Amazingly Inventive and Compelling Science Fiction

Reviewed: 8/4/16

Overall ♥♥♥♥♥   Performance  ♥♥♥♥♥   Story  ♥♥♥♥♥

I was one of the fortunate readers who had access to two parts of Tony Bertauski’s fascinating saga and thus jumped on the opportunity to get the full story. Foreverland Boxed in all its sections is original, frightening, suspenseful and provocative science fiction. What if we had the capacity to wipe the frontal lobes of young persons with few resources and social ties and let the richest 1% take over young bodies when their own bodies are sick, old, or not beautiful enough?

Recently I re-read two of my favorite sf classics, This Perfect Day by Ira Levin and Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. What makes these books timeless is the way they focus on attributes of human nature that never change: our drive for power, comfort, wealth, and security. And what happens when someone questions these values, and the way they are achieved? Unlike all other species, we are the one animal with an uneasy relationship with our environment and members of our own human race. We have yet to find a socioeconomic solution that takes care of everyone’s needs–and in the process of seeking this solution, we have committed unforgivable atrocities.

Greed in all its forms is the true villain in Foreverland. Greed for youth, greed for a longer life, greed for fame and recognition–as well as the traditional greed for things…more and better things than the neighbors. Extreme wealth does give its possessors power over the less wealthy, and unfortunately wisdom is not a prerequisite to wealth. In three sections, this thriller explores a development worse than slavery or the trade in body parts–rich old men, rich old women, and a “Foundation” of dubious distinction begin a body translation process all too terrifying in its potential reality.

Tony Bertauski creates rich sensory worlds where even the inhabitants can’t distinguish the “created” from “reality.” Resistance leads to torture and death. As in all good literature, we understand the desires of the “bad guys” even if we can’t tolerate them…we are forced to question what we would do, given the money and a chronic fatal illness? Bertauski also narrates, and the power of his quiet, almost intimate voice in your mind makes the plot’s unfolding even more explosive.

All too often, the current dystopias lack adequate scientific underpinnings and seem to tell the same three stories: we have destroyed Earth and need another planet, aliens want our planet so we need to fight them and/or find another planet, or we are just on the verge of destroying Earth so we make last-ditch efforts to rescue what’s left of humanity and the planet. This dystopia based on social dysfunction is intense and compelling without aliens or space battles. I give Foreverland Boxed five stars–you won’t be able to put it down.

“The Author/Narrator provided this book in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.”


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