ForeverChild: A Novel of the Future

Mark Lavine

Publisher: Mark Lavine Pages: 305 Price: (paperback) $14.95 ISBN: 9798218130947 Reviewed: August, 2023 Author Website: Visit »

Mark Lavine’s dystopian science fiction novel delivers a common premise: Elite members of society live in closed-off, luxurious enclaves, while the poor live “outside” in abject poverty and squalor.

Here, crime has become so rampant that there aren’t enough prisons to house the criminals, so rich folks live in “Hives” such as the one in Los Gatos: 20 miles long, ten miles wide and 1,500 feet high.

Outside, the criminals run free, although they and their descendants must raise food for those in Hives and barely subsist on synthetic food provided for them. Life is miserable for the “outsiders,” who grow old and eventually die.

By contrast, the 24th century elites can live for centuries; however, the treatments to extend life must begin in childhood, and once started, physical growth ends. Therefore, although some Hive residents are centuries old, they look like 10-year-olds.

Kianno is an actual 10-year-old living in a Hive. One day, on a Disney World-like ride, an accident sends his car plunging to the outside, and Kianno is presumed dead. Meanwhile, Seelin, an outsider 10-year-old gets lost and is claimed by Kianno’s parents to replace their son. The result is that the two boys unwittingly trade places.

Meanwhile, the elites discover how to live even longer, transplanting their brains into outsider children they kidnap. A revolution looms to thwart this immoral practice, and some elites have joined the outsiders in their fight.

Lavine delivers credible, imperfect protagonists. For example, the outsiders and elites sympathetic to their cause think nothing of killing innocent people to effect societal change. Adding to believability, the story is built on the idea of today’s sharp division between the “1%” and the rest of society.

The book’s only major issue is keeping Kianno and Seelin straight. While addressed by their assumed names, they think of and refer to themselves by their previous names, which can be confusing.

Nonetheless, ForeverChild is an entertaining offering and a welcome addition to the dystopian canon.

Also available as an ebook.

Author's Current Residence
Huntington, Vermont
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