provocative philosophical and psychological questions as well as tense adventure and romance." -Commonweal
I couldn't have said it better! Mind-blowing book!
Elana is such a gorgeous character for me because I can really look up to her. She was everything and more the hero is meant to be. In a few situations, she would have been completely justified in lashing out at others, but she always went for the greater good, and she didn't come across as snooty at all! Though Elana was much older in this book, I could still see the personality that I so loved in The Enchantress From the Stars. Randil and Kari were very well defined and interesting. It was possible to understand where they were coming from, and how their experiences had shaped them.
Characters: 5 Stars
Can I just say, it took every last ounce of will in my being not to skip ahead and read the end! Riveting from the very first pages, The Far Side of Evil is pure Sci-Fi while still exploring the contours of an oppressed society. Several unexpected twist and turns. To be cliche, I was on the edge of my seat till the last pages! I do wish the ending had been a little stronger, but it tied things up quite nicely while still leaving the reader room for imagination.
Plot: 5 Stars
This book posed so many philosophical questions that kept my mind working for some time after I finished. It reads more towards an older audience than The Enchantress From the Stars, but could possibly be classified as YA. The Far Side of Evil is written as a diary, in a style that left the future unknown. I loved it!
Style: 5 Stars
Rating: 5 Stars
Source: From Author For Review
Author Site: Sylvia Engdahl Where you can learn a ton about her books!
Subnote: See my review of The Enchantress From the Stars HERE. :)