My goodness three books to talk about already! You may recall that I read Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips, and Tailchaser’s Song by Tad Williams in February. So, what book did I read for March? I chose a book by one of my all time favorite authors, Robert J. Sawyer. The book in question is Hominids.
Over the years I’ve had a few different people suggest The Neanderthal Parallax to me. Being as the concept sounded interesting and I am a huge fan of Sawyer’s, I was interested. I used the last of my book money from Brain (great Christmas present might I add) and went shopping. I can home with Hominids among other books.
Following in the description found on the back of the book and at Chapters Online:
Hominids examines two unique species of people. We are one of those species; the other is the Neanderthals of a parallel world where they became the dominant intelligence. The Neanderthal civilization has reached heights of culture and science comparable to our own, but with radically different history, society and philosophy.
Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal physicist, accidentally pierces the barrier between worlds and is transferred to our universe. Almost immediately recognized as a Neanderthal, but only much later as a scientist, he is quarantined and studied, alone and bewildered, a stranger in a strange land. But Ponter is also befriended-by a doctor and a physicist who share his questing intelligence, and especially by Canadian geneticist Mary Vaughan, a woman with whom he develops a special rapport.
Ponter’s partner, Adikor Huld, finds himself with a messy lab, a missing body, suspicious people all around and an explosive murder trial. How can he possibly prove his innocence when he has no idea what actually happened to Ponter?
As I said, and interesting concept. Well, let’s put it this way. In spite of working two jobs, volunteering with Girl Guides, having a busy social life and two sick cats, I read this book in 4 or 5 days. I loved it.
As always Sawyer does a great job of pulling real science in. He presents it in a way that a layperson can understand and relate to. The characters he creates are once yet again interesting, complex and realistic. They have challenges, hopes, dreams and they to experience the often unfairness of life. Finally, I always enjoy the Canadian aspects and references in his books. Sawyer is a Canadian author and thankfully it means that Canada is shown in all her glory and disarray. There are landmarks that I have been to, seen, or heard of.
All in all, I am very happy with this book. That said, I would have been surprised if I found myself saying “don’t bother.” Truly I have yet to read something by Sawyer that I haven’t enjoyed!