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Hominids, is book one in the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy and a science fiction alternate history trilogy written by Robert J Sawyer. A Neanderthal physicist named Ponter Boddit is accidently transported into an underground research facility in Ontario, Canada. What ensues is a wonderful story about culture, love, and what it means to be human.
One of my favourite things about Hominids is the fact that it is set in Canada. There are not a lot of novels whose settings are on Canadian soil and when they are, they are set in Toronto or Montreal. Another thing that I enjoyed about this book was the banter back and forth between the two main characters about how they thought the other species had died out – it was quite comical. The societal differences between the Neanderthals (Barasts) and the Homo Sapiens (Gliksins) that are woven together is done so beautifully it made me yearn for it to be real. I want to jump through the portal and live on the Neanderthal Earth.
One criticism that I have about this book though would be how one of the main characters, Mary Vaughan, was able to overcome her horrendous attack so quickly and completely. I think the scene itself was done well but the character’s behaviour afterwards was too simplistic. It seemed like Sawyer had thrown it into the book to add depth to the character only to realize later that it did not really need to be there.
If you like science fiction and parallel universes this is the book for you. Hominids covers the ‘what if’ of what might have happened if the Neanderthals had become the dominat human species instead of Homo Sapiens.
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