As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

March 17, 2012

THE FAR SIDE OF EVIL, by Sylvia Engdahl, 1971

Elana, a newly graduated agent of the Federation Anthropological Service, is sent to observe Toris, a Youngling planet poised on the brink of nuclear war. Her primary directive is merely to observe. She cannot reveal her alien origin or interfere in any way with the planet's natural course of evolution. But does this mean she must stand by and watch as an entire world drives itself to destruction? The endangered planet's only hope is Elana, who must choose between siding with a renegade agent or stopping him at any cost. (Goodreads)

Review by Valette M.

Mind-blowing book! 

Elana is such a gorgeous character for me because I can really look up to her. She was everything and more the hero is meant to be. In a few situations, she would have been completely justified in lashing out at others, but she always went for the greater good, and she didn't come across as snooty at all! Though Elana was much older in this book, I could still see the personality that I so loved in The Enchantress From the Stars. Randil and Kari were very well defined and interesting. It was possible to understand where they were coming from, and how their experiences had shaped them.

Can I just say, it took every last ounce of will in my being not to skip ahead and read the end! Riveting from the very first pages, The Far Side of Evilis pure Sci-Fi while still exploring the contours of an oppressed society. Several unexpected twist and turns. To be cliche,I was on the edge of my seat till the last pages! I do wish the ending had been a little stronger, but it tied things up quite nicely while still leaving the reader room for imagination.

This book posed so many philosophical questions that kept my mind working for some time after I finished. It reads more towards an older audience than The Enchantress From the Stars, but could possibly be classified as YA. The Far Side of Evil is written as a diary, in a style that left the future unknown. I loved it!

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Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great series, Valette! I'm not generally a fan of sci-fi, but I once said I'm not a fan of high fantasy...and I've since eaten my words. I'll definitely give this one and THE ENCHANTRESS FROM THE STARS a read!

Anonymous said...

This sounds good! I love science fiction, and this sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the review!