Maladapted by Richard Kurti

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Maladapted by Richard Kurti

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Category: Dystopian Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: A fast-paced story in a futuristic society where science has progressed beyond our dreams, but has it gone too far?
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 320 Date: April 2016
Publisher: Walker Books
ISBN: 978-1406346299

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Cillian isn't an average teenager. He knows he's a mathematical genius, he's already at university studying advanced theory, but Cillian doesn't realise quite how above average he is until he's the sole survivor of a train explosion. With his father is dead and his last words to Cillian a riddle, Cillian's existence is thrown in a whole new light.

Tess was an orphan, taken in by an extreme religious group offering her sanctuary and comfort. But Tess isn't sure how she feels about what she's being asked to do. Cillian is her target, Cillian and everything he represents, but Tess's faith in her mission is shaken when Cillian becomes her friend.

Maladapted is an interesting book. It's a society where science and religion are sharply contrasted but Kurti doesn't champion one or the other as they're both pushed to the absolute extreme. Science rules the world Kurti has created, and it's a world not beyond the realms of possibility. It's forward thinking in technology, people are more interactive with their tablets than with each other, climate change has taken ahold and citizens are dealing with ever more extreme weather conditions. But alongside this, there are a group of hardline religious fanatics who mistrust the world man has created, so they terrorise society with tactics that are escalating in violence. The juxtaposition was very clever as it's so extreme that you can't empathise with either cause.

Even to the end of the novel, I couldn't make my mind up whether it was a dystopian or utopian setting, but I suppose like any opposing theories if you take them far enough they converge in the middle. Cillian and Tess represent that middle ground, Cillian represents what is far too progressively scientific and Tess represents the regressively religious, but they themselves occupy the middle ground where humanity sits.

I like the fact that this book is fast paced and jumps right into the story. But I think a weakness of it is that it doesn't always set the scene well enough and these two elements need to be better in balance. I also didn't really like any of the characters; they weren't complex enough for me and although I was keen to finish the story to find out what was going on, I didn't really care what happened to Tess or Cillian.

I think this book is really interesting and I hope as the series develops Kurti gives the world he's created more context and really explain the whys.

If you like the sound of this try reading Divergent by Veronica Roth or Procession of the Dead (The City Trilogy) by D B Shan.

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Buy Maladapted by Richard Kurti at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Maladapted by Richard Kurti at


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