Monday, April 6, 2015

A Guide To the Fruits of Hawai'i, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

A Guide to the Fruits of Hawai'i is third in my reading of Nebula Award novelettes this year.  My fear here is damning it with faint praise.

For this is a pretty good story, with polish.  I have reviewed Alaya Dawn Johnson before, and probably will again.  This story is post-Vampire Apocalypse.  The protagonist, Key, is an early vampire ally--she saw it coming and went over.  Now she is a keeper at what is basically a human farm--a place where people are kept as vampire food.  They aren't treated badly by prison standards, but a prison is what it is.  Most of the story centers on her sad struggle with the choices she has made.  Especially when she has the opportunity to go fully over to the other side...

So you have a good exploration of a pretty thoroughly "done" theme.  If you like vampire stories you are likely to enjoy this one.  I tend to want to see more ambition in explaining how vampires get that way.  That's not present here, the focus is on emotions.  They have flavor.

I'd probably give it 2 and a half stars, but I don't do half stars, so it's 3, on the weak side.

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