Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

Rating: 4.5/5
Genre: Sci-fi
Recommended Age: 18+
Favorite Quote: “Is it too much to believe that just once the universe has given us something wholly good, wholly a step forward, wholly beneficial? Without hidden penalties?” 
What would you do if you could genetically modify your child? Would you get rid of all the genetic predispositions to the diseases that run in your family? Would you change their appearance? Their eye color, hair color, height, weight, build, skin color? Would you make them predisposed to liking classical music, art, literature, outdoors, etc.? Would you give them the ability to not ever need to sleep their whole life? That last question is the driving point of this novel. The novel explores the life and trials of numerous Sleepless (those that have been genetically modified to not need to sleep) through their childhood to their later adult life. It also explores how Sleepers (you and me) deal with these Sleepless. Because the Sleepless have 30% more time to study and work, will they outstay their welcome quickly on Earth when they are chosen for jobs over Sleepers? That’s one of the many questions answered in this insightful novel.
This was the third required reading for a book club my husband and I have recently joined and I really enjoyed this novel! The novel was, for the most part, easy to read and the writing quality was amazing. This novel is almost 500 pages long and I read it in a day and a half while working, doing bookstagram, writing other reviews, getting ready to start a readalong in April, etc. The writing in this book just draws you into the story and refuses to let you leave peacefully! 
While this book was fantastic, there were some issues I had with it. I loved how the book was paced, but the first time jump left me a bit confused for a time. The plot development of the book was very well thought out and executed, but I had issue with how some of the characters developed. While I loved the majority of the characters, I felt some of the things the author had them do was a bit out of character or just completely left field from the purpose of the book. The character I’m most upset about was Drew Arlen, who seemed to develop lustful feelings for one of the characters out of no where and it had no effect on the story overall except to make me feel creeped out by his character even more. The book also had adult scenes thrown about in the book for what seemed to be shock value. While I don’t think any novel shouldn’t have sex in it, I do believe that this needs to have a point in the overall story or it’s just there for shock value or to make the book some type of romance novel. The book was also hard to read in certain spots when it discussed sciency material. While you might like it and enjoy it, I made B’s in science class and I need the dumbed down version instead of the college level theory presented in this novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and felt the book made excellent points about prejudice in all of us and how people adapt and change over time. This is a must read in my opinion.


3 thoughts on “Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

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