Sunday, July 3, 2011

Tankborn by Karen Sandler

Kayla is a GEN - Genetically Engineered Non-human.  In the caste system, GENS are the lowest you can get.  When Kayla turns 15, like every other GEN she's Assigned to a particular job that she has been engineered for.  In Kayla's case, she has strength and she is sent to care for Zul Manel, a wealthy trueborn who seems to know more about Kayla than is possible.  Kayla's tank sister Mishalla is Assigned as a lowborn nurturer, but the children she cares for keep being taken by the Brigade in the night.  Both Kayla and Mishalla become involved in trying to solve a dangerous conspiracy, which leads to more questions than answers.

This was an interesting book in an interesting world, but it was a world that I still didn't understand by the end.  I still wasn't clear exactly what the planet was like and the universe they lived in.  I didn't have an understanding of the government and how things worked.  And those might not be the most important things, but I like to understand the world when I'm reading fantasy or science fiction.  A solid understanding of the world makes what happens in that world make more sense.  So I had a little trouble with that.

Lots of spoilers coming up.

Before both Kayla and Mishalla are sent on their Assignment, they are both given a special upload through their GEN facial tattoo, which gives them information about how they need to help with some kind of secret mission they don't understand.  And no one explains anything.  For like, forever.  Even the people who are suppose to be helping the GENs and helping the lowborn children who are being stolen and turned into GENs weren't filling in any of the GENs they'd involved.  And that confused me too.

Zul wanted to fixed what he'd started, which was creating the GENs in the first place and making it possible for them to be enslaved.  But he totally, totally used them without their permission.  Kayla kind of vaguely brings up this point, but Zul's just like "Well, you didn't have to help."  But...yeah.  They kind of did.  Because you uploaded stuff into them, without their permission.  You gave them pieces of technology that if anyone had caught them with, they could have been severely punished.  You removed them from the Grid (which tracks all GEN movement) without warning them or explaining what was happening, something else they could have been severely punished for.  One of the GENs that was carrying something for you got caught and reset.  So for all the Kinship's high-minded idea about setting the GENs free, they used them like everyone else did.  Was that on purpose?  I wasn't sure.

There was also the whole idea that GENs aren't non-human at all!  But we've invented this thing that will unGEN you so you don't have to be a GEN anymore.  That was a bit of a mixed message.  There's nothing wrong with you, you're just as human as everyone else, but if you don't have to be a GEN, why would you?

This is clearly set up to be a series, and I'm interested to see where it will go.

Tankborn will be available in September.

1 comment:

  1. It did not read your spoilers but the first blurb sounds pretty interesting. Added it to my to-read list on GR :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...