Retina Boy

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
222 Pages
Reviewed on 12/04/2019
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Author Biography

Ben Shaberman’s books include: Retina Boy (fiction, publishing fall 2019), Jerry's Vegan Women (fiction) and The Vegan Monologues (collected essays), all of which were published by Apprentice House, Loyola University Maryland. His essays, articles, and commentaries have been carried by several prominent media outlets including: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Des Moines Register, VegNews, Sky and Telescope Magazine, and NPR. Shaberman’s fiction and creative non-fiction have been published in a number of journals and blogs including: The Artist Unleashed, Empty Mirror, Months to Years, The Good Men Project, and Clean Sheets Erotica Magazine. He earned a master of arts in writing (poetry) from Johns Hopkins University. Shaberman is the senior communications director and science writer at the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Retina Boy is a work of fiction in the science fiction genre written for young adults and was penned by author Ben Shaberman. The book is a standalone novel that explores the life of a young man born without retinas, a well-realized character formed by extensive research the author has done with aid from the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Alongside our hero is his similarly disabled girlfriend, with whom he must collaborate to save both the Earth and the alien planet from which he is surprised to learn he originates. There are some brief sexual content and occasional language appropriate to the YA genre during the novel.

One of the things which stands out most about author Ben Shaberman’s heartfelt novel is the commitment to authenticity in presenting the condition with which his protagonist has to live. The groundwork is clear in the research into the real day to day struggles of the conditions the kids live with, which makes for a huge impact of realism despite the super fun science fiction elements of the story which are also taking place. The adventure sits in great balance with the real-life messages, presenting a truly unique and interesting narrative viewpoint whilst also resulting in an exciting and engaging, well-rounded science fiction romp for teen readers at both ends of the age range. Overall, Retina Boy is a truly excellent work on many levels that is sure to be enjoyed by teens and their adult relatives alike: a highly recommended diverse read.