This may be the largest novel I have completed this year. Steeped in government schemes, societal life and intrigue this translated work takes a deep look into the illusion of political perception. Luoyang is part of the Mercury group that was sent to Earth for 5 years to study and live. When she returns to Mars she begins to question her selection for that group and where she truly belongs. Eko is a filmmaker sent to Mars to document life for those on Earth. What they uncover unravels a novel worthy of current day reflection.
The narration for this book was beautiful. The tone is smooth and captivating and makes you listen to the crafted words coming off the pages. I don’t think I have ever listened to or read a politically driven novel with as much enthusiasm as I did Vagabonds. I will note that though this is considered science fiction and dystopian there are no outer space battles, aliens or otherworldly nuances in these pages. I was captivated by the differences in monetary value, the aspect on how art was viewed and how intellect was shared. The components of Capitalism and Socialism present interesting notions as the plot unravels.
The only thing I would’ve wanted more of was the connection between characters. There is a lot of information, history and theme and though it is easy to follow I missed the “fantastical” heroine/hero element that I love. In some parts it sounded more like a textbook than a fictional novel and I hoped for more elements that would fit this neatly into sci-fi.
Not only am I on the hunt for more narrations by Zeller I look forward to other translated works for Jingfang.