It’s been decades since I read feminist literature like, e.g., ‘Egalia’s Daughters’ by Gerd Brantenberg. I haven’t thought of the premise of a matriarchal society for a very long time, so this book came as quite a surprise.
Where in the books I read back then women and men only had switched roles, so to say, Adam Boostrom is taking it one step further: men don’t exist any more on earth. The whole population is female, and they are doing well.
However, some females want to bring back males, because they have fond memories, because they’re curious, or because they don’t feel complete without a male counterpart.
A renowned scientist is tasked with creating a genome that is resistant to the virus which killed all males five decades ago.
The catch is: somebody stole the genome before its completion.
Enter our heroine: young Athena Vosh.
She is somehow connected to the theft, and gets summoned before the AI who knows everything, and who is responsible for the well-being of the population — alas, the AI isn’t allowed to make decisions regarding life or death, which is why she needs somebody who is allowed to do this.
Athena agrees to help finding the thief, hoping she’ll at last find a purpose in life, and maybe even excel.
But things don’t quite turn out the way Athena had hoped. She makes acquaintances, and her dreams lead her in a direction I wasn’t sure was beneficial for ‘womanity’ — would she open Pandora’s box?
The characters are well formed out, and the world is fascinating and vividly described. I loved the occasional advertisements throughout the book, as well as the description of all the technical achievements this future holds.
I’m not sure I’d want any of that — well, maybe the massage thing — and I certainly don’t know what choice I’d make were I in Athena’s shoes.
From where I stand now, the choice would be simple, because I have two sons and a grandson (and I had a brother), but if I had grown up without ever knowing any males…
This books combines various subjects: a coming of age story, a utopia, a bit of dystopia, and a future which still seems like science fiction now, but is looming around the corner, what with all the scientific and technological advances humanity has made.
There are enough twists to keep you listening (or reading), and the outcome is totally unexpected.
It gives food for thought, and will certainly stay with me for some time to come.
The narrator does an excellent job, and I especially enjoyed the way she narrated the advertisements. Her enunciation was very good, so that even I, as a non-native speaker, had absolutely no trouble understanding every word.
I received a complimentary copy and I chose to willingly post an honest review.