Friday, April 07, 2006
Ember from the Sun - Mark Canter [March/06]
I spend a lot of time in second hand bookstores, generally browsing the fantasy section. One day when I was in one of the stores a lady that works there came up to me with this book and suggested I read it. It took me a while to get to it, I was busy with classes at the time, but when I did I was well rewarded! Too bad the woman that suggested it to me hasn't been at the store when I have since.
It is a novel about a Native man from the North who goes home to visit his family after living in the United States for several years. While hunting with his father and sister and he comes across a body of a Neanderthal woman still in relatively perfect condition. This is where the story starts, as even though she is dead, this woman plays an important role in the novel. It is unclear how she has managed to stay in such perfect shape for all this time, but she does, and therefore becomes an important asset to scientific research. One night while the doctor is dreaming, though, a strange thought plants itself in his mind that there is more to this puzzle than meets the eye. You see, she's pregnant and the embryo is still intact. Suddenly, we have a scientist able to put a prehistoric baby into a modern surrogate mother.
It is the baby girl that comes from this that the story concentrates on. She has found herself alone in the world because while she is not aware that she is a Neanderthal woman, she has a golden texture to her skin, does not mind the cold, and her physical structure is unlike modern day women. For these reasons she knows from an early age that she is different from others, but she just can't seem to figure out why. She always assumed that there were more of her people elsewhere, it did not appear to her that she would be the only one. When she goes in search of her identity, though, the reader finds out something that will amaze them, but it is only fun if you discover it on your own.
One of the best books I have read in a long time! Really fit my historical ideas and really made you think about the past and the world as it was before.