Nekropolis Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Nekropolis


Eos, Sept 2001, 24.00, 272 pp.
ISBN: 0380974576

    In a future Morocco, slavery is legal, an institution deeply ingrained into the fiber of society. Slaves are jessed, given mind-altering drugs that make them loyal and eager to please their master. Hariba, born into poverty in the NEKROPOLIS, actually lived with her family in adjoining crypts until her brother was caught in the sin of adultery. He was flogged and sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
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    Hariba fearing any deep emotion sold herself into slavery and was jessed to her new master Mbarek. She becomes a housekeeper in his home where she meets the biological construct Akhmim. Despite herself, and knowing any relationship between them is illegal, she falls for him. When she is resold, she runs away from her new masters, taking Akhmim with her. Unless they can find a way to be smuggled into a country where slavery is illegal, even for Chimeras like Akhmim, the two risk capture and death at the hands of the authorities.

    Maureen F. McHugh has written a literary science fiction novel that will be enjoyed by fans of Ursula LeGuin. The story line is riveting, but what makes this work so very special is the way slavery is accepted by both slave and master alike. The subcultures of the biological constructs raise interesting social and ethical issues, especially what constitutes humanity. This is a novel that makes readers think and ponder their own values system. Ms. McHugh is going to be a giant in the science fiction genre.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Nekropolis

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Plot & Themes

FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Romance    -   Yes Spying & Investigations    -   Yes What is main char. doing?    -   rescue mission/escape from confinement Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   controls your mind Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of other humans

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   slave Age:    -   a teen


Earth setting:    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a moderate amount of scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Maureen F. McHugh Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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