Susan Kaye Quinn
The Legacy Human
(cover art by Dale Robert Pease)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2015)
Paperback £ 8.99 (UK)
What would you give to live forever? Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender — a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid — after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rain forest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
This is my first book tour/review, and though I thought the premise of the book seemed fascinating, it’s always difficult to tell just by the cover and the synopsis whether you’ll really like a book. Luckily it did like the book, in fact I LOVED it and I need to get my hands on the sequel (The Duality Bridge) asap!
Before going any further, you should probably know that this will a seven books series, that excludes the prequel, as well as the novellas. Quite a commitment, but the first one is definitely worth it!
Writing Style: like most YA novels, the story is very fast-paced and events occur continuously. There is never a dull moment. The writing style reflects this, it’s easy to read, which makes the book a fast read. Personally, my favorite kind of YA novel. There were only two specific sentences in the whole book that bothered me. The first one is one of those cliché sentences that are found in all the YA novels nowadays: “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding” (p. 152/279 epub). The second one was a Dutch sentence: “Dit is waar je zult vinden de meeste en de natuurlijkste beweeglijkheid” (p. 183/279 epub). I don’t know who checked this sentence, but it can’t have been a native speaker, as the Dutch break up their verbs and put them at the end of the sentence. No one would say it this way. “Dit is waar je de meeste en de natuurlijkste beweeglijkheid zult vinden” would be better. There’s a couple of lines in French as well, but not being able to read that (not really) I’m not one to judge whether that was in fact correct. Besides those two short sentences however, I could find no fault with Quinn’s writing style.
Story line: this was one of the most interesting dystopian story-lines I’ve read in a while (besides the one from Thea Beckman). The interplay between humans and ascenders is fascinating. There is the obvious assumption by ascenders that because they’re ascended they’re simply better than regular humans. They’re faster, stronger, more sensitive and so on. And therefore of course better than humans. The main character agrees with this vision, which is why he wants to ascend. There are themes of oppression, discrimination, love, trust, and identity. All these are worked out amazingly and work beautifully together.
Characters: I’m sure we haven’t seen all there is to most of the characters yet. It was already fascinating to see however, how most of these characters all had their own agendas and acted on those independently of the other characters. Sometimes the agendas would overlap and they could work together. It was great to see such complex characters in a YA novel. I can’t wait to read and learn more about all of them, especially Eli.