An intriguing dystopian tale that is both unsettling and thought-provoking…
Vividly wrought imagery, steady pacing, and an intriguing cast mark Lavine’s engrossing dystopian tale. 2315. The world has changed. There are a chosen few, known as the forever children, whose life expectancy is hundreds of years. They are kept secured in their giant hives, away from the outside world. When a natural disaster breaks the seal, momentarily bringing two worlds together, Seelin, a forever child, finds himself on the other side while the outsider Kianno takes his place inside. Fate brings the duo together again, throwing them in the path of a fierce struggle between the two worlds. Lavine crafts a vivid portrait of a society 300 years into the future via his two set of protagonists—the first group comprises of the forever children, protected and shielded, while the other set, the outsiders, who are condemned to live natural lives, struggle to survive in the harsh wilderness—and it’s their harrowing quests that fill this fascinating tale with tension and intrigue. Alternating before and after chapters chronicle the events leading to Kianno’s and Seelin’s displacements and their struggle to survive in their new surroundings. Though, the authoritarian government’s real motive behind keeping the children trapped inside their young bodies is somewhat hazy, the engrossing narrative imbued with believable bioengineering experiments, high-stake quests, and strong characterizations keep the pages turning. Questions of oppression, government corruption, individualism, freedom, and autonomy are skillfully raised, examined against an inventive futuristic backdrop in which genetic alteration is the norm and value of human life without the genetic interference is zero. A must-read.