16 June 2012

Book review: Sleeper, AwakeSleeper, Awake by Bob Rich

Sleeper, AwakeSleeper, Awake by Bob Rich

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The story takes place in the future, to be more precise 1400 years after the Cataclysm had hit the earth and destroyed it as we know it today. That destruction resulted in the building of a different type of society.
For one thing, sexual disposition, though more relaxed, promotes equality and better chances, people live in synch with the environment, respecting it by using challenges against it to prove their worthiness, homes can be relocated with a thought, and there are no geologically threatening acts that could ruin it, again. People have learnt their lesson. Governments are no more, the planet is governed by Control; a group of people who utilize an intelligent computer named Artif. There are problems of course, the author didn't create a utopian world, but there is one more significant difference; population, all over the earth, is limited to one million, plus the sleepers. Sleepers are people who have been placed in suspended animation in the 21st century until a better future is available for them. They are mainly people with incurable diseases, but there are those who have done it out of vanity.
It was natural that when Flora Fielding was awakened that she assumed a cure was found for cancer. Except that wasn't true; cancer didn't stand a chance before Artif's watchful eye that monitors everyone's health, fertility level, and thoughts.
So why was Flora awakened? To solve a problem of course, but until then, she gets her own implant, learns about this new society where men have to prove their worthiness to women since the women choose who would father their children. Flora also adapts to warmer world, which means almost everyone walks around naked, proud of their natural appearances. Darker color is more beautiful as it complements the change in temperature. Still, Flora's paleness is not held against her. After all, she was a sleeper.
Dr. Rich created a thought provoking world, he took problems and warnings we're facing today, allowed them to bloom, and then offered a solution and an remarkable world to exist in. I managed to glimpse the world from the eyes of a 70 years old woman, a 13 years old boy, and from a newcomer to that world. It was pleasant to be able to view and analyze that reality from several angles.
The book is incredibly creative and it shows the author's knowledge. Needless to say, the book remained with me for a long time, it's a book that makes one ponder life and decisions.

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