Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

New Pretty Town

The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.

This is sort of about weather, but presents it in an interesting and more creative way. However, unless cat vomit sky color is the conflict that moves this story forward to a satisfying conclusion, it isn't the best beginning as it is ultimately setting. Stories should start with conflict and character, not setting. Though this could be an example of pathetic fallacy, therefore revealing some character.

The vomit weather theme is continued:

Of course, Tally thought, you’d have to feed your cat only salmon-flavored cat food for a while, to get the pinks right. The scudding clouds did look a bit fishy, rippled into scales by a high-altitude wind. As the light faded, deep blue gaps of night peered through like an upside-down ocean, bottomless and cold.

So the weather is explored. For some reason the author thinks that his novel needs to begin with a weather report. Whatever. It continues (since I read it, you have to, too):

Any other summer, a sunset like this would have been beautiful. But nothing had been beautiful since Peris turned pretty. Losing your best friend sucks, even if it’s only for three months and two days.

So here we have an inkling of conflict with a glimmer of the dystopian premise.

First thing said:

“Good night.”

Verdict: Pass (barely)

This gets a 50/50 meh for the striking opening line.

Theodore Moracht

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