Archiv für die Kategorie ‘Englisch’

Mothers from problem families should feel ‚ashamed‘. They are damaging society and should stop getting pregnant, according to a senior government adviser. Louise Casey […] has said it is time for the state to intervene.
From Sky News, 2012

England in the not-too-distant future: Britain’s economy and society are devastated. The government has to strive against inflation, unemployment, dramatic economic downturn and a gigantic incidence of crime. Desperate times call for desperate measures and the authorities need to find a scapegoat for this crisis. Overpopulation is chosen to be the reason to all this mess, consequently the new Snip Bill is passed. A bill that legalizes the forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans, guaranteed employment or a wealthy sponsor. On top of this all social security benefits are cut down, no more free education, free health and dental care or free school meals.

Of course the underprivileged teens are not willing to give up their human rights, their right to keep their bodies unharmed, to plan their future. It is time for them to take to the streets – it’s time to riot. Tia, a young hacker, is in the middle of the riots. She fights against the government’s plans although she belongs to the privileged teens, although she is the daughter of a high-ranked government member. Soon, Tia is hunted like a terrorist but it is too late for her to back down. (mehr …)

After ‘Ashfall’ and ‘Ashen Winter’ ‘Sunrise’ is the final instalment of Mike Mullin’s post-apocalyptic Ashfall trilogy. If you expect that the title of this book describes the happily-ever-after part of the series you will soon learn that, well, you’ve got another think coming! It’s almost one year after the disastrous eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Iowa and Illinois are still in chaos: no communication to other parts of the country, no air travel or railroad traffic, impassable roads due to the ashfall and snow. These parts of the country are on their own, people can’t expect any governmental rescue services. They have no energy supply, no water supply and with every day the food shortage becomes more life-threatening. In some rare moments nature displays a silver lining at the horizon but the bitingly cold ashen winter is far from over.
Darla, Alex and his family now live at Alex’ uncle’s farmhouse which has transformed into a rough refugee camp. Due to the desolate situation the towns and settlements have begun waging war on each other. Communities have to be created to withstand the ongoing disaster, but they are unstable and fragile on the brink of starvation. The society has plunged into some medieval legal system where a human life is worth little, food is everything and self-appointed power-hungry leaders judge according to the principle of an eye for an eye.

Is there anything left of humanity that makes them look forward to finally see the sun again?

(mehr …)

INFILTRATOR is the second instalment of the Contributor Trilogy by Nicole Cicacchella. It continues the story of Dara, a seventeen year old girl who lives in a dystopian world in which huge companies, the Creators, rule the world and manipulate all humans under their control. In the first book CONTRIBUTOR Dara has learnt the hard way that in contrast to everything she has been talked into believing in her past her life has never been happy, easy and privileged. Although she now knows that it is pointless to pretend that her life would have been wonderful with that former kind of blissful ignorance, she has to struggle with her new reality. Everything she knows is that she doesn’t want to be another cog in the big leading company’s machine.

With the help of the Free Thinkers, a group of rebels who act from the underground, she gets the opportunity to see behind the curtains of the manipulative governing companies.

The more Dara learns about the arrogant lies and manipulations of the Creators, the more she wants to escape from this pressure. She needs the freedom to ask questions, the ability to do what she wants to and the possibility to be loyal to her family. At this time she wonders who really benefits from the system as it stands now. There are too many people who fall behind and Dara is not willing to accept this. For this reason she pretends to be still a faithful and loyal Contributor who works hard for her Creator, but in fact she is an Infiltrator, a spy, who tries to unravel their dark and dirty secrets.

More than once Dara has to go to her limits, risk her own and the lives of her family and friends and sacrifice a lot. Is she ready to set the world on fire? (mehr …)

Nicole Ciacchella takes the reader into the dystopian world of seventeen year old Dara Marrow. Several generations ago, severe environmental problems have caused the Great Famine. If there hadn’t been some huge corporations, a.k.a. the Creators, who have saved millions of people, humanity would have come to an end. To get away from the hostile environmental conditions these Creators have built huge domes where they offer the citizens homes and all other necessities of life. Needless to say that humanity has been totally grateful and loyal ever since and all people seem to be happy to be obedient, assiduous and hard-working Contributors because PRODUCTIVITY ASSURES SUCCESS not only for the Creators but for the entire society.

Dara has grown up with this guiding principle – her training as an engineer has begun at the age of three and now with seventeen due to her excellent examination performance she has been selected for a specialized apprenticeship program that might offer her a prosperous future.

This is exactly what Dara has been hoping and working for her whole life and of course she pours herself enthusiastically into her work, but soon she learns that she has arrived in a cutthroat competition for an assistant position. Dara has to work almost day and night to keep a good position in the rivalry. All her efforts seem to be futile after her mother has an accident and isn’t able to contribute anymore. Dara can’t help her mother and do her work properly at the same time, she is torn between her family and work duties. They have always told her to have faith in the system: that the system provides for those that provide for the system. Now, for the first time in her life the new circumstances make her question everything she was ever taught.

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John Dixons Phoenix Island erzählt die Geschichte des sechzehnjährigen Waisen Carl Freeman, einem preisgekrönten Boxer mit einem ziemlich explosiven Temperament. In Erinnerung an seinen verstorbenen Vater, einem ehemals respektierten Polizeibeamten, setzt Carl sich für die Schwachen in der Gesellschaft ein. Ganz anders als sein Vater übertritt er dabei jedoch mehr als einmal die Grenzen des Erlaubten. Carl kann es nicht ertragen zuzusehen, wenn Mobbingopfer gequält werden. Dabei spielt es für ihn keine Rolle, ob er das Opfer überhaupt kennt, die Gegner körperlich oder zahlenmäßig überlegen sein könnten oder derjenige, der schikaniert, eine Amtsperson ist: Carl schlägt zu, ohne zu überlegen, welche Konsequenzen das für ihn haben könnte. Daraus folgen natürlich zahlreiche Strafen und er wird von Pflegefamilie zu Pflegefamilie weitergereicht, bis ein Richter die einzige Chance zur Besserung für Carl darin sieht, ihn nach Phoenix Island zu schicken, einem Jugendstraflager auf einer Insel vor der Küste der USA.

Bis zu seinem 18. Geburtstag soll Carl auf dieser Insel beweisen, dass er sich bessern will, doch schnell muss er entdecken, dass die Chancen, dass er diesen Tag überhaupt erleben wird, schlecht stehen. Phoenix Island ist ein privates Straflager, auf dem US-Gesetze Schall und Rauch sind. Schikanen, Grausamkeiten und Folter sind an der Tagesordnung und niemand kann den Jugendlichen helfen, denn jeglicher Kontakt aufs Festland ist verboten und eine Flucht ist unmöglich. Die Insel birgt jedoch noch ein weiteres tödliches Geheimnis und Carl gerät schon bald in den Fokus des Interesses. Hat er überhaupt ein Chance, die Insel jemals lebend zu verlassen? (mehr …)

Champion ist der dritte und damit letzte Teil von Marie Lus Legend-Trilogie. Acht Monate sind vergangen, seitdem Day und June sich das letzte Mal gesehen haben. June hat das Vertrauen der Republik zurückerlangt und ist als Vertraute des Elektors Anden in höchste Regierungskreise aufgestiegen, während Day eine ranghohe Militärposition innehat.

Days große Sorge ist jedoch, dass es seinem kleinen Bruder Eden, dem letzten verbleibenden Teil seiner Familie, gut geht. Wie kann er jedoch Eden beschützen, wenn er selbst todkrank ist? Er kann und will nicht mit June über seine Erkrankung reden und kann nur darauf hoffen, dass die Ärzte doch noch ein Heilmittel finden, um seine schnell fortschreitende tödliche Krankheit aufzuhalten.

Als sich in den Kolonien die von der Republik mit Biowaffen im Krieg absichtlich herbeigeführte Seuche immer weiter ausbreitet, drohen der Waffenstillstand und die Friedensverhandlungen zwischen Kolonien und Republik zu kippen. Um Tausende von Seuchentoten und möglicherweise einen neuen Krieg zu verhindern, muss June schweren Herzens Day bitten, eine fast unmenschliche Entscheidung zu treffen. Um zahlreiche Menschenleben zu retten und den Frieden zu sichern, müsste Day das tun, was er geschworen hat, um jeden Preis zu verhindern. Sein kleiner Bruder Eden müsste für menschliche Experimente zurück in die Labore der Republik, denn in seinem Blut wird der Schlüssel zur Heilung der Seuche vermutet. (mehr …)

Ethan seems to have an almost perfect family life. He lives together with his father, his stepmother and stepsister Haley. His parents are obviously madly in love with each other, he likes them both very much and he gets on pretty well with Haley, too. There is only one not so tiny thing that bugs him. Ethan can do anything, but Haley is always in the focus of his parents. He loves and adores his father who is a brilliant ‘white-hat’ hacker who works in IT security. So, he tries to impress him with a modified version of one of his Dad’s computer codes, a relatively harmless virus that knocks out his high school’s computer system.

Ethan’s coup even makes his way to the local news – but again: his father ignores him because at the same time Haley makes a big appearance with a new and shocking outfit. Ethan gets mad and jealous and when Hailey explains her sadness and accuses Ethan’s Dad of sexually molesting her, he doesn’t believe her at all. He takes sides with his father and accuses Hailey that she has destroyed his family with making all these things up only to be in the center of attention. It cannot be that his idol, the person he adores so much could be such a monster, or can it? When he hacks into one of his father’s old computers he makes a startling discovery that casts a slur at his Dad. What can Ethan do with this dark secret and what kind of person does this make him? (mehr …)

He may not want my help, but he’s going to get it anyway.
I can’t cope with a world in which he disappears for good.

Kyra in ‘The Woken Gods’

There is not much left of the Washington D.C. we know today in seventeen-year-old Kyra Locke’s hometown. The cause for this almost dystopian vision of a world in chaos is not at war or a natural disaster. No power-crazed human being has taken over the country but a bunch of gods from different mythologies for instance Greek, Egyptian, Norse, Sumerian or Indian.

These gods of ancient mythology awoke five years ago around the world and most of them combine some very bad (in)human character traits in themselves – they are deadly, striving for power, self-centeredness and deviousness. Only the mysterious Society of the Sun seems to be able to keep the goods in check, sometimes in the light, more often in the shadows.

Kyra’s biggest problem, however, are not the gods but her family. Her Mom has left them and is living in Oracle Row and her Dad seems to be a permanent trigger of rebellion for Kyra. Most of the time he is busy and not at home but when he is they often disagree and bicker. For this reason Kyra pretends that she could very well be on her own without her father and do whatever she wants. But when her overly respectable father really disappears she is not willing to give him up. He is charged with high treason because it seems that he has stolen an extremely powerful and dangerous Egyption relic from the Society of the Sun.

With the help of some old and new friends Kyra sets off to get to know what might be behind all this. (mehr …)

Vicky Oransky Wittenstein gives in this YA non-fiction book a brief outline of the history of human medical experimentation and describes a wide range of unethical medical behavior of many involved people: physicians, research scientists and other medical professionals as well as government officials. All for the good of mankind?

There is no doubt that most of us benefit probably more than one time in our life from the results of human medical experimentation – some crucial, lifesaving medical discoveries. But when you read the author’s description of documented highly questionable procedures in medical experimentation you are forced to stop and give the topic not only one second thought.

There have been thousands and thousands of victims of medical research over time in different countries: men, women, children, prisoners, soldiers, often poor and/or uneducated people. Some of them helped voluntarily with the feeling they were doing good by advancing medical technology but most were forced to be part in the experiment or didn’t know what they got themselves into.

Can we judge the doctors who researched and medicated patients in the past centuries? Is it easy to find a concluding answer on how to balance the need to test new drugs with the doctors’ ethical duty to protect the rights of human subjects? And then there is the ubiquitous power and influence of money and big pharmaceutical companies…

For the Good of Mankind gives a not-too-long and not-too-graphic overview of the history of human medical experimentation concluding with the current state. The reports are sometimes quite difficult to read – not because of the language but because of the unsettling topic. If you think that you can shrug it all off as a matter of the past you are on the wrong track!

The book ends with classroom resources and a selected bibliography for further information and discussion about medical ethics.

All in all this is a very interesting and thought-provoking introduction to medical ethics not only for older teenagers but also for adults.

Library Binding: 96 pages
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (August 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1467706590
ISBN-13: 978-1467706599

We thought it was like summer camp here, and you all were chilling in a safe, clean school. Then, we get here and it’s like one big battlefield, you guys all hate each other, the whole place is trashed! I mean, what the hell happened, how did it get like this?
Gates in Quarantine – The Saints

The Saints is the second installment in the very dark Quarantine series. It picks up right where the previous book The Loners left off. McKinley High is still under military quarantine after a virus outbreak 18 months ago. The school drowns in chaos, it seems to be like a huge battleground. When the doors finally open, Will and Lucy think that the nightmare is over. They have no idea that even worse things are yet to come. A new gang enters the school headed by the charismatic Gates. This new group, nicknamed The Saints, according to their private school they went to before, almost immediately gains popularity among the other students. They turn the school’s former hierarchy upside down whereas the gang of The Loners falls apart. The Loners one by one scatter to all different gangs. Will finally ends up with The Saints. At first this seems to be a lucky opportunity for him to regain his social status but soon he has to fight harder than ever to survive.
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