Book Review: “The Future We Left Behind”

“The Future We Left Behind” by Mike Lancaster

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Science Fiction

Other books: Human.4

Source: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:

Thousands of years in the future the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It’s a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a result of many human “upgrades.” But no one is sure whether the Straker Tapes are a work of fiction or an eerie peek into an unimaginable past.

Nearly sixteen-year-old Peter Vincent has been raised to believe that everything that the backward Strakerites cling to is insane–an utter waste of time and potential. Since his father is David Vincent, genius inventor of the artificial bees that saved the world’s crops and prevented massive famine, how could Peter believe anything else?

But when Peter meets Alpha, a Strakerite his own age, suddenly the theories about society-upgrades don’t sound quite so crazy, especially when she shows him evidence that another upgrade is imminent. And worse, there may be a conspiracy by the leaders of the establishment to cover it up. A conspiracy spearheaded by Peter’s own father.

Gripping and full of unexpected twists, The Future We Left Behind takes the unsettling questions raised in Human.4, and flips them entirely. What if we knew that the very way we live was about to be changed in an instant, and we could stop it? And what if everything we are sure we know is entirely wrong?

This book is scheduled to be released November 13, 2012.

review

Okay, I’ll admit it. While I was extremely excited to read this book, I was pretty annoyed that it didn’t pick up right after book one. We pick up 1000+ years later. Uhh, that’s a long time. SO much has changed. I wanted to know what happened with Kyle and friends. WHAT HAPPENED?! After I started reading, I realized I was wrong and it’s so much better this way. We know what happened in book one. Even though we don’t know the specifics of what happened in the 1000+ years between the two books, we know that people were being upgraded.

Let’s talk about the idea of people being upgraded like technology. How cool and scary is that idea? We live in a time where technology is moving incredibly fast. Our computers, phones, iPods, and other gadgets are constantly being updated. You buy the newest and greatest thing and 6 months later there’s a better edition out. Take that idea and apply it to humans. In this universe, humans are nothing more than a piece of technology. Upgrades happens frequently and if you miss an update…sucks for you. You’re no longer compatible with the world! You fall to the wayside where you are forgotten and people can no longer perceive you because you’re out of dated technology. Talk about terrifying!

The technology is awesome. It reminded me of the technology from Pretties and Extras by Scott Westerfeld but a lot more advanced and awesome. Once you get past the fact that the technology is invasive and a bit creepy, it’s kind of fun to imagine. You’re able to search online, chat with your friends, and download new clothes within seconds just by thinking it.

The story itself was great. It wasn’t boring and predictable. I got to sit back and enjoy the ride. I loved the mystery and conspiracy elements to the story. It was unexpected but completely perfect. Peter and Alpha were both enjoyable enough characters. I really appreciated that there wasn’t annoying insta-love with them. Yes, they liked each other but they knew that the fate of the world was a bit more important than their crush.

The bottom line? A fantastic sequel to Human.4. I really hope Lancaster continues the story.

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