A brilliant and chilling dystopia for a new generation in the tradition of Brave New World.
‘Explain to us why you wish to enter The Academy.’ Anaximander, a young Academy candidate, is put through a gruelling exam. Her special subject: the life of Adam Forde, her long-dead hero.
It’s late in the 21st century and the island Republic has emerged from a ruined, plague-ridden world, its citizens safe, but not free, and living in complete isolation from outside contact. Approaching planes are gunned down, refugees shot on sight. Until a man named Adam Forde rescued a girl from the sea.
“Anaximander, we have asked you to consider why it is you would like to join the Academy. Is your answer ready?” To answer that question, Anaximander must struggle with everything she has ever known about herself and her beloved Republic’s history, the nature of being human, of being conscious, and even what it means to have a soul. And when everything has been laid bare, she must confront the Republic’s last great secret, her own surprising link to Adam Forde, and the horrifying truth about her world.
A very interesting and powerful novel, for so few pages. The focus is really on themes and messages, answering the questions that can't be answered in this world, and in the future. Questions like, What does it mean to be human? and How different are we than anything else, or a robot? and What does it mean to have a soul? etc. All the fun questions that I love to think about and how no idea how to answer. But it's always enlightening to read about.
The characters aren't the focus, and while Anaximander is telling the story, there really isn't much on her. That is, until the ending, which is such a surprise. Maybe some people can see these kind of twists from miles away, but I'm always oblivious, which actually I prefer, so it's always like WOOOAH. Actually, I was trying to finish this in class before it started, so when I read the surprise, it didn't clock in until a couple pages after. XD
Adam is an interesting character, and very smart. Especially for not actually being alive. He's known only by all of Anaximander's answers and holograms and the like. But more is known about Adam than Anaximander.
Actually, the whole story unfolds very differently than I've ever read. Adam's story takes up most of the story, and is told the most. But it is Anaximander who is recounting his story, mostly, to The Academy. The Academy is a very prestigious school in which it takes a 4-5 hour exam to get into, which Anax is taking.
So really, the setting, the future, is very important, along with the theme. It's a novel to make one think. It's not a lighthearted read, but it's thoughtful. I've said this a lot already, but really, it's just interesting. Definitely a good read for those who like to expand their minds and like sci-fi. And yes, that would be me. XD