I found this book more than a little frustrating. This book is short, but a longer read because it takes time to get through. It’s a book of ideas and not actions, the world and story are explored through the people in the book. No dramatic explosions or gripping action scenes, but there’s still a lot going on inside. The characters are ok, the idea is good, and it makes sense that nothing happens, but it’s still unsatisfying. I wasn’t a fan of the delivery; it was very dry (even the sex was boring), but if you can get past that, the writing is decent. There’s emotional programming, and there are cultural implications that are huge in this book, but it’s all treated so mild and unalarming that I can’t quite grok what’s going on.
And just to talk about it I have to get spoilery:
So sometime in the future or past or in an alternate world, we have purpose bred humans. They’re bred and raised to first be caregivers for donors, and then become donors themselves. That’s their whole purpose in life. To donate organs and tissues to ‘real’ people. These kids/people/whatever are kept apart from the population, live their own emotionally encrusted lives and then are sent off to slaughter, and basically have no rights to their lives (which makes me feel like I want to turn this into some pro-life statement: Here! You get to act as someone else’s life support and you have no choice about it! /digress). They give as many times as they can before they “complete” and are totally harvested, and they just accept it. Which makes sense from a cultural perspective... cultural/societal programming happens, but I just have a hard time believing that these people, who are fundamentally human, don’t snap a chip at some point and scream “Enough!” and run off into the night. I mean, yes, emotional/social programming works... to an extent. And these people are never locked away - they drive around and vacation and live like anyone else. There are no fences holding them in, and yet, there they stay, in their little herd.
It’s effing Frustrating.
But I get it. And I don’t. And I agree and I don’t... which is why this book gets stars. I don’t necessarily “like” it, but I can’t give it less, because it makes me think and feel, which is what I love best about spec fiction.