Fearless by T E Berry-Hart
|Fearless by T E Berry-Hart|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A tremendously satisfying follow up to Escape from Genopolis. It's pacy and exciting and concentrates more on character and plot resolution than its predecessor as the Citizens begin to reap what they have sown.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: February 2009|
We left Arlo and Usha in the Regions, having escaped Genopolis and its rigid society. Arlo is flourishing in many ways; at last, he has found somewhere that people feel, as he does. Usha isn't so lucky. As a Gemini, bred in a laboratory to serve the Citizens of Genopolis, literally body and soul, she has no feelings. But she does have visions and the Naturals in the Regions fear and distrust her. Usha is beginning to wonder if she'll ever find somewhere that she can truly belong.
But neither is destined for an easy ride.
Back in Genopolis, Hacker has rounded up all the Citizen traitors and is having them shipped off to the Pharms for regeneration, and she is determined to hunt down Arlo. Infighting is rife amongst the Naturals. There are plots and schemes and rebels and counter-rebels. But the search for answer to each thread of the story leads Arlo and Usha inexorably back to the terrible place they've just left...
Fearless concentrates more on character and plot resolution than its predecessor, Escape from Genopolis, and rightly so, for there were many narrative strands to tie up. However, the underlying themes of genetic manipulation, climate change, propaganda and population enslavement aren't forgotten. Rather, they blend into the characterisation and we begin to understand the effects they may have in much more personal ways. It's told from multiple viewpoints, which underscore this, and it's to Berry-Hart's credit that it's still pacy, exciting and tense.
The characterisation is wonderful, the action doesn't let up for a moment, and the eventual denouement is extremely satisfying, but not easy at all. Bookbag heartily recommends both books in the series to all thoughtful readers of about eleven and up.
My thanks to the nice people at Scholastic for sending the book.
Other dystopian novels rooted in the issues of today include Cybernation by Erica Blaney and The Cure by Michael Coleman. Unwind by Neal Shusterman takes the "recycling" of Genopolis to a chilling and graphic extreme and is a wonderful, wonderful book, but perhaps not for the younger or very sensitive reader.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fearless by T E Berry-Hart at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
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