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Monday, April 14, 2014

The Forever Contract by Avery Sawyer

In the very near future, the country is plunged into drought and unrest. Scare resources and constant heat are making life completely miserable. Casey doesn't think she can stand slugging back another gel pack or working one more shift at the wells. Fortunately, there's a solution: anyone over the age of seventeen can sign the Forever Contract and enter a utopian paradise. While people's minds take a permanent vacation, their bodies get warehoused and hooked up to a complex array of sensors and feeding tubes. As Casey's brother says, "You upload your consciousness to the system and you're free to live as long as you want, however you want. No more pain, no more heat, no more awful dust, no more work. Just pure thought. It's what our species has always been meant for. Suffering is for philosophers. Not for me."
Casey's ready to sign--a permanent vacation is just what she needs. There's only one problem: her boyfriend James doesn't trust it..
Would you sign the contract?

I went through several phases while reading this book. At first, I thought the writing was strangely disjointed and that the behaviors of the characters were quite strange. Then it sort of smoothed out, and I was starting to enjoy it. But by the end, it went back to being strange.  I love sci-fi and dystopia, and while this book did fit the genre perfectly, I found the book dissatisfying.

The first thing that struck me as odd was the main characters actions. It was very straightforward and almost immediately brought sexual components into the book, which just seemed unnatural and out of place. The book does have quite a bit of disestablishmentarianism, but that’s my favorite component of a lot of dystopian, because just face it: A key component of most dystopian novels is a large controlling government that needs to be taken down….

Upon further reflection there was a section of about three sentences that struck me as odd. Almost…anti-religious. And in fact, the rest of the books situations reflect that sentiment. I feel like there is a detail I’m missing. It was almost like….a rant on the discontent of the general American population. But again, I’m missing something…something pertaining to a minutia doctrine. I just can’t pinpoint it. Overall, I would not recommend this book. If I were to describe it in two words, I’d say….Hippie Headshaker. It just wasn’t for me, I found the potential undertones distracting. (That is, that it could have been much greater in size, and depth in meaning.)
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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