The Fifth Sacred Thing
On the one hand, an honestly exciting little theodystopian adventure ran through this novel in certain parts, and it certainly didn't drag too badly. On the other hand, as a sticker from Obvious Octopus, puts it:
5th Sacred Thing is basically (ecological, peace-loving, San Francisco-style, freelove) utopia vs. (drug addicted, classist, Christian, patriarchal) dystopia. If you are a teenager of a certain mindset, you'd probably find this all deep and moving and meaningful and worth quoting at some length to more practical types. If not, you'll probably find it as startingly unlikely in its conclusions as I did, even though I am as staunchly left leaning as anyone you're likely to meet.
It's just too damn "flowers in the barrels of guns, we can use love power to bring down the war machine" for me, I guess. Sure, I would love to see a world in which everyone is granted human dignity, in which prejudices based on race and gender and sexuality have been washed away, in which people truly love and work with their neighbors for the good of all. I'd also love to spend my days freely traveling the world in the company of someone beautiful and intelligent. What do these two wants have in common? They could, technically happen, but they ain't gonna.
But, as I said, there is a good adventure yard here. I could even see it being an influence on something like Octavia Butler's (far superior) Parable of the Sower. Bird and Madrone are worthwhile characters, people that we care about and are interested in and they slip in and out of the cracks left in a rotten society and try to heal the wounds. But, oh, god(s and goddesses), how I hate hippie sex scenes.