Sunday, April 8, 2012

Light Raid by Connie Willis & Cynthis Felice ****

Ariadne Hellene is 17 as has been evacuated from Colorado Springs to Victoria, British Columbia, because of the light raids (aerial laser attacks from satellites, aka batellites) from the Quebecers. But the North American war is is a distant problem. Her daily problems at the unscrupulous Mrs Ponsonby's home of evacuated children are more along of lines of being starved and forced to clean house and baby sit. The story opens with Ariadne changing Verity Ann's diaper.

As the story unfolds, Ari escapes and returns home to find her father hopelessly drunk and her mother jailed and accused of treason. Ari struggles with her many conflicted feelings about her family, friends, and unattainable love interest. She also explores her latent womanhood, in one case showing up at the ball in a dress which becomes more transparent as it is viewed from farther away.

With an even mix of self-determination and personal initiatives on one hand and damsel-in-distress rescues on the other, Ari does her part to take care of Verity Ann, her parents, her love life, and even help win the war.

Light Raid by Willis and Felice is a nice story of a teenage girl overcoming lots of obstacles and finding love in the end, but I like my female leads more independent and sure of themselves (think Jane Austen or Anne of Green Gables, even), and (spoiler alert) I was disappointed to see her get married at 17.

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