BookView review: Forever Child by Mark Lavine

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Pub date March 18 2023

ISBN 979-8218130947

Price $20.53 (USD), $6.80 Kindle edition

Lavine tackles themes of ethics and mortality via an unsettling plot in this futuristic tale. 2315, Northern California. Science has achieved the impossible: human life expectancy is 300 years. Children’s physical development in their late childhood is halted to keep them in an endless childhood. Known as the forever children, they are secured inside giant hives and protected from outsiders who live natural lives. When a terrible earthquake breaks the wall separating the two worlds, two children, Seelin and Kianno get uprooted, ending up in each other’s world. Years later, their haunted memories force them to seek each other, taking them into the heart of a struggle which threatens the very foundation of humanity. Lavine heightens tension through Kianno’s search into his predecessor’s identity, interspersed with scenes depicting Seelin’s struggle to live as an outsider and raise a family in the chaotic wilderness. The pacing is smooth, and thoroughly detailed worldbuilding transforms a fictional dystopian world into something much more realistic and frighteningly possible. Throughout Seelin and Kianno’s tense journeys, Lavine explores themes of family, survival, genetic engineering and ethics, oppression, political corruption, and the question of whether life expectancy and happiness are interrelated. Inventive narrative structure, skillfully fleshed-out characters, and fast-paced plot make for an enticing SF read.


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