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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Custodians of the Future is a hopepunk sci-fi novel by X. Ho Yen. It's the year 2099. Irena Zuraw, a lunar habitation engineer and the new member of the Janitor Squad Fuj, is shocked to discover Thallium compounds in Stockholm's wastewater with her teammates. One of her teammates, Nycci, quickly proclaims that the virus was planted by the Canadian Space Agency, and the janitor squad sets off to exact revenge. But things aren't that simple and soon Irena and her team find themselves going after Buddhist monks, Luxembourger immigrants, and Swedish Nazis. To Irena's chagrin, her teammates have become irrevocably radicalized. It leads them down a path that places them on the wrong side of the authorities. Meanwhile, a 'gazillionaire' is hatching an insidious plot to attain even more power. Can Irena and her team get themselves out of this mess?
Author X. Ho Yen sets the story in a believably hopepunk futuristic setting to offer a poignant commentary on real-world issues we're facing today. Custodians of the Future is intricately plotted, action-packed, and thoroughly captivating from start to finish. The narrative plays out like a sleuth mystery, with lore excerpts at the beginning of each chapter that give readers additional information about the world and how it has evolved in the late 21st century. Each character has a well-defined personality and story arc that serves the plot perfectly. I was also impressed by Ho Yen's ability to showcase how the internet sways public opinion and, sometimes, radicalizes the general populace. In conclusion, this is a gripping sci-fi novel that readers who love hopepunk shouldn't miss out on.