Warchild

Warchild

by Karin Lowachee

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446610773
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2002
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 689,909
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.04(d)
Lexile: 690L (what's this?)

About the Author

Karin Lowachee was born in Guyana, South America and moved to Toronto, Canada when she was two. Before her foray into fantasy, she wrote three highly-acclaimed science fiction novels - Warchild, Burndive, and Cagebird. Warchild won the Warner Aspect First Novel Award and Cagebird won the 2006 Gaylactic Spectrum Award and the Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the 2002 Philip K. Dick Award. She currently resides in Ontario, Canada.

Read an Excerpt

We'd memorized schematics of the Diamond-class merchant ships. Our goal was the bridge.

We spread through the ship like a virus.

"Where's our resistance?" Dorr muttered, once we'd reached the command deck. The ship sat curiously silent. Only our booted steps along the deckgrille made noise. Overhead the lights flickered red: warning, warning, warning. Dorr unhooked a singing grenade, poked the settings, then let it go in midair. It shot forward down the corridor and turned the corner, seeking man-sized heat signatures that weren't protected by our coded armor beacons. Dorr flipped the tracker open on his wrist and watched the grenade's route. None of the other teams reported any contact. That meant that none of the rooms or quarters were occupied between here and the bridge.

My gut started to coil. "They're lying in wait," I said, just as the ceiling panels slid aside and fire rained down...

Table of Contents

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Warchild 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know about you, but I get tired of getting my hopes up that a book will be great, only to be disappointed time and time again. This book finally broke that cycle of despair. It starts out with approx. 40 pages written in the second person perspective. And here's the shocker - it's not just a gimmick; it actually works. You are seeing the world through the eyes of an 8 year child whose ship (yes, a space ship) is attacked and destroyed by pirates. The adults are killed and the children are enslaved. The use of the second person is a powerful device that pulled me straight into the story - not an easy task with this jaded reader. But it's what happens next, and what continues happening that keeps you turning pages. Characters acting like real people. They don't always make the right decisions, and you don't always agree with them. Heck, you don't even always *like* all of them! But all of them, even the pirates, are understandable and seem real. The characters grow and develop. They get hurt and develop emotional scars. They hurt each other, and they heal. When I finished the book, I put it down, said 'wow' and immediately re-read it again. I haven't done that since I finished Lord of the Rings almost 20 years ago.
wiring on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So this book gets described as similar to Ender's Game a lot, in that "If you liked one you should like the other," and I do see why they're listed as similar because hey, smart kid in space in the middle of a war being instrumental to the ending of that war by being used as a tool by adults, basically, but they feel so different to me, I'm not sure that's what I'd compare it to if I was going to compare it to anything. And I really wouldn't recommend one just because you liked the other, unless there were other factors that made me think you'd like both. What just jumped to mind was that it actually reminds me more of Kushiel's Legacy, in the narrative style, story, characters, and themes, though obviously not in setting.I did like the book, but not with the head-over-heels love I felt for EG. I didn't love Jos even close to the way I loved Ender. Which I'm actually not sure if is a matter of when I've read each of them: I read EG when I was 12 and an isolated smart kid in a clique-y private school, so I grokked Ender then in a very "This is my life" way, and I also doubt I'd have quite the same sort of connection to him and the book if I'd only been discovering it just now, having grown up and away from that period in my life. So maybe if I'd read Warchild also when I was 12, I would have found it way more button-hitting than I do now, also.But I do think it's also a matter of what kind of stories they each are and what kind of characters they are, and it would have been different anyway. Warchild is much more personal: most of the story is told in first person, so you're literally reading what Jos sees and thinks about events, and I feel like you could argue that the story is mostly about how Jos connects to people, quickly and deeply and refuses to let go, whereas Ender's Game uses third person to put distance between you and Ender the way the rest of the story shows how everything in Ender's life drives wedges between him and everyone else, even those he wants to be close to.I may have more thoughts later, but I kept making these compare/contrast thoughts in my head while reading it so I figured I'd just write that down. I do want to pick up the other two books, and it's also made me more confident I will enjoy Gaslight Dogs, so I think I will pick that one up too.Random: The first section of the story is actually written in second person, and it made me very irritable. I flipped to a random page in the middle of the book just to see if it switched voice at any point, because otherwise I was pretty close to throwing it across the room.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trigger warning for rape and child abuse Warchild was an absolutely brutal book. When you look at the thematic material – the effects of war on children’s psychology – it’s no wonder. Warchild takes place against the background of war between humans and aliens and some humans who sympathize with them. Yet, Warchild is an intensely character based novel centered around Jos, who ages from eight to eighteen over the course of the book. Basically, this is a coming of age story from hell. The first thirty pages of the book are some of the most difficult. In that short span of pages, Jos’s home trading ship is attacked, his parents killed, and Jos himself kidnapped by an abusive pirate captain. This section of the book (and this section only) was told in second person, which was a brilliant decision on the part of Lowachee. A lot of what of what happens to Jos is implied, not out right stated, but the effects ripple through the rest of the book. When Jos finally manages to get away, it is because he is kidnapped yet again, this time by an alien sympathizer. He winds up on the alien planet and is trained as warrior in the fight against humanity. It would have been really easy for Warchild to fall into the trap of being either a story about humankind valiantly fighting the evil aliens or the noble aliens resisting persecution by the humans (i.e. Cameron’s Avatar). Instead, it’s never really clear who Jos can trust. The only person that Jos does trust in the book is his mentor, but I was never fully convinced that he wasn’t using Jos as a tool in the war. Like I said earlier, this book isn’t really about the war. It’s about the impact the war has on Jos. For much of the story Jos is adrift, lost in depths of space, not truly belonging to one world or another. He’s traumatized and isolated and has a whole host of issues. Warchild was deeply uncomfortable to read, which I think was the whole point. It’s also a deeply powerful book. If it has one weakness, it’s that the alien culture could have been more original – they felt heavily Japanese inspired. I would recommend Warchild but with caution. I think you need to know going in that this is a book largely about child abuse. I’ve seen it be compared to Ender’s Game, but it’s definitely not a book I’d give to a younger reader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love space opera and i had high hopes for this one. It started well and held my interest through half the story. Regetably, the joy faded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My favorite book of all time
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Rebekkah_N More than 1 year ago
I let a friend borrow this book and never got it back... 0.0 Lowachee creates a believable future, even down to a genuinely realistic alien species, something I've never before encountered in science fiction. Her characters step out of the book and into the mind; her story strikes the soul with both grief and hope, sorrow and love. Not recommended for young readers, as it deals with mature issues, but any mature sci-fi reader who misses this series is losing out.
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Miles_Depth More than 1 year ago
I am not sure what the deal is with electronic versions, but they do seem to be prone to more errors that paper back versions, as I noticed several while reading this book. That aside, this story was one of the more uniquely written I have read in a long time. The author took time to develop characters in depth and made it so you really knew them, their underlying motives and battles. It also often felt like the author made a point to describe senses of smell on every page and I do not think locations were given as much detail. All in all however, this book was a fantastic read and easily kept my attention with the fantastic character development and very acceptable plot. Highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys futuristic sci-fi types of books.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with this novel! Lowachee's debut novel was one of the most powerful novel of interstellar warfare I've ever read! She tells thetragic and heroic story of a young boy comes of age during terrible interstellar war and the divided loyalities he has in this conflict. Young Joslyn Musey sees his life torn from him as the merchant ship he calls home is attacked by space pirates and he is taken prisoner. Jos's capitivity is under the sadistic pirate called Falcone. Jos escapes only to be captured by earth's enemies the alien race called the Strits and their human allies. He is befriended by Human turncoat general called Warboy and he is taught to become a spy for the strits in their war against EarthHub.He is sent to space battleship, Macedon under the command of charismatic captain Azarcon.Lowarchee's novel is gripping tale of one young man who is torn between the loyalities of his shipmates on the battleship and his alien benefactors. Lowarchee's future is the most impressive I've seen since Cherryh's Union-Alliance novels and the atmosphere of on the ship is so realistic you could almost taste it! The battle scenes were brutally realistic in tone.Characters in Warchild were unforgettable such as our hero Jos who immediately gets our sympathy as he tries to remain loyal to crew of the Macedon and strits. Falcone-the ruthless pirate who uses manipulation and brutality. Dorrs-Jos's commanding officer who has a taste for battle and bloodshed but who will stand by his men if the need arises. Niko-human sympathize general who befriends Jos and who teaches him to become a spy.Lowarchee's chilling vision of warfare in space where children are used as soldiers and spies has eeries resemblance to the conflicts we have in our time. I look forward to the other next novel!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I could not put it down. I hope for the sequel or anything else from Karin Lowachee. If you decide to read it, do not worry about the beginning (the implied child abuse made me almost put the book away, but I am very glad I did not).
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i first saw this book i was put off thinking it would be just a bang-bang, run around and fight, blood and glory story but i've been wrong before so i read a few pgs in the store and that was it i had to buy it and read it all that very night leaving only a few hrs for sleep. but no worries this book is going to be read again and again. I would say something about what actually happens except i would blather on and spill everything so i'll keep quiet about what happens to Jos and let you find out for yourself while i keep checking for another book and hopefully it'll be a sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ashamed to admit I only bought this book because I REALLY wanted to read something, anything. It is good. For a first novel it is unbelievable. Do not be put off because the main character is eight years old (like I was). It is the story of ¿that¿s life.¿ It is the story of ¿this is how easy misunderstandings and selfishness are¿ and what that means to one person out of billions. Science Fiction is a wonderful vehicle for modern commentary. We can remove ourselves from what is happening. But as with the best Science Fiction writers, Lowachee isn¿t necessarily saying this is what could happen, the results of war for persons, people and planets are being felt right now. Put that together with an author of superior writing ability and the result is a gripping novel and a child that you will not forget.