Mit ‘review’ getaggte Beiträge

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 …)

I`d only learned I was a Shifter a year ago, […]. After that, my life got increasingly complicated.
Scott in CONTROL by Kim Curran

CONTROL is the sequel of SHIFT and continues the story of Scott and Aubrey. The teenagers are Shifters, a group of children and teens who can alter reality around them with a single thought. But it’s not like time travel, they can’t go back in a tricky situation suddenly armed with everything they know from the future. They can only change their own decisions and once the change is made, they forget there has ever been an alternative.

Scott Tyler is unlike the other Shifters: He can remember all his alternative realities – the good ones and the horrific ones and has to live with that.

ARES, the secret government agency that trains and regulates the teenage Shifters sends Scott on a mission. They want him to track down the mysterious Frank Anderson. This ex-Shifter tries to find abandoned and endangered Shifters and gives them a home. Anderson claims to give the children hope and a stable life but there seems to be a lot more to the story – a dark secret that could endanger entire societies.

Scott is obsessed with discovering the truth and this takes him further away from Aubrey and his friends. Can he hold his grip on reality or will he lose control over his choices? (mehr …)

Are you a king or queen of regrets?
Have you ever thought of how it would be if you could undo your decisions?
Some bad mistakes, rash words, embarrassing situations, even fatal accidents –
don’t worry, just press the rewind button and start from scratch!

 Scott Tyler, a boy who calls his life mundane and mediocre, is sixteen when he learns that he is a Shifter, one of a few teenagers with the ability that allows him to go back over his choices and take alternative paths. Sounds like a glorious day, huh? In fact, it isn’t one of his best moments in life. While trying to impress some wannabe friends he climbs up a high electricity pylon, falls down and – nothing. When his lights come back again after a short unconsciousness, he is lying on his back quite a distance away from the pylon as if nothing has happened at all. And in fact, in this reality really nothing has happened, no embarrassing stunt, no critical injuries – he has not even tried to climb up the pylon, much less fallen down. Of course, Scott is confused and it does not help that an unfamiliar girl accuses him of Shifting in public to show off to his mates. When she understands, that Scott doesn’t know at all what she is talking about, the girl, Aubrey, explains this ability to Shift. Now, you probably expect some magic, mystery or Star Wars SciFi drivel, but no, you are on the wrong track: It’s all plain and simple quantum physics, including Double Slit Experiments and infinite potential realities. Don’t worry about loads of incomprehensible scientific info dump, it’s just scratching the surface of the science background.

Back to the story: Soon, Scott realizes that Shifting potentially has disastrous consequences he has never anticipated. And then there is the secret government agency ARES, the Agency for the Regulation and Evaluation of Shifters, that tries to track down and control all Shifters. They train Shifters, try to keep them secret and use them to manipulate history, hopefully for the better. But are they really the good ones? (mehr …)

Seventeen-year old Jack Nill and his father Martin Baxter live in the not-too-distant future in a city what was once New York. Many things have changed since Martin Baxter’s childhood: a small number of mega-corporations have taken control of the country and they are striving for more. Those mega-corps have a finger in every pie, they operate the army, manipulate the water market and of course, the independence and neutrality of the internet is part of a bygone halcyon era. Today, you cannot send sensitive correspondence through the post or via the internet without having to worry about it getting scanned for content. Now, the only way to transmit important data files is by a network of “data runners” who literally run the information over the sneakernet. This procedure, of course, isn’t appreciated by the megas, so running data is the most dangerous game in this very dirty world.

Jack Nill has to accept that risk when he gets into this business. He must make money as a data runner because his father has been tricked in a major gamble and lost a lot.

With his intelligence and his outstanding parkour skills, Jack seems to be the perfect data runner. He is able to run even the most wanted and highly explosive data with a bunch of contract killers on his heels until something unexpected happens. Jack stumbles into a huge conspiracy that could affect the entire North American Alliance. Now, it’s up to him and his friends to use all their skills to outrun their interceptors and uncover the truth. Will they be able to avert the imminent catastrophe? (mehr …)

TheTestingBanner.jsp

The Testing: Vorgeschichte hier

Nach verheerenden Kriegen hat sich die Bevölkerung der USA stark verringert. Die Menschen leben in Kolonien von wenigen Hundert bis zu mehreren Tausend Personen meistens kaum über dem Existenzminimum. Nach den verheerenden politischen Fehlern, die zu den Kriegen und damit zum Verfall der Gesellschaft geführt haben, will man die Zukunft der politischen Elite nicht mehr dem Zufall überlassen, sondern sucht einige wenige geeignete junge Menschen, von denen man erwartet, dass sie am besten mit Macht umgehen können.

Um zu dieser Elitegruppe zu gehören, werden erfolgversprechende Kandidaten zu einem Auswahlverfahren eingeladen – The Testing. Erst wenn sie dies bestanden haben, erhalten sie die Chance zu einer Universitätsausbildung und einer möglichen großen Karriere. Wer zur Auslese eingeladen wird, kann diese Ehre nicht ablehnen, muss seine Familie verlassen und wird sie, egal wie er abschneidet, voraussichtlich nie wiedersehen. Auch wenn sich dies hart anhört, hofft die sechzehnjährige Cia auf einen Platz beim Testing. Dabei rechnet sie sich jedoch keine großen Chancen aus, denn schon seit Jahren ist niemand aus ihrer Kolonie eingeladen worden, noch nicht einmal ihr großer Bruder, den sie für viel intelligenter hält als sich selbst.

Daher ist Cias Überraschung groß, dass in diesem Jahr gleich mehrere zum Auswahlverfahren eingeladen werden und auch sie selbst zu den Geehrten gehört. Natürlich freut sie sich und ist stolz, die Gelegenheit zu erhalten, ihren Wert als Universitätsstudentin und mögliche zukünftige ranghohe Politikerin zu beweisen. Ihre Freude wird nur gedämpft durch das Bewusstsein, dass sie ihre Familie zurücklassen muss. Doch ihre Euphorie wird noch weiter getrübt durch Andeutungen ihres Vaters, dass es einen Grund gibt, dass aus ihrer Kolonie zuletzt nicht mehr Kandidaten eingeladen wurden. Bislang hat man dies in der Kolonie bewusst verhindert, da nur sehr wenige Kandidaten lebend aus dem Auswahlverfahren herauskommen. Diese Information ist jedoch höchst geheim und selbst das Wissen darüber ist potentiell lebensgefährlich. Für Cia ist dies sehr erschreckend, doch es gibt keinen Weg zurück. Wenn sie zu den Besten gehören will, muss sie um ihr Leben kämpfen und dabei auf den Rat ihres Vaters hören:

TRAUE NIEMANDEM!

(mehr …)

Fragments ist der zweite Teil von Dan Wells dystopischer Partials-Serie. Die sechzehnjährige Kira Walker hat ein Gegenmittel gegen das RM-Virus gefunden, das bislang alle neugeborenen Babys innerhalb von drei Tagen sterben ließ. Somit bleibt Hoffnung, dass die Menschheit nicht in wenigen Jahren ausgelöscht sein wird. Trotz oder vielleicht auch wegen ihres Fundes ist der Kampf um das Überleben der Menschen aber auch der Partials jetzt erst richtig entbrannt.

Kira verlässt heimlich ihre Heimat, um herauszufinden, wer sie selbst eigentlich ist und wer ihre Eltern waren. Sie kann nicht glauben, dass es ein Zufall ist, dass die Partials das Heilmittel gegen RM in ihrem Blut tragen, sondern vermutet eher, dass es möglicherweise Teil eines großen Plans ist.

Wie sehr sie damit recht hat und wie gigantisch und weitreichend dieser Plan tatsächlich ist, erfährt Kira auf ihrer gefährlichen Reise quer durch die verseuchten und verwüsteten Landschaften der postapokalyptischen USA. Begleitet wird sie bei ihrer Suche nach Antworten von den Partials Samm und Heron sowie von dem Menschen Afa Demoux. Diesen Mann haben Kira und die Partials auf ihrer Reise völlig verwirrt aufgegabelt. Da er früher scheinbar ein leitender Angestellter von ParaGen, dem Unternehmen, das für das „Design“ der Partials verantwortlich war, gewesen ist, nehmen die drei ihn mit, in der Hoffnung, dass er ihnen helfen kann, Antworten zu finden über das Geheimnis der Partials und RM. Schaffen sie es, die Verschwörung aufzudecken und damit nicht nur die Menschheit zu retten? (mehr …)

Mit Prodigy setzt Marie Lu die Geschichte von Day und June fort. Die beiden Jugendlichen könnten kaum unterschiedlicher sein: June ist das reiche Mädchen, aufgewachsen mit den Ideologien der Republikaner und Day der arme Junge, der auf der Seite der Rebellen kämpft, ein Staatsfeind, der auf der Abschussliste steht. Obwohl eigentlich alles gegen eine Freundschaft sprechen müsste, haben die beiden gelernt, sich zu vertrauen und sind nach Days Befreiung aus der Gefangenschaft gemeinsam auf der Flucht. Sie sind auf dem Weg nach Las Vegas, wo sie bei patriotischen Rebellen Unterschlupf suchen und hoffen dort auf Hilfe, um Days kleinen Bruder Eden aus der Gefangenschaft der Republikaner zu befreien. Diese Unterstützung hat jedoch ihren Preis. Die Rebellen fordern, dass nach dem plötzlichen Tod des alten Elektor Primo auch dessen Sohn Anden, der neue Elektor, eliminiert werden muss – Day und June sollen ihn umbringen. Die beiden haben keine größeren Skrupel und stimmen diesem Mordkomplott zu, da sie wissen, wie grausam und brutal der vorhergehende Elektor war. June wird in Andens Nähe platziert, um sein Vertrauen zu erschleichen und ihn dann zu töten. Als sie Anden näher kennen lernt, geschieht jedoch etwas Unvorhergesehenes. Anden scheint andere Pläne zu haben als sein Vater und ehrlich daran interessiert, der Bevölkerung zu helfen. June kommt ins Zweifeln, ob sie auf dem richtigen Weg ist und muss überprüfen, auf wessen Seite sie eigentlich steht. (mehr …)

Responsibility’s a cruel bitch. She comes for you whether you want it or not.
Mike Mullin: Ashen Winter

CoverFans of Dystopian literature, get ready for the second installment of Mike Mullin’s Ashfall Trilogy.

Ten months have passed since Alex has last seen the sun. The Yellowstone’s eruption has hurled billions of tons of fine ash and sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere and even the biggest optimists don’t expect the sky to return to normal within the following years. In the past months Alex and his girlfriend Darla haven’t only seen the sky go dark but also their entire society. They have to watch first hand how cruel and malicious people can be when chaos rules the world. Darwin’s ‚Survival of the Fittest” has gained a new meaning.

At the beginning of Ashen Winter, Alex and Darla are still staying on Alex’s uncle’s farm not knowing what has happened to his parents. When Alex finally uncovers some information that his parents might still be alive he is hell-bent and no fear, warning or plea can stop him from going on his search. Together, Alex and Darla set out in the disastrous world where they have to face kidnappers, zombie-like cannibals, hunger, disappointment and desperation. (mehr …)

April 9, 1940:
Peace-loving Norway is invaded by Nazi Germany. Although unprepared for an invasion, the Norwegian military puts up a valiant fight for several weeks before disbanding. The King and parliament escape to England. Now the Nazis are fully in control.
Or are they. . .?

The occupying Germans expect Norwegians to welcome them as protectors against the Soviet Union. But why? They think that the Norwegians embody the ideal of the Aryan race, being fair-haired, blue-eyed, tall and fit.

Unexpectedly, the Norwegians confront the occupying force with hostility and resistance. There is not only an organized military resistance, even ordinary Norwegians, young and old, find endless ways of resisting. Those people know that every part they play in the underground, no matter how small it might seem, can be significant.

Fourteen-year-old Espen is one of them. Shadow on the Mountain tells his adventures during World War II in Norway. Espen, his family and his friends are swept up in the resistance movement, but some of his former friends seem to be on the wrong side. Can he still trust them or does he have to fear them? Espen starts his career in the resistance with small jobs, at first he only delivers illegal newspapers. During the following years of war he is sent on more and more dangerous missions as a courier or even as a spy. With these strictly forbidden activities he risks his own life and those of his loved ones, his family and friends. Although he sometimes wonders if he is on the right path and what is the right thing to do, at some point he cannot stop the events anymore or return to a normal childhood. (mehr …)

When a school tragedy happens, you may lay the blame on society, the Internet, TV or violent films. Not many of you think it could be the parents‘ or teachers‘ fault, do you? But then, is it? We have our say, spout off opinions in different directions according to our view of the world. In this novel, too, they all have their say, but who’s right?

Clem is an academically gifted model student from Eastbourne in the South of England. A teacher describes him as a sociable and likeable boy who knows his direction in life. Some day Clem’s idyllic school world is turned upside down. His father has lost his job and has to take the family to Scotland in order to take a new position. Clem isn’t happy about this but accepts it – what can he do? He even tries to view Glasgow as a special experiment that won’t crush his high-flying plans for the future.

On his first day at his new school in Glasgow Clem wonders what grouping the school might thrust him into and who will label him first. The first weeks go by and nothing happens. Academically the school work is easy street, but Clem is absolutely isolated, no one speaks to him, welcomes him, comments on his accent – he is invisible. Of course, he feels disappointed by this behavior surrounding him, but when he finally gets a girl’s attention things seem to change for the better. At this time the boy doesn’t expect to end up the center target of a huge group of bullies… (mehr …)