Lavanya Karthik: Lavanya is from Mumbai, India and is a licensed
architect and consultant in environmental management. She lives in
Mumbai with her husband and six-year old daughter. She loves reading
and enjoys a diverse range of authors across genres.
Author: Kathleen S. Wilson
Rumer and Quix, author Kathleen
Wilson's debut novel is set in a futuristic world, suddenly
threatened by mysterious sightings of phenomena long considered
extinct. Its sixteen year old protagonist, Rumer, is an apprentice at
a news agency and finds that the news of these sightings are not
being taken as seriously as they should by her superiors. Accompanied
by Quix, her animet(a programmable artificial pet), Rumer decides to
investigate for herself.
31st century earth , called Mirra, is a world of technological marvels. Teenagers like Rumer are independent, and already being trained to join the professional world. But this is also a synthetic world - everything from the sky to natural phenomena to food (and pets of course) is made of synthetic substitutes.
Rumer sets off on an adventure halfway across the world on the trail of a group of scientists racing to discover the last bits of pristine environment left on the planet. But Mother Nature (called MoNa) has other plans - she launches an offensive of sorts, in a desperate attempt to get the attention of people around the world. Are the sightings a sign of impending disaster?Will MoNa succeed in her mission, however disturbing it seems? Will Rumer solve this mystery? And what does all this have to do with her parents’ death?
This book offers an interesting premise, especially in a world increasingly threatened by human apathy to climate change. The book also steers clear of tangents like romance and high school intrigue, focusing instead on a teenager’s determination to unearth the mystery behind her parents’ death and solve a looming global crisis . The author doesn't go into elaborate explanations, but lets the reader ease into this world and understand it at her own pace. I also enjoyed the multicultural flavour of this world, with characters of different nationalities and names. Even the global headquarters of the company responsible for MoNa's offensive, is in Nanjing, and not in a Western city.
The plot sags quite a bit in the middle, and could have done with a little more excitement. Mother Nature is a surprisingly benign and confused lady, and chooses a rather disturbing way to get her message across. The end, while a rousing message of hope and the power of the people is weak, and overly simplistic.
A book to read for its interesting vision of the future.