Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Semiosis

What if intelligent alien life was plant-based? The settlers of Pax are ready to create a new life, when they discover the plants of their new home might be less than friendly. The group tried to escape war on Earth, have they landed in a different kind of battleground?

I loved the concept behind Semiosis. Each section follows a member of a different generation of settlers, allowing jumps in time, perspective and culture, as well as evolution. It explores how plants evolve to take advantage of animals and in return become useful. In biology this is called mutualism and it's mentioned a lot.

I meant well. I meant greater happiness for all. I meant to create a new and different and better life. I thought I would not repeat the past. I failed.

It did over-explain some things and didn't leave much space for coming to your own conclusions. I suppose it's understandable that not every reader is going to come at this book with any botany knowledge, but I found it irritating at times.

Stevland is a sentient bamboo. It sounds a bit ridiculous but he was my favourite character. He put me in mind of an artificial intelligence, his consciousness spread over a wide area and not always sure how to act human, because he's clearly not. But he understands that he needs service animals to survive and humans are just so useful.

At times I lost interest but because it follows different generations, it would perk up again. Also I cannot believe what the orange trees did! I became so invested in the lives of the plants, it obviously did that part well.

It's also a study of how human society evolves, how beliefs are created and social structures are put in place over time. They do a great job of keeping their pacifism going at least, I was worried at the start it would be a book solely about war.

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Book Source: Borrowed

2 comments:

  1. I thought this book was fascinating. And I loved Stevland too!

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  2. Ooh, this sounds really intriguing! Probably because I love plants. I'm adding it to my list right now.

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