Reviews: Hoover, H.M.

My first H.M. Hoover

This Time of Darkness — H.M. Hoover

H. M. Hoover is the author of at least thirteen novels to my knowledge, all published between 1977 and 1995. Her 1995 novel The Winds of Mars won the (unfortunately named but still prestigious) Golden Duck. She is, therefore, someone of whom I am aware [1]. So it is inexplicable, really, that 1980’s This Time of Darkness is the first novel of Hoover’s that I have actually read [2]. No, not when it first came out—only a couple of days ago. The timing is a bit unfortunate; I think readers in the target age range will still like it, although my personal reaction was coloured by the way Hoover used urban decay tropes of which I am very very tired.

~oOo~

In these times, no phrases have such synergy as “young adult novel” and “hellish, Orwellian urban dystopia.” Eleven-year-old Amy would tell you all about dystopias if the allowed vocabulary for the lower levels included terms like “Orwellian” or “dystopia”. Already a pariah thanks to her suspicious literacy, she compounds her crimes by befriending young Axel, a visibly disturbed boy with an outrageous tale: he claims to come from outside the City, from outside the decaying realm that is, as far as anyone in it knows, the whole of the world.

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