Sunday, August 28, 2016
This story is told by Walter Alvarez, one of the geologists who first tried to investigate the strange layer at the K-T boundary, which lies right above where the dinosaurs disappear. Walter noticed that there was something odd about the boundary, and decided he would try to get to the bottom of it. As a result, he finds evidence which might go disprove one of the most basic ideas in geology at the time: the idea that all geologic changes happen gradually.
Although the story is gripping, the real reason I love this book is that it explains how science is actually done, not in the abstract, but with an actual real-world example. Anyone who has ever been doubtful of the claims that geologists or paleontologists make about the past needs to read this book. Anyone who thinks that these areas of science are somehow "lesser" than physics or [insert your favorite field here] needs to read this book. And, of course, anyone wondering how we could have possibly found out about this catastrophic event needs to read this book. T. rex and the Crater of Doom is an experience that everyone should have.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Fortunately, her sister, Lenora May, reemerges from the swamp, just in time for her mother to call them in to dinner. There is no problem with this situation and everything is fine. Except for the small detail that Sterling doesn't have a sister. Or, well, she didn't. Everyone in town has excepted Lenora May as if she was always there, and nobody can remember Phin. In fact, Sterling herself distinctly remembers having Lenora May as a sister throughout her whole life.
Now, Sterling has to figure out what's happening, get her brother back, and send Lenora May back where she belongs. Or does she? First, she must play the age-old game of figure-out-who-you-can-trust-or-die. Saying any more about the plot would kinda spoil the fun of the game, so let's just leave it at that.
Beware the Wild is apparently Natalie's first book, and I have to say she's off to a really good start. The way she portrays the insidious replacement of memories is better than any other I've ever seen. I do think that the first half of the book, the aforementioned game of figuring things out, is better than the second half, or the game of ACTION. That's not to say that Beware the Wild ends badly, far from it, it's just that the first parts were so strong that the exciting, high-stakes climax seems just mediocre in comparison.
In conclusion, Beware the Wild is fun and exciting and a good way to spend a weekend. When you pick it up, you will find it difficult to put down. If you like fantasy in a modern setting with a pinch of the surreal, Beware the Wild is the book for you. Well, it's a book for you. You can also read other books. What I'm saying is you'll like it and you should read it.