Today on the blog, I have a review of Forever Human by Ian E. Slatter. I decided to read this novel after hosting a Q&A with Mr. Slatter a few weeks ago as part of a Silver Dagger Book Tour. In the Q&A, the author stated that he carefully plans out his stories. Being a planner myself, I was intrigued and found the blurb enticing, so I decided to give Forever Human a read.
An intriguing prologue fuels a suspenseful storyline in this cautionary tale.
Forever Human is a cautionary tale about a colony ship transporting the embryos of the last remaining humans to an Earth-like planet where humanity can have a second chance. The reader joins the crew as they near their new home. The entire crew is roughly eighteen years old and has been brought into the world, raised, and educated by robots. On the surface, everything is going swimmingly, but the reader knows something is amiss—hundreds of years ago, an agent of a clandestine organization sacrificed his life to hide a message in a robot for future humans. The reader doesn't know what the message contains but knows it will likely upset the young adults' seemingly bucolic and carefree lives. Indeed, the intrigue and suspense created by the prologue kept this reader turning pages even when the narrative slipped from cautionary to preachy.
Overall, I wasn't overly turnoffed by the author's proselytizing. The message of facts over falsehoods was handled well enough, if not with aplomb. Some readers might be turned off by the preachiness. Sticklers for grammar, be forewarned. This book would benefit from a solid copy edit and proofreading.
Forever Human is an enjoyable sci-fi that will appeal to YA readers despite its foibles. The characters felt genuine, and the suspense is top-shelf. I found myself wondering until the very end how the plot would resolve. Unfortfunately, the finale is rushed and a downer. Personally, I would have appreciated a more drawn out and hopeful conclusion. Still, the end fits the storyline.