Monday, August 18, 2008

Book Review: Frek and the Elixir

I'm trying to get involved with the "Politics & Prose Science Fiction Group". I started reading "Darwin's Radio" so I could go to the July meeting but there was some confusion with the schedule. When I get around to finishing that book you'll know.

For August the group was reading "Frek and the Elixir". I was able to borrow the book from someone. Thank god because I wouldn't want it littering up my bookshelves.

The story had some promise. 1000 years from now the world is genetically engineered. Houses are grown from seeds. Food grows from plants in the kitchen. You can travel by winged pets that cling to your back. Everything is alive. But the gene pool is shallow. Dogs are typed by model year instead of breed. The government organism can listen in on you from almost anywhere. Breeding is done only with permission.

A message from space comes looking for Frek. Aliens have contaminated Earth with a disease that allows them to look through human eyes for entertainment. And once Frek hammers out a deal with one of the many producers in the galaxy they'll be able to take control of the people that they're watching through as well.

But first Frek must escape from the government who wants to intercept that message, get off Earth with the help of one of the producers, save those producers from the people who control the signal, escape from another set of producers, and eventually get humans freed from alien control. And if he can find his missing father in the process all the better.

But the author, despite the awards he's won, doesn't know how to write. He can't remember what age he's writing for, the characters are inconsistent, story threads are dropped or simply not followed, it's just a mess. There was one character that the people in the book group liked but that was it.

Don't bother with this book. Don't even bother giving it to your kids. It's just lame.

1 comment:

Mike Rhode said...

Gee, I liked it. I thought it was clever.