Reviews of Windhaven (1981)
Review by bkedryna (2004-07-09)
This book is not as bad as its rating here. In fact, it's not bad at all.
It's not hard sci-fi, it's more like science fantasy, or fantasy without supernatural events set in a plausible future. The action happens on a planet colonized by 'Star Sailors' whose ship malfunctioned.
Windhaven is a planet of oceans, high winds and small islands. After losing technology, the people created wings from a super-strong metal fabric from their spaceship (solar sail?). Because of the high winds on the planet and super-strong and lightweight wings, they can fly from island to island, carrying messages.
The book follows one person, Maris, throughout her life as she becomes a flyer, fights for "land-bound"'s rights to fly, and then fights a tyrant on one of the islands. This book is a little different than most in that it doesn't have a specific point or resolution. It is more similar to Martin's excellent 'A Song of Ice and Fire' series, where things happen and that's the end of it, there is no grand purpose, no one saves the world, etc.
This book is interesting and easy to read and enjoy. It's mostly about people, not about technology, which is why some sci-fi readers might be disillusioned.
If you are looking for relaxing, interesting books to kill your time, you should definately grab this one. If you're looking for hard science, saving-the-world adventure, or futuristic predictions, you might want to skip it.