In the coming centuries the world's population has exploded and covered the earth with cities, animals are nearly all gone and drought has taken over so that cloudy water is issued by the quart. There are no maps, no borders, no numbered years. On this urban planet the only relief from overcrowding and the harsh rule of the big Agencies is the television in every living space, with its dreams of vanished waterfalls and the promise of virtual vacations in green spaces, won by the lucky few.
It is an unwelcoming world for an orphan like Nadia Stepan. Abandoned by her parents on a crowded street when she was four, the little girl is shuttled from orphanage to orphanage, foster-family to foster-family. Nadia grows up dreaming of the vacation spot called Lighthouse Island, in a place called the Pacific Northwest. She becomes obsessed with it and is determined to somehow find her way there. In the meantime this bright and witty orphan falls into the refuge of old and neglected books; the lost world of the imagination. And beyond the confusion and overcrowding and the relentless television noise, comes a radio voice from an abandoned satellite that patiently reads, over and over, the great classical books of the world-Big Radio, a voice in the night that lifts Nadia out of the dull and perpetual Present.
An opportunity for escape appears and Nadia takes it, abandoning everything to strike out for Lighthouse Island in a dangerous and sometimes comic adventure. She meets every contingency with bottomless inventiveness meets the man who changes the course of her life: James Orotov, mapmaker and demolition expert. Together they evade arrest and head north toward a place of wild beauty that lies beyond the megapolis-Lighthouse Island and its all-seeing eye.
This story was intriguing and frightening at the same time for me. You're immediately pulled into a world that could possibly be a glimpse of our future. Water shortages, drought, extinction, government issues all play a role in this eye-opening thriller. The writing style was very different from what I'm used to, but it worked well with the story as a whole.
Nadia was a girl after my own heart, I say this because her character loves to read books. This is the main reason for her character's drive and passion to find out about her past, and wanting to find her own place to belong. Lighthouse Island is the destination that Nadia's character is trying to reach throughout the story, along the way Nadia meets a few strange "characters" that add substance and depth to the story. I liked the concept of this story, and It really made me think about a lot of things that we take for granted everyday. I loved the author's descriptions of Nadia's world, and the fact that you could see yourself in her position, and dealing with the same problems.
I enjoyed the way the author draws you in from the very beginning and takes you on a journey you will never forget. There we're a handful of errors that kept jumping out at me as I read, but It didn't take away from the story at all. I gave this book 4.5 stars and will be recommending to a few friends.
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