CM . . . .
Volume VII Number 13 . . . . March 2, 2001
There used to be a form of government called democracy that gave ordinary people some power. That disappeared. People allowed governments more and more power because it was necessary. We call the twenty-second century the Dark Times. That was when the crises completely overwhelmed everyone and civilization faltered.In the year 2368, there are few certainties in Blay Raytee's life. Her name is one of them. She remembers being called that and so refuses to become like the nameless children that live in the post-technocaust camp with her. Blay spends her days scavenging with the other children in a landfill and her nights reading. As one of the few children who can read, she is chosen to be the tutor for Marrella, a teen whose sensitivities to the environment set her apart and allow her to become a bio-indicator. This opens up a whole new life for Blay, from a first introduction to soap to discovering who she is and where she belongs.
Blay is a well-rounded and enjoyable character whose journey becomes more difficult as she discovers more about herself and her capabilities. She was intended to tutor Marrella, but she quickly finds that she herself is discovering clues that only bio-indicators are thought to be able to understand. When she meets Lem Howl, who is presented as a boogeyman to frighten children, she is amazed at the worlds that open up to her, including the possibility that the chip Lem finds implanted in Blay's arm will be able to tell her who she is. Fans of science fiction and strong female characters will be carried along with Blay's journey.
Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.