Thursday, September 17, 2015

Grounded, G.P. Ching

A book cover URL wasn't available. I got it for free from Freebooksy or BookBub, can't remember which. It's the first in a trilogy (why not?).

It was an interesting read....the main character, Lydia has grown up in an Amish compound. It's post apocolypitic America, and most people don't even know that people live outside the wall and are not radioactive rabid mutations. The Amish in this book live much the same way the Amish live today. However, in their modern world, things are VERY different. No one eats real meat or animal products, because of animal rights groups, but it's all synthetically produced (and with several references to food, it doesn't taste anything like real food either, it only looks like food-which side note, I'm all for animal rights and proper conditions and all, but I eat meat and animal products in a modest amount of my diet, and don't you think eating the natural product is better than some crazy science project synthetic version?? I mean, that's what we're trying to get away from now, right? GMO's and anything unnatural in our food products?). They also have gone to a currency of energy rather than money. And electrical energy isn't exactly abundant.

Nothing would have been out of the ordinary if Lydia's best friend (and assumed by the entire community to be future romantic interest) Jeremiah hadn't been after her to go on a rumspringa (the thing where Amish teens are allowed to experience the modern world and then decide if they want to come back and be baptized Amish and live that life or if they'd rather stay in the modern world). It's infinitely more dangerous in this setting because those Amish aren't even supposed to exist and part of their agreement with not having to comply with the current government is that they'd keep to themselves and be self sustaining and all that. But when Lydia's only family, her father, gets really sick, he needs to see an English doctor and get modern medical treatments, or he'll die. Lydia decides she wants to authorize that treatment. And she misses him. And Jeremiah convinces her that rumspringa is the perfect time and means to go to visit her dad.....but none of them could have foreseen what would happen next.

Due to a crazy science experiment generations previous, it is discovered that Lydia posesses a particular genetic mutation that allows her to hold an electrical charge. Of course, she meets a guy who has the same genetic mutation and voila! We have our love triangle. *sigh* Oh well.

One thing that is really interesting, and I'm not sure how I feel about how it examines the role of women in an Amish community. It seems to imply that women are meant to be passive and submissive to be a "good" wife. And in the modern world, Lydia realizes that she does not want to be that way. She feels she has power (not just electrically), opinions, and a mind of her own to act on them. It's one of the reasons she feels she could never truly go back to who she was, or be with Jeremiah because his expectations of a wife and what she was willing to give as a wife are no longer one and the same. Now, I have no idea how women are actually viewed in an Amish community, but if I ever meet one, I'll be sure to ask. Because I know in MY religion, there are all sorts of misconceptions of how women are viewed and treated and how we are supposed to act or be in order to be a "good" Mormon woman. And many of them are false and some are based on a few bad experiences.

The writing was ok, it was interesting, a little like Michael Vey with an Amish twist. So maybe not quite as original as one would hope. The one thing that the author has me guessing about is who-if anyone-are the good guys and who are the bad guys. There are some bad guys who are very obviuosly bad. Like Dr. Hatch bad. But people you thought were allies might not be. So if I stumble upon the other books at the library or digital loan, I'll definitely read them, because I would like to have that resolved :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment