“That’s the thing about dreams, they can also be nightmares.”
Vispera is a dream – one of the last outposts of society after a 30-year “slow plague” wiped out the world as we have known it. Fruits and vegetables have been scientifically engineered to be more luscious and flavorful, and all disease has been eradicated. Some facets of Visperian life are harder to process, like the fact that there are only 9 unique “people”, born in sets of 10, 10 years apart.
Enter Jack. He’s our actual human, born from unaltered human DNA salvaged before the slow plague killed off the world. Jack’s got asthma, he’s one-of-a-kind, and he doesn’t act anything like the other citizens of Vispera. This is what both compels and repulses Althea-310, until she’s forced to choose between a strange boy, and a failing society.
I absolutely LOVED this book until approximately the last 40 pages. It flows nicely, and it seems light and airy, but all of the sudden bares its teeth, which pleasantly surprised me. It can easy be read for what it is on the surface, or you can choose to follow some of the paths that the author creates along the way – which will lead you to some serious self-evaluation and sociological conundrums.
Towards the end, the book somehow felt like it was in a hurry to tie up everything neatly, as well as managing to languish about on unimportant details. I’m not unhappy with how it ended, but give this book another 50 pages and a rework of the last bit, and it could be one of the all-time greats.