Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Roar

     I chose this book because my 8th graders were excited about reading it.  It wasn't one of my favorite books, but I liked it. 
     The Roar by Emma Clayton is a dystopian novel set in the Earth's future.  The animals have gone crazy and attacked humans, causing terrible diseases.  Humans used nuclear bombs to destroy the rabid animals, destroying much of the land.  Now the humans have retreated behind huge walls in foldable houses.  Their lives are miserable.  There is little sun or food or space or fresh air.  In fact, there weren't any children born for years.  Now that there are children again, evil forces are at work to use the children.  Mika is doing his best to find his sister and stop the evil forces around him.
     Like other dystopian novels, this book holds up a mirror to society.  One of my favorite parts of the book was also the hardest part of the book for me to read.  This is a quote from that section.
--Boom. Boom

"What's that?" he asked as his feet hit the pavement. It sounded like the heartbeat of an enormous beast, as if a dragon were sleeping beneath its treasure, instead of on top of it.

Boom. Boom.

"The Shadows," the chauffeur replied. "haven't you heard?"

"No," Mika said. "what's happening?"

"The mold is getting worse," the chauffeur replied grimly. "And hundreds are dying every day. And they say the government won't help them because it's cheaper to let them die."

"But the people in The Shadows won't be ignored," the chauffeur said. "So they're banging on the pillars holding up the Golden Turrets with huge steel balls on chains. All day and all night they swing them - one time for every person who's died. It was driving people crazy up here when it started on Friday night, but apparently you get used to it."

Boom. Boom.

"I don't think I'll get used to it," Mika said. He gazed at the pavement and tried to imagine what was below, all that darkness and water and millions of people trying to stay alive and balls on chains swinging against the pillars.

     This book reminded me of Ender's Game, but I didn't like The Roar as much as Ender's Game.  Mostly because I never really fell in love with the characters or cared what happened to them.  I absolutely loved Ender and felt like I was with him every step of the way.  Although I didn't care for the characters, I liked the ideas in the book. 
     I recommend this book for advanced readers.  It is also a good match for people who enjoy dystopian novels like The Hunger Games or Maze Runner.  At 481 pages, it isn't a good match for reluctant readers.

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