What is this book?
Asides from the fact that H. A. Swain has properly proven to the reader that she can write readable prose, I don’t think there’s anything else in this book that’s good.
The biggest issue? The entire goddamn concept.
We live in a world without food.
Food is supposedly illegal. After some massive great war that killed all food and shit, the government’s made it illegal to consume food and instead everyone drinks nutridrinks instead. Which means – 1. you never get hungry and 2. no one goes to the bathroom, because no waste products are produced at all.
But, hello? Without your goddamn plants, where’s the oxygen coming from? Where’s the nutrients for these nutridrinks (which are called Sythamil) coming from? Also, where the hell did weather go? What would you do if say, there was a hurricane or an earthquake?
Not to mention, why would you allow for people to keep their food related last name if you’re actively trying to forget food? (*cough*Apple *cough*)
The boundaries are not patrolled.
We have a super controlled environment, where everyone is fed nutrients so they don’t have to eat. But the people on the Outer Loop of the city can’t afford the nutridrinks and thus… starve? Why haven’t they rebelled yet? Why are they just sitting there like idiots?
Right outside the Outer Loop are the Hinterlands, which should be patrolled since they’re technically the boundary of One World (the corporate company that basically controls the government), but Thalia and Basil simply leave and there’s nothing to stop them. They don’t even go all that far to start finding plants. What’s preventing these people in the Outer Loops from just leaving?
Not to mention, even if you’re not trying to keep things in, border patrol is also good for keeping things out. Especially since it seems like One World isn’t the only populated city area.
One World controls it all.
And leading to my next argument – One World is described like a world dominating system, as if the entire world were controlled by them. But it seems that One World only actually controls the city area that Thalia lives in. There are apparently other population areas. Too bad it’s all too vague for us to know if it’s also One World controlled or independent.
Not to mention, One World seems to fail greatly at being a very uptight system. They can’t even get guards competent enough to chase down a few fucking clueless teenagers. Call up a squadron of people! Surround them! They’re unarmed inexperienced teenagers! Do you have to chase after them like an idiot and lose them because you didn’t use the technology that was available to you the fucking whole time.
They also failed to used the “Thalia is simply an incompetent teenager looking for attention.” argument when they tried to denounce her. Don’t you realize the more you put her face in the news saying that she’d being a rebel against the government, the more power you give her? The most simple and effective way to stop the whole ordeal is to claim her a delusional teen simply being stupid and that people should just calm down.
Games are the major source of entertainment.
Where are you getting the electricity to power all these entertainment arenas? Wouldn’t you think that the last thing the government wants to do after fighting an awful war is to make all of its citizens complete gluts by letting them sit around spending most of their time playing mindless stupid games?
Not to mention, not everyone likes games. What about the people who don’t like spending their time staring at moving pictures on a screen? Are they all going to become the next Thalia Apple? Not everyone is just going to dying their skin pink and play games all day no matter how suppressed their hormones are.
Asides from that, many other issues remain…
This book was not a bad read. It simply was stupid and the characters immature. If you don’t mind repeated headdesking, I say give this book a go. Because it certainly has some up points.
The worldbuilding however, makes it suck more than it should.