*sigh* Yet another highly recommended book that I just didn't enjoy.
I thought that the beginning of this book, the history leading up to the formation of the Republic, was the best part. It was realistic and plausible and real. This is why I'm giving this two stars instead of just one.
The rest was, well... just really not doing it for me. The methodology here, telling the story in oral exam format, made for some excruciatingly dry, boring reading. It was just fact/interpretation/philosophy, fact/interpretation/philosophy. There was no LIFE to this story, no humanity (see what I did there?). I felt nothing for Anax, nothing for Pericles, nothing for Adam, nothing for any of the characters at all. There was nothing to really make me care... and so I didn't. Which, of course, meant that the twist at the end (which, really wasn't all that shocking) was ineffective and pointless. I had to force myself to finish all 120 measly pages, and that only because I was hoping that the ending would redeem the rest. It didn't.
Speaking of pointless, I have to raise a question here. And this does pertain to the end of the book, and the twist, so feel free to stop reading at this point if you don't want to be spoiled, even though I'll try to keep it vague.
Maybe I'm missing something here, I admit to being very tired, and that my mind was practically begging for something shiny to occupy it by the end... but what the hell WAS the point of the Exam? No, really. I want to know.
OK, so, there's The Secret That Shall Not Be Spoken. Got it. So, The Academy then sends out scouts to find students with the kind of aptitude for history and analysis that could lead them to potentially stumble onto The Secret That Shall Not Be Spoken. OK. With it so far. Carry on... The scout finds said student candidates... and then tutors them and guides them into a situation where they'd be MORE inclined to discover The Secret That Shall Not Be Spoken, which leads to the Exam, which is a gigantic waste of everyone's time (including mine), because at the end of it, they reveal The Secret That Shall Not Be Spoken, and then just "disconnect".
So I ask again... What's the point? Why go through all that trouble? Why not just search and destroy?