Sunday, February 6, 2011

The WIndup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Windup Girl is one of those rare books that seemingly has it all: the setting is elaborate, foreign, and futuristic; the characters are eccentric, singular, and human; the plot is intricate, unpredictable, and incredibly engaging. Food is what counts in futuristic Bangkok. Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the rest of Asia have fallen victim to the Calorie Wars and a series of genetically-modified driven disease, but the Kingdom of Thailand prevails, mostly due to a hidden seedbank and the Environmental Ministry, who prevents tainted goods from coming into the City of Divine Beings (Bangkok). Emiko is a windup, a Japanese engineered creation, and works in a brothel after being abandoned by her master. Anderson is a 'calorie man,' who is on the hunt for new food sources for the US company he works for, and his secretary, Hock Seng, is a Chinese refugee looking to secure his future. Jaidee serves as a general for the Environment Ministry who destroyed her childhood village. When corruption, a series of betrayals, and greed lead to the end of Krung Thep, who will survive? Winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and a variety of other awards, The Windup Girl is a must read. Click here for Paolo Bacigalupi's website. Grade 10+