Monday, June 13, 2011

Finding Badger: The Evolution of Doing Nothing

Holly LaMora
Jeanne D'Arce Press (2011)
ISBN 9780983106708
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

The year is 2330, and the story begins on a dying planet that only has children for survivors.  Well, children and rats.  After destroying the environment on the planet, the adults have killed each other off.  Struggling to survive, the children have learned to be very resourceful. It is kill or be killed.  Living on rations, rats and whatever they can scavenge, they have only known this way of life. They cannot begin to imagine the concept of restaurants or grocery stores.

When two people are sent to rescue a child, they have no clue how much is actually involved, or that there are others on the same mission.  Armed only with the information given by a badger, they are in shock when they arrive on Planet X and discover how bad things really are there.  They also have to overcome mistrust from others to gain information about the whereabouts of whom they seek.

As the story unfolds, so does the history of how the people involved are connected.  When I mention history, I mean from generations ago.  Each person in the group has interacted in past lives.  They have always had the same mission to complete, and failed each time.  Now that their time is running short, they are desperate for everybody to recover their lost memories so that they can finish what needs to be done. They also have to overcome anger and hurt from their past lives so that they can work together and figure out who their real enemies are.

"Finding Badger" is an incredibly well written novel.  Not only are the ideas behind the story very unique, but there are also a lot of metaphorical and philosophical components interspersed throughout the writing that add a great deal of depth. Because of the different levels of complexity, "Finding Badger" is a novel that can be enjoyed by both teenagers and adults.  As I read the story, I felt that this would be an excellent tale for family members to read and to share. It would be interesting for both parents and their teens to discuss what their perceptions were of the events as they were happening in the story.  The underlying philosophical and metaphoric touches would also lead to some very interesting conversations that would give each person a chance to share their views. I highly recommend Ms. LaMora's book!