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Like ‘The Giver’, this was a very well written book, and very enjoyable. The world was well described, the characters too. The story was simple but engaging, but it wasn’t as gripping as The Giver. I will read the rest is the books, however, as the series is and the world are both great.
After reading The Giver and loving it I went to see the movie, which was such a powerful film!!! I was definitely riding a high from this book and was eager to continue the series. Before I started reading The Gathering Blue I learned that it did not however, follow Jonas, nor was it based on his community that he lived in. So, I approached this story, saddened, but with the knowledge and understanding that it was to be a completely different story.
There were some things that I did like about The Gathering Blue, but overall I thought the story was very slow, and it took a long time for things to happen, or events to unfold in this story v.s. The Giver.
I did like that this story took place I guess you would say in the same "world" as The Giver, but in a different community with its own set of unique rules.
For those of you wondering if you should read The Gathering Blue to continue the series my answer is still yes, while this book is harder to get through, I can see where certain characters will play an important role in the books to come. I have already started book three in the series , The Messenger, and some of the secondary characters from The Gathering Blue are now Main characters in The Messenger. I am not far in the book right now, but I can confirm that Jonas and Gabe both make an appearance.
I'm not sure why I purchased this book, as I disliked The Giver. The author presents another depressing view of the future, in which people are generally nasty to each other for no good reason, no one works together to build a better way, and a small number of people (this time three are featured) have kind-of magical gifts. There is a small glimmer of hope but that is quickly quashed. Now that I know this is book two in a quartet, I'm assuming that eventually we'll find out what is going on but I am not motivated to read the other books.
I found the writing in this novel not nearly as compelling as "The Giver." There is exactly one character who is delineated well, and that is Matt. Also, frankly, his dog.
In "The Giver," I could see, hear, and imagine the characters. In this book, I could not. I have no idea what Kari looks like, besides her crippled leg. Almost none of the characters have names, beyond being called the butcher, the weavers, the tykes, the people who live there in this unspecified community where everyone is cruel.
We see no descriptions whatsoever of Kari's supposedly magical threading. We just get endless lessons on plant dyes. There is some description of Thomas's carving, and a little bit of Jo's singing. However, there is not enough explanation to be compelling and make you wonder why these particular children are so magical, and craved and imprisoned by the evil portions of the elite community.
I thought I paid too much for this ultimately unsatisfying book. I really want to see more about Jonas, whose gift was more fully and joyfully described. I will look for subsequent books at my library, and buy them if they prove to be better than this last one.