The world definitely seems to be heading towards darker days lately, in terms of the financial landscape and in the violent and disconnected way that our society exists today. In The Forever Man: A Near-Future Thriller, author Pierre Ouellette paints a bleak picture of the direction that America is headed. The divide between the rich and the poor is even bigger. While the poor barely scrape by and fight for low paying jobs in the overflowing dangerous slums that are controlled by gangs, the rich hide in their walled in sectors, getting state of the art medical procedures that make them look decades younger than they actually are. It isn’t unusual to encounter a 70 year old that looks 40. And it’s this search for the fountain of youth that leads scientists like Johnny Anslow to look for a genetic way to turn back the clock, not just a plastic surgery and organ replacement way to make someone younger.
Contract cop Lane Anslow is barely scraping by and approaching 50 years old. He knows that he won’t have a job on the police force much longer, that his world of working and looking after his genius yet troubled and unpredictable brother is about to be upturned. But when Johnny goes missing after making an important scientific breakthrough, Lane must go on the hunt to find him, and he has to put together all of the pieces of who would want Johnny to disappear–or to keep him all to themselves. Encountering a dirty politician who only pretends to be one of the regular people, the strange gang Kingpin who doesn’t think twice about killing anyone but will flip sides at the drop of a hat, and the rich elite whose sole agenda is to get even richer, Lane fights his way towards finding his brother, putting the pieces together as he goes. He’s smart, resourceful, and doesn’t give up, and he was devoted to his brother.
This version of America certainly isn’t pretty and his journey isn’t easy. I really loved all of the technology that Pierre Ouellette came up with for this novel. Everything was just futuristic enough to be upgraded and believable, like the gadget that someone could wear over their nose to enhance their sense of smell. I also really enjoyed the upgraded dogs that were more intelligent and had their own language. Genetics obviously played a decent sized part in this book, and as a scientist I understood a great deal of what was discussed, but the average person might be a little lost at times.
I give The Forever Man: A Near-Future Thriller a five out of five. This sci-fi story is such a wonderful, brilliant, and terrifying glimpse of what the future could be–all wrapped up in a tightly drawn thriller with inventive technologies. The writing is descriptive enough to give you a great idea of the setting, and I thoroughly enjoyed and could picture the area–from the lush Oregon forests to the parched Arizona desert. With several different points of view given, you get a good glimpse into the main players’ minds, and I felt like it added to my enjoyment.
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