Posted: January 29, 2016 in Book Reviews

lovelok 144

Lovelock by Orson Scott Card and Kathryn H Kidd

283 pages

Lovelock is a Genetically enhanced, super intelligent Capuchin monkey who serves his master as a witness. His job is to observe and record every moment of his masters life so that it might be preserved for further generations. He joins his master on deep space vessel destined for a new world where humanity can thrive. The Ark is a space ship design with natural farming land and villages. Equipped with artificial rotational gravity and inflatable housing for the families who come aboard the Ark.

Lovelock however is no ordinary, Genetically enhanced monkey. He longs for his own freedom that he sees all the other humans have. Slowly he begins to break from his conditioning and becomes more independent as he tries to break free from the bonds of servitude that have been programmed into him.

The story is told from Lovelock’s perspective and reads like a diary of sorts as he struggles to work through his own feelings and desires for freedom. Because of his genetic enhancements and super intelligence he comes off as very human in his emotional maturity and thought patterns and processes.

This story in many ways is a bit of a weird one. Lovelock’s desire for freedom begins to be centered around the theme of sex, incest and parenthood. One family on the Ark has a child who is a victim of incest, while Lovelock in secret grows his own child from the other Capuchin embryos to be his eventual lover. First however he must overcome his conditioning which brings him great pain at the thought of sex and sexual pleasure. While his master is having sex he can only succeed in masturbating by thinking of pleasing her. This really became a story which obsesses with sex and sexuality.

Sex can certainly have its place in a story and that in and of itself is a non-issue. It can certainly enhance a story and bring more realism to the characters. This book however I thought had an unusual obsession with sex, while not graphic or explicit, it was an odd way of progressing the underlying theme of slavery vs freedom. It became a central theme to the story line. The story would suggest that in order to break the bonds of slavery one must break through our inhibitions and conditioning regarding sex.

I found the way in which this book dealt with these concepts was disturbing. Lovelock basically creates offspring for the purpose of becoming a sexual partner then rationalizes killing this offspring to satisfy his own desire for protection and self-preservation.

I have to admit however I do take pleasure in the darker side of life. It fascinates me. I supposed that explains much of the types of books I read and music I listen to. This story does more however than play on the theme of sex and bondage.

Throughout the world there are tens of thousands of assistance animals. They are in effect bound by training to be a servant of the people they work for. This story taken from the perspective of one such animal is all about how our animal servants may feel if they had the intelligence to understand their captivity. Would they resent the servitude? Would they yearn for the freedom and ability to pro-create as their human masters do? Would they long for their freedom?

This is supposed to be the first book of a 3 part trilogy of books, however the second book is still listed at forthcoming. The end of the book certainly left room for further story telling and set up a possible future for Lovelock effectively. hopeful book 2 in this series will eventually get published and we will learn what happens to Lovelock and the society he wishes to build.

I will say that I enjoyed this read. While a bit obsessive over sex, it was certainly an entertaining read. I would most certainly recommend it. If you like that sort of thing anyway.

I give this book 6/10 book worms.

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