The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor, a young adult thriller, tells of a future high-tech experiment gone awry amidst small-town and backcountry British Columbia, Canada.
Hawksmoor's narrative premise: The "Fortress," an isolated and secret supercomputer and server farm, taking control of teens gone missing from a fictional hick town of Spurlake might have seemed farfetched not that long ago ...
But if I had doubts about the power of
Hawkmoor's Fortress supercomputer, I only had to look at the April 2012
issue of Wired magazine. The
cover article, "Inside the Matrix," details what the U.S. National
Security Agency is up to now.
They'd building a computing center to intercept and store all phone
calls, emails, Google searches--any Internet traffic you care to name
in the world--with promises to hack encryption and build dossiers down
to the individual.
So, the creepy high-tech horror teenage couple Genie and Rian come up against, and fight to the final pages, is believable in its possession premise, as well as emotionally true and satisfying.
But more than a compulsively readable thriller narrative, I enjoyed the sensitive characterization Hawksmoor deploys.
Essential, of course, is the young couple finding first love in each other's eyes: Genie Munby (lively and psychically gifted) and Rian Tulane (resourceful and chivalrous). Wisely, Hawskmoor avoids a physical relationship for these fifteen-year-olds: far too much of a distraction from the real story.
Enough strong antagonists to keep things on the boil, especially evil, hypocritical, and dissembling Reverend Schneider, head of Spurlake's Church of the Free Spirits. Toss in malevolent employees at the Fortress and a few needy, rigid parents who know how to kill teenage spirit.
But my favorite was Marshall--an older, one-legged apple farmer, who takes Genie and Rian under his wing. Marshall knows the worlds of good and evil, having once worked at the Fortress with enthusiasm for the ambitious goal of their experimentation. But not on human subjects, so he withdraws to farming and will protect the young couple.
Teenage readers will also appreciate The Repossessed for a contemporary feel of dialogue and attitudes and up-to-date reference to our digital lives--even electric Leaf cars we might drive.
In sum, The Repossession features multi-dimensional appeal and a shattering conflict of good and evil in the backcountry of British Columbia. A sequel--The Hunting--is due from Hodder later this year.
The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor, Hodder Children's Books, London, 2012, 504 pp, ISBN: 978-0-340-99708-6.
Read Charlie Dickinson's
story collection, The Cat
at Light's End, as an ebook in these downloadable
.epub (most other readers)
.pdf (for PCs)
7:25:13 Le Havre by Kaurismaki
7:20:13 This Ain't California
6:27:13 The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, a book review
5.29.13 My Linux (Mis)Adventures
5.25.13 Southern Cross the Dog, a book review
5.5.13 Russian Tumbleweed
4:16:13 "The Machine Stops" by E. M. Forster
3.25.13 Moore's Law
3:13:13 Grocery Shopping
2:28:13 Razor Blade in Moonlight
1:27:13 Made in Russia: Unsung Icons of Soviet Design, a book review
12:9:12 White Bread, a book review
12:4:12 Update on Old-School Shaving
11:12:12 Ten Great Buys at Dollar Tree
11:6:12 My New Russian Camera
10:29:12 Leaf Day
10:2:12 The Russian Navy in New York?
9:21:12 The Righteous Mind, a book review
9:14:12 Revolution, 1989, a book review
8:23:12 Train Whistles in the Night
8:2:12 Why I've Stockpiled Light Bulbs
7:22:12 Old-School Shaving
7:16:12 Злектроника МК-52, computer de minimus
7:4:12 Ivan's Childhood by Tarkovsky
6:21:12 The Unabomber, a modern Thoreau?
6:12:12 Do the gods exist?
6:7:12 My "Retail Therapy"
5:28:12 On Taxes, We Should Go Green
5:17:12 Portland's Trash
5:6:12 The Toaster Project, a book review
4:24:12 No Seconds
4:12:12 Portland's Runaway Utility Bill
4:8:12 The Repossession, a book review
3:30:12 How I Got Published in Mississippi Review
3:9:12 The End of Money, a book review
2:18:12 Beauty Plus Pity, a book review
2:5:12 Kirk's Castile Soap
1:29:12 Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer, a book review
1:22:12 Thirst, a book review
1:17:12 My IBM ThinkPad 1999-2012
1:11:12 String Beans
12:22:11 Spiritual TMJ
12:16:11 1Q84, a book review
12:11:11 How Portland Became Portlandia
12:1:11 The Fixie
11:20:11 Camus' Insight
11:13:11 Old & Worthy
11:7:11 Life Is Tragic
10:31:11 A Matter of Death and Life, a book review
10:25:11 Dead Letter, Email Fatigue
10:18:11 Reinventing Collapse, a book review
10:11:11 Rereading Pirsig
10:1:11 The Sisters Brothers, a book review
9:26:11 The Great Stagnation, a book review
9:16:11 Coffee, The Affordable Luxury
9:12:11 The Genius of Value
9:5:11 Death and the Penguin, a book review