The City in the Middle of the Night by Charlie Jane Anders
I liked a lot about this brave, intelligent and moving book. The imagination and execution of this story is perfect. I loved the exploration of relationships, especially the way that ‘the other’ is seen from so many different perspectives – freaks, dangers, friends.
The creation of the planet in its permanent axis, so that it always has one side scorched by the sun and the other side frozen as it faces deep space, worked well, making room for many allusions to the challenges of living between two extremes.
Echoes of current world politics, perhaps?
I found the characters well-rounded and believable, and, although I did not grow to like her very much, Mouth is extremely important to the concepts behind this book. She is so prickly and self-centred – as she has needed to be to survive all the disasters of her life – that she is not very sympathetic. I want her to have a better life, but I despair at her choices. Mouth is a brilliant representative of the unregarded members of society who just will not fit into the well-meaning solutions that others, with no understanding of her, try to foist on her. A fabulous creation.
I highly recommend this book for those who like to ponder on our place in the universe, the manifestations of justice in society, and also those who like to read an outer-space adventure.