Natural History Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Natural History

Bantam Spectra, Jan 2005, 13.00, 325 pp.
ISBN: 0553587412

Humanity has split into two distinct species. The Unevolved retain the same DNA that mankind has had for millenniums while the Forged have been customized by splicing and pasting animal genes with mechanical devices to adapt them to whatever job their creators the Unevolved want them to perform. The Forged thirst for freedom from these "chimp" makers, but their dream seems impossible as the Unevolved feel it is their lot to protect these lesser beings.
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The symbiotic relationship between maker and offspring changes when Voyager Lonestar Isol seeks a shortcut through debris near Barnard's Star. Instead the microscopic remains of an explosion caused by an alien presence punch holes into her turning her into Swiss cheese. The Forged ponder whether this third sentient species still survive and how could they have thrived without the leadership of the Unevolved. Hope amongst the suppressed Forged rises that they can form their own world without their keepers, but the Unevolved will never allow them to go because they depend on the Forged to survive.

NATURAL HISTORY furbishes a deep thought provoking look at group interrelationships. The Unevolved seem like a future version of colonialism while the Forged come across as victims unable to break the dependency chains though irate towards those who keep them enslaved. The discovery of a third intelligent species shakes the so called natural order.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Natural History

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   distant future Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Justina Robson Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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