Patricia Robinson’s Haven’ot puts a new spin on the dystopian novel by giving its characters hope that life can change, if only someone is willing to take the first step and accept the challenge.
All her life, Cassie Hill has understood Haven’ot to be a place where criminals and the useless deserved to be sent. In her home of Haven in the year 2108, technology takes care of all needs, creating a sterile paradise. But when she meets David, she learns about love and God — both of which are absent from life in Haven.
Cassie and David venture into Haven’ot in hopes of helping the people there. They befriend a group of inhabitants and decide to search for a new place to live. Meanwhile, their fathers have stumbled upon a frightening secret about why the dregs of society disappear. The men begin to understand the true nature of their town and rally others to their revolution.
This compelling tale questions how far technology today could take us, for better and for worse. While technology can benefit society — by preventing diseases or maintaining order and safety, for example — Robinson also posits how it could cause harm. At the climax, David and Cassie return as Haven faces a bacterial epidemic that advanced medicine cannot treat; however, the natural bitters and herbs that the duo brings with them from their new home are the perfect antidote.
While the story is engaging, there are minor grammatical errors throughout, mostly related to punctuation, and several scenes are too unrealistic to believe; the most egregious is the speed with which Cassie recovers from a brutal attack described as an “unspeakable violation to her mind and body” immediately upon entering Haven’ot.
Despite its flaws, Haven’ot serves as an interesting reminder about the nature of our humanity and a cautionary tale of what happens when we forget this essential truth.
Also available as an ebook.