THE GOODNESS GENE by Sonia Levitin

THE GOODNESS GENE

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A didactic dystopia ponders big issues: nature versus nurture, and the existence of souls. In 2207, Will lives in sterile luxury in a totalitarian Dominion of the Americas. Supremely content with his privileged status, his high-tech pleasures and his rivalry with his twin, charismatic Will hones his gift for propaganda and prepares to inherit supreme power from their father. But when his friendship with low-status Leora blossoms during a tour of her provincial district, Will is forced to confront shocking truths about his parents—and about himself. Questions of personal identity, destiny and free will are of perennial interest to adolescents, and the post-apocalyptic setting is intriguing, if hardly plausible. Will starts out as callow, even unlikable, allowing him to learn and mature. But the remaining characters are one-dimensional props, either nauseatingly kind, tolerant and noble role models, or vicious thugs, hypocritical dupes and tyrants all but twirling villainous mustaches. Still, teen readers will enjoy teasing out the historical parallels and wondering “what if,” making this an excellent choice for book discussions. (Science fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-525-47397-1
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2005




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