Tag Archives: Sangu Mandanna

Review: The Lost Girl

29 Sep

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Sangu Mandanna tells a compelling science fiction tale in The Lost Girl. Amarra is an echo, a being created to replace a real human if that human ever dies. Because of this, she has no life of her own and is regarded as an abomination by many. Amarra the echo has to read the same subjects, eat the same things, and have the same experiences as the real Amarra, a girl living in India.

The echo takes some self-agency, however, rebelling against her constricted life and choosing a name of her own, Eva. When she is sent from London to replace Amarra, however, things become much more complicated.

The Lost Girl has some clever references to Frankenstein, and grapples with some of the same questions Mary Shelley’s classic asks: What does it mean to be human? If man creates a living being, is it an abomination or a miracle? How do humans react to something or someone who is different or other?

This book is far from ponderous, however. The plot moves quickly and Eva proves to be a likeable and resourceful heroine who struggles for her future. And, yes, there is the obligatory love story. Eva is supposed to love Amarra’s boyfriend Ray, but she’s already started to develop forbidden feelings for her tutor in London. The story handles this romance believably and touchingly, however, and it never overrides the main plot. Original, emotional, and tightly-written, The Lost Girl has appeal for science fiction fans and for those less familiar with the genre. Recommended, particularly for grades 8-11.

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