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Book two was one that I picked up at the thrift store in Arizona. It had been there for a while, and I finally picked it up and read the back, and then bought it. Then I put off reading it because of the overload of books that I had had for a long time and hadn’t read yet. Once I started this one, I tore through it.

The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi, takes place in the “near future” according to the blurb on the back. Petroleum products are largely gone, climate change has caused the oceans to rise, and competition between agricultural companies has resulted in genetically engineered plagues which come close to wiping out most living things on earth. The novel follows several main charaters: Anderson Lake works undercover for an agricultural company in Thailand, looking for new foods, Tan Hock Seng is a refuge who works for Anderson, Emiko is a genetically engineered “New Person”, and the “white shirts” who are in charge of protecting the Thai from new diseases and mutations.

This book won several awards, and I can see why. It is well written, fairly fast paced, and just realistic enough to be chilling. The characters are well developed, and the various plots are mostly resolved by the end of the novel. It was well worth the read, and the ending was quite unexpected.