3 out of 4 stars
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The African Americans have had it with marginalization in America. They decide to establish their community on the moon. White Americans accidentally discover their existence and want all the technological advancements for their use. They attack the Blacks out of sheer jealousy. The Blacks retaliate by barring the whole earth from space exploration until certain conditions are met. This leads to an undeclared state of war. What are the earth dwellers willing to do to get hold of the Blacks’ technology? What are the Blacks willing to do to protect their new home? This is the story of Quarantine by William Hayashi; a topic worth exploring on another level as we are quarantined in our homes by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The author’s writing style is simple and easy to follow. The advanced technology is described with enough detail to understand its capabilities and imagine the possible design without getting into too much scientific jargon. The characters are rather clichés and not as well developed as I would have liked. The author narrates in the third person. He narrates the motives of the characters and gives sneak-peeks into the personal lives of the characters, but he mostly focuses on developing the main story.
The storyline and technologies were intriguing. However, the story development was too slow for me. The action only started happening as I approached the end of the book. A lot of time was spent on developing the background and building up events toward the climax. This is understandable as this is the introductory book to a series. The ending was fitting and left me with enough curiosity to want to read the second book.
The thing that I didn’t like was the portrayal of racism. There is a level of acknowledgement that not all white people are racist, but, looking at the book as a whole, I felt that racism was shifted from one end to another. However, I also cannot ignore that racial prejudice is bound to produce hatred in those to whom it is inflicted. I also do not believe in racial superiority, therefore I do not believe that any race needs to demonstrate any kind of superiority before the other race can accept them as equals. However, as the author puts it, in our current world some have to put in double the work to get half the recognition.
The book needs another round of editing as it is littered with errors. The author may also need to check the spacing between lines in the PDF version of the book. The spacing was too small giving the pages an appearance of being crowded by text. There were changes in font sizes on some of the pages for no apparent reason.
There is the use of profanity and thus I cannot recommend it to a younger audience even though there are no descriptions of erotic scenes. The storyline itself is interesting. The racial matters call for some deeper thinking as to the state of society today. I think that it is a book worth reading for any adult interested in science fiction as well as sociology. I rate Quarantine 3 out of 4 stars.
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