The Generationby Published 28 Feb 2015
|Publisher||Blinky's Planet Publishing|
***Shortlisted for the 2015 Mumsnet and Janklow & Nesbit novel award***
Are you who they say you are?
London, 2052. An ID tag is embedded in the flesh of your neck. Your every move is tracked. Your genes tell the State nearly everything about you.
Everything you were.
Everything you are.
Everything you will be.
For Freya, Kane, and the rest of this fledgling generation, the battle to break free of their genetic horoscopes will not be without bloodshed...
The Generation Reviews
Firstly, I would love to thank author Holly Cave for sending me a copy of The Generation from First Reads, I absolutely loved reading and reviewing your novel.
The blurb asks ‘Are you who they say you are?’ which really sets the premise of the book; set in futuristic London which is now governed by an empire called the State, the book explores themes of identity in a world where babies are genetically diagnosed and told what they are destined to be when they grow up. The book then follows Freya, Kane and Sal who we’re among the First Citizens to be diagnosed at birth as they begin to question their own identities following a life-altering event.
From chapter 1 Cave sets to break free of this totalitarian world by giving the characters a way to physically escape this controlled environment. The novel opens explosively after the citizens are victims of a bomb explosion, the aftermath of which everything about this world they have accepted begins to unravel; the space is literally burst open allowing the characters to question what’s really below the surface. Following the aftermath of the bomb Freya, a 29 year old teacher, and Kane begin to share their Backgrounds (noun: concise summary of findings from an individual’s birth diagnosis), and we begin to learn that this world is not everything as it seems. The State an invisible and feared organisation has been keeping surveillance of the First Citizens through monitoring Tags. We also learn that it is virtually impossible to lie or alter one’s Background; it’s all about fulfilling a predestined biological destiny. For example, when Freya was 8 her mum told her that a blood sample taken from her foot diagnosed that one day she would have Huntington’s disease and that she would either become an artist or a Teacher, a destiny to some extent fulfilled. Meanwhile, Kane tells Freya about his struggles with accepting his sexual identity, and how he was given pills by his doctor to balance his hormones and control his sexuality. This raises more questions, are we meant to serve out the purpose of our biological destinies? Are we who they say we are? The novel continues to ask these questions until the very end where it’s the characters who are now asking the questions!
In my opinion it is the universality of its themes which makes this a truly modern masterpiece. In comparison to today’s real world, which is all together becoming more technologically advanced and unrecognisable, Cave’s world seems almost imaginable. I also absolutely loved how detailed the novel was, every word packed a punch. This is a very accomplished novel and I wish the author every success with The Generation.
Reading this insightful novel confirms the belief that winds of change may flow soft, but grow exceeding strong.
Holly Cave uses a vibrant narrative, graced by often lyrical prose and dramatic descriptions to tell this sobering tale of an imminently possible and desperately troubling future.
After Europe’s bankruptcy births the Takeover, a law is passed by the new-formed totalitarian government. Every newborn citizen is to be Tagged with a Birth Diagnosis; a Background, that will define its life. From that time on the child will be what the Tag says it will be. Tagged as gay, it will never be allowed to be anything other. Tagging – Humanity imprisoned in a genetic straight jacket.
But after a suicide bombing by a member of the Anti Genetics Movement, questions are sparked and acceptance of the status quo begins to waver.
The story develops through the depiction of disparate characters, seemingly unknown to each other but in actuality linked by threads only gradually revealed. As those threads emerge we learn the importance of scientist Elin Nagayama, teenage genius Marie, and the enigmatic Angie; how they hold the keys to the unravelling of a secret held by the State and hidden from the populace. But it’s not until the final pages do we understand how those links will influence the future.
This debut novel is a fabulous read, and I’ll be keeping a lookout for the author’s future offerings.
I loved this book. I'm crazy about dystopias right now, but this was so much more. This incredible novel captured the nature/nurture debate in an accessible, interesting manner that came together in the end and really made me think.
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com
In 2052 London, Genetics decide everything. A scan just after your birth decides your life as it tells you exactly what you'll grow up to be. A terrorist attack might finally uncover something big, very big.
I liked the setting: London and the invisible, but ever so present State, controlling everyone. The questions it rises: to what extend predict our genes who we are going to be, is an interesting one. Near the end of the story, there are some shocking revelations and it all worked together quite nice.
My biggest problem with the story was that it took quite some time for me to actually get into the story. The story isn't that long and when I was reading I was enjoying myself. But, whenever I had to stop reading it was too easy. (And I had trouble starting again). Perhaps this is because in the beginning quite a lot happens all at once and it was a bit confusing at times.
In all, an interesting novel which raises some interesting questions (I won't go too much into detail since I don't want to spoil anything). You'll have to get through the start but then you'll enjoy the rest of the story.
Thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!