Monday, October 18, 2010

Blogoversary Day 4: Guest Review by Golden Eagle from The Eagle's Aerial Perspective

Today I am very happy to welcome The Golden Eagle from The Eagle's Aerial Perspective!

Title: Foundation
Author: Isaac Asimov
Publisher: Bantam Books
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 244
Rating: 5 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.5 out of 5. At first I thought it was too garish, but it grew on me. The man in the wheelchair fits into the story perfectly, and I suppose the orange-ness isn't so bad. It is eye-catching, and that's a big plus.

Back flap:

For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire had ruled supreme. Now it is dying a slow death from entropy and corruption. Only psychohistorian Hari Seldon cane see the future--a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and intergalactic warfare. To preserve the accumulated wisdom of the ages and save mankind from oblivion, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire and leads them to a bleak planet at the edge of the Galaxy. There they will serve as a beacon of hope for future generations. He calls this sanctuary Foundation. And we are its inheritors.

My expectations: High. I loved I, Robot and liked Nemesis so I was really looking forward to digging into this trilogy.

My expectations were met!

About the book: If you've ever read science fiction, you've probably heard of Isaac Asimov, who was well-known for this very trilogy. Foundation (and the books following it) is complex, interesting, and reveals parts of human nature.

There is a lot of politics, scheming, and conspiracy in this book. Politicians, Emperors, scientists, and other leaders are all arguing about one thing--the fate of the human race. And Hari Seldon, the founder of Foundation, knows what that fate is. The Empire, however, doesn't want to hear it, for he is predicting their future disorder and eventual fall from power. They give him the option of death or exile; Seldon, through careful planning, chooses exile to a far-off planet in the Periphery, knowing that they'd give him that choice.

  • Plot:
Very, very good. The usual YA plot holds nothing against the events that occur in this book. Subtle manipulation, careful plotting, and influencing those around them result in many different people sliding in and out of power in surprising ways--all according to Hari Seldon's plan, of course.

  • Characters:
Hari Seldon was a genius, in the most literal sense. He knew what was going to happen by calculation via his extensive knowledge of psychohistory, and therefore can predict the probabilities of mob reactions. He's cold and brilliant.

Salvor Hardin (I keep getting him confused with Hari Seldon) was ingenious. He knew what he was going when he tried to become mayor and get through the Encyclopedists who ruled Foundation. He was an interesting character to watch.

Limmar Ponyets was devious. He knows trading, and he knows how to manipulate people into doing what he wants them to do. His plots are rather unpredictable.

Hober Mallow was similar to Salvor Hardin--aiming for the mayoralty and he certainly wasn't going to let much get in his way to do it.

There are lots of other characters. Each part is a different time in history, so almost every new part (there are 5) means a new cast. But the secondary characters are all very good and memorable for their own reasons--they show different personalities and attitudes.

  • Setting/Other Factors:
I love space, space-travel, SF, and books with politics in them, so this was right up my alley. The idea of Foundation was intriguing, and while right now we're still on Earth, it does raise the question: is the rise and fall of humanity completely inevitable?

Other: There are no women! Except for one man's wife (who took a very muted position against all the other figures) there are no major characters who are female! That sort of got to me. I want men and women in the books I read, and not stereotyped views, either. But other than that, there was nothing else that might make people question whether they should read it.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! Absolutely.

-----The Golden Eagle

Thanks for stopping by, Golden Eagle! Fantastic review! I may just have to read that now. :)

Eclectically yours,


The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for having me guest post, Dahlia! :)

Orchid said...

Awesome review, Golden Eagle. I think I might just have to bump this series up on my reading list. ^_^