For regular readers of my blog you know that when I read a book--or watch a movie or TV show--I automatically compare it to Star Wars. I try not to do that. I really, really try not to. It is really hard for me to not compare Four from Divergent to Luke from Empire.
Speaking of Empire, or in this case, Return of the Jedi this book has talking cats in it that are similar to Ewoks. I was going to completely avoid my Star Wars inspired review by not bringing it up but John Scalzi wrote in a scene where the Fuzzys watch Jedi. This book is even based on an earlier book that has now entered public domain: H. Piper Beam's Little Fuzzy.
So the whole upright talking cat thing has been around for a while and to compare them to Ewoks is a bit asinine, because I should be comparing Ewoks to Fuzzys because the Fuzzys got here first.* So take that, George Lucas.
|Freakin' Ewoks, man.|
We know how this goes. Jack has his doubts upon discovering the Fuzzys, the corporation puts a hit out on him, and they end up in court discussing whether or not the Fuzzys are sentient? Really? Court? Had this been modern times we would've just bombed the local population, took their resources anyways, and called them savages. Forget the courtroom.
Fuzzy Nation is half Law & Order and half Jedi. There's action but there's also courtroom drama. There's little furry critters but there's also Smart Ass Extraordinaire Jack Holloway. There's an evil, ominous corporation, but there's also justice. (There's also a dangerous jungle planet that in no way reminded me of Dagobah.)
John Scalzi can write a good story. Fuzzy Nation isn't great. It's good. The writing is good. This is an all around good book. If you're a fan of the science fiction genre: go read it. If you're not? Don't. I can see why it made a few top of 2011 lists last year, though.
After I finish a book I normally ask myself what I've walked away with. In this case I did not walk away with higher ideals about how people should be treated. I didn't miss the point, I just didn't want to be reminded of it.
Full Disclosure: I read this on my Kindle.
*I edited out a part here that I still want to include but couldn't get it to fit. "I need to stop reading books with talking animals in them. I only read them because I myself want my pets to be able to communicate with me. Actually, I just want to feel less like a nutball when I talk to my cat."