The Love Collective is your

Parent.

The Love Collective is your

Friend.

The Love Collective is your

Future.

Love All.

Be all.

–Supreme Lover Midgate

 

Apprentice Kerr Flick differs from the other apprentices living in Nursery Dorm 492 in a society that despises differences. She is shorter than the others in her cohort, has black, frizzy hair, and sometimes blurts out answers that anger her teachers as well as the others in the Dorm. They call her Memory Freak because she has an eidetic memory. Oddly though, her memory cannot reach to before she was five years old. She appears to be the only person who wonders how they arrived at the Nursery Dorm. None of the other apprentices remember how they arrived. One more thing sets her apart that she dares tell no one: she has short, disorientating hallucinations of a medallion of a man hanging on a tree.

 

While most of her classmates plan to do the work of the Love Collective when they pass the Fitness to Proceed exam, Kerr plans to become an Elite. In their stories, Elites are the heroes who swoop in to save the Collective from the forces of Hate that threaten the empire. They fear nothing and see everything. But most of all, Elites don’t end up anywhere near the dorm she has grown up in. Kerr desperately wants to escape the bullies, name-callers, and teachers who dislike her memory that can make them look foolish.

 

In the meantime, as she dodges bullies, eats green glop, and does her drills, she listens to lectures like this: “. . . We can only be free to love when hate has been eliminated from our midst. So keep watch. Even now there are secret followers of the Haterman who want to destroy this beautiful Collective we live in.”

 

What will happen when she remembers her earlier life and learns about the social structure she lives within? This society proclaims: “A confirmed Hater will receive exactly the penalty they deserve. It is a heinous crime to dissent from the noble goals of the Collective.” Cameras record every movement, every word of the students.

 

“A confirmed Hater will receive exactly the penalty they deserve. It is a heinous crime to dissent from the noble goals of the Collective.”

 

The constant surveillance and draconian punishments leads to a realistic result I did not care for. Kerr Flick can’t do and does not do anything to escape. She must rely on the actions of others to evade the ultimate punishment. On the other hand, she did commit an act of sacrifice that was breathtaking.

 

I would recommend this book for those who enjoy dystopias age fifteen and up. Even though the violence is only flashes of memory, part of a sentence here, a piece of sentence there, even those flashes can be disturbing. The tone of the book is rarely relenting dread, although the story ends on a satisfying note. I look forward to the next book and seeing what Lover Kerr Flick does next when she discovers the significance of the man hanging on a tree.

 

Editor’s Note: This book has more references to current political issues than most books we normally review. If you enjoyed George Orwell’s “1984”, you’ll enjoy this one too.

 

Ratings:

Heat: A couple of kids snuggle briefly.

Cursing: None but words that relate to that society. For example, embrace means kill. So “Embrace it!” means “Kill it!” performing the function of a swear word.

Violence: There is quite a bit of off-screen violence that is truly disturbing. There are a few verbal threats and lots of verbal bullying.

 

Lelia Rose Foreman has raised and released five children. Everyone survived. She also homeschooled fourteen years with similar results. You can find her Christian science-fiction, A Shattered World in English or Spanish. She writes science fantasy adventure, Tales from Talifar with her oldest son, a video game artist, under the name Rose Foreman. You can contact Josh Foreman at breathoflifedev.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here