Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Undercover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...
Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature...
One of the New People, Emiko is not human; she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.
What happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism's genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.
I think not having any really engaging characters is what hurt this book for me. I usually latch onto good characters and frankly I really didn't like any of them.
I swear I have never seen a book take so much time going over details and rarely explaining anything. That, most of all made me wonder how good or award winning the author deserves to be. In the end we have a book that is a job to read, with poor characters, too much explaining at the same time there isn't enough of the right explanation going on. I'd say most of the praise this book got was because of the 'message' it put across about 'where our future is going'.
And one nitpicky thing:
I found the use of the term "calories" pretty stupid. It's food, nobody is going to start calling it calories anytime soon. It's like a zombie book coming up with a different term for their zombies than zombies. It's food damnit!
This book demonstrated what I often see with award winning books not equaling good books. Sure the idea was interesting, but the execution was horrible in my opinion. Flowering over descriptive narrative does not make a story good. Maybe you will enjoy this book?... but I cannot recommend it.