A Novel of the Future

Fiction - Science Fiction
317 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

ForeverChild: A Novel of the Future by Mark Lavine is a stirring dystopian tale about a future that has learned nothing from the past. The world has changed as a result of scientific advancements. Life expectancy, for one, has been extended. The forever children are being maintained in a state of perpetual youth and are housed in the tight security of giant hives. This has caused a sharp social divide between those living in the hives and those living naturally and fending for themselves. Kianno and Seelin belong in opposite worlds - one is a forever child while the other is a child growing up in a world of social unrest. As they both witness the evils of their respective environments, they will trade places to liberate the underprivileged and rescue kidnapped children being subjected to experimentation.

In the spirit of Brave New World, Mark Lavine has written a compelling science fiction tale with a strong message delivered in a pristine narrative style. The world depicted in ForeverChild is not worth embracing, but the struggles of the characters in it are thought-provoking and entertaining. Lavine has consciously chosen a storyline that shows how contemporary social issues can have an impact on the future and how society will fail if it continues to serve the interests of the ruling order. The concept of the giant hives evokes a stylish and cold world that Lavine has created to complement his theme. This may be a world based on control and idealism, but corruption and discrimination make it devoid of humanity. The subtext embraces an evergreen philosophy that will remain relevant for many years to come. The book is hard-hitting in the way it delves into authoritarianism, liberation, and experimentation. We want to believe that we have freedom of choice, and this must-read work will remind you why.

Steven Robson

ForeverChild by Mark Lavine, as the name suggests, is a glimpse into a dystopian future where the relentless pursuit of longevity by humanity has led to a caste system where two types of existence live in tenuous proximity. The forever children live in a halted growth state to maintain their bodies for extremely long lives and are the dominant force. Outsiders live natural lives and originate from outcast prisoners, and they struggle to survive under the harsh laws imposed on them. This is a tale of the struggles faced by individuals from both sides as they wrestle with their consciences and love for each other and family and try to reconcile these against the disparate conditions that exist for humans who should all be living as equals.

One thing above all others sets ForeverChild apart from any other book I have read; Mark Lavine has crafted a climax to this fabulous story that is not only gut-wrenching but refreshingly new. When this was revealed, the emotional upheaval I experienced is something that still lingers. Thinking of this situation, and the inner conflicts of Sofia, Jaslo, Kianno, and perhaps even the slight presence of Mistissa, will leave readers in total turmoil; the force this carries can only be described as shocking, and in this case, the word is definitely not overused. The characters are unique, very human, and exist within relationships that are quite real and deep. No one can read ForeverChild without being moved by the tragedies that befall Seelin and Kianno, and perhaps more so for Sofia. For readers looking for high-quality, easy-to-read futuristic drama, this story comes with my highest recommendation.

K.C. Finn

ForeverChild: A Novel of the Future is a work of fiction in the science fiction and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is suitable for the general teen and adult reading audiences and was penned by author Mark Lavine. Set three centuries in the future, this book depicts a world in which society has been divided into two groups: those whose life expectancy is now many times what it should be for a human and those who must live without this advancement. Following Kianno and Seelin, two children who swap their lives and must learn to survive in the other world, their journey sees them embroiled in the endless struggle between the two castes as fate continues to pull them together.

The unique premise of this book allows us a fascinating lens to explore the relationship between those in society who have everything they need and those who do not. As the two characters make the most of their new worlds, the pull they feel toward each other and learning about the lives they were supposed to have lived creates the basis for some searing social commentary. Mark Lavine doesn’t waste an ounce of the story’s potential in reflecting on our current social situation. With an imaginative world devised for the story, lead characters Kianno and Seelin serve as the perfect protagonists for exploring the world and its ideas as the two discover what was taken from them and come to terms with the lives they were forced to live. Overall, ForeverChild is an exciting book that isn’t to be missed and one with a compelling narrative and original, relevant ideas at its heart.