Friday, July 5, 2013

A Confusion of Princes - Garth Nix

In A Nutshell:

  •  3 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended for: 
    • fans of Ender's Game
    • -any- fan of sci-fi YA
So I've actually had this book on my shelf for a while now, and I've been reading it in chunks over the past few months. Yesterday I got around to just sitting down and finishing it while waiting for publisher responses on NetGalley.

A Confusion of Princes is the story of Khemri, one of countless "princes" of an intergalactic empire. Princes are taken as children from their parents from any planet in the empire, and made into princes over years of changes including biological alteration, memory implantation, and so much more. A prince is ridiculously enhanced in every possible way, and meant to dedicate themselves to the empire. Khemri has just finished being enhanced and was just released into the world. He wants to be the emperor more than anything--and the call for the next prince to be promoted is soon. But Khemri is learning that all the things he's been taught and forced to learn aren't as solid as he thought--and the world is much more dangerous for a prince than he ever could have imagined.

Let's start off with the good. I did enjoy reading A Confusion of Princes. To start off, Garth Nix creates a pretty amazing universe in this novel. I'm not usually a sci-fi fan to begin with, but I loved reading about the different creations that Nix came up with, from the automated troopers and biological ship repair bugs to the masterpiece that was the princes themselves. To be honest, if this book had been a bit more expanded in terms of exactly what sort of things the princes could do, and expanded more on the tech and that sort of thing, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more.

Character development is a big thing in this book, since the development of Khemri is basically the entire point of the story. That said, though, there isn't really all that much depth in other characters. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, because a big part of the book is the fact that Khemri is as selfish and self obsessed as most children--which is basically what he starts out as. Since it's his point of view, it's not surprising that most of the people he meets don't matter enough to him to really register, with a few notable exceptions.

The plot itself, without going too much into detail, is interesting. Some of it is relatively predictable, but other parts completely threw me for a loop. It does flow well, and is definitely worth reading. That said, it's also a bit rushed--and the lack of explanation for a lot of the tech that is thrown at the reader makes the story sometimes confusing.

Overall, A Confusion of Princes isn't perfect, but it is definitely worth checking into, especially if you're a sci fi fan--and especially if you're looking for a YA hint! I'd even go so far as to say that it even felt a little bit like Ender's Game, which is one of my favorite books, so if you liked EG as much as I did, you should definitely give Confusion a chance.

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