Nancy Farmer's style is very imaginative, and The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm is loaded with awesome details and powerful images. The novel's
descriptive style allows us to fully imagine the settings, characters, and
events, even if they are in a place (Zimbabwe) and time (2194) different from
our own. Check out one of our first descriptions of the detectives:
ears safely nestled in the ragged muffs, could listen to the outside world
without pain. Eye was able to look around confidently: ninety-five percent of
his eyesight was blocked out. Arm had to suffer the hate, greed and anger
boiling around the suburb known as the Cow's Guts. Only an occasional whiff of
kindness, like a pale flower wilting in an alley, softened his pain.
It's clear that these aren't your ordinary cops.
For one thing, they look different and each has a special ability. We're only
really able to picture them so clearly in our minds because Farmer gives us a
whole heap of details about them. And it's this attention to detail that also
gives this novel its suspense. Farmer is sure to include tiny details here and
there that give us hints about what's really going down—but she doesn't draw the
curtain all the way back until she's ready to pack a punch plot-wise.