IRON JAW AND HUMMINGBIRD by Chris Roberson

IRON JAW AND HUMMINGBIRD

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Taken from the streets and educated by a wealthy aristocrat for years as part of a cruel game, orphan Gamine finds herself back on her own at 13. She falls in with a conman and, later, an itinerant preacher. Meanwhile, an 18-year-old reluctant soldier named Huang becomes an even more reluctant bandit when his division is bested by renegades. The two are thrown together, and the movement they lead reshapes the political landscape of a China-controlled 26th-century Mars. Roberson’s detached and contemplative narrative spends far too much time setting up only to lead readers to a disappointingly anticlimactic denouement. The milieu is nicely constructed, which stands to reason, as Roberson has written adult novels and stories in this alternate-history future. Patterned on, but not paralleling, the Boxer Rebellion, this would probably work best for lovers of historical fiction who wish to take a small step toward more fantastic material, but SF and martial-arts fans should look elsewhere. An attempted rape and intimations of a sexual relationship between the leads push the age-range up. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06236-2
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008