Author: K. Makansi
Genre: thriller, science fiction
Published: August 19 2013
Source: TLC Book Tours for review
The Famine may be over, but the Resistance has just begun.
When Remy Alexander is fifteen, her older sister is murdered in a cold-blooded classroom massacre. When the Okarian Sector hides the truth behind the attack, Remy's family goes underground to join the clandestine and growing Resistance movement. Now, three years later, Remy is beginning to find clues about why her sister was murdered. But at the same time, Valerian Orlean, the boy Remy once loved, is put in charge of hunting and destroying the Resistance. As Vale fights to protect his people and Remy seeks justice for her sister, the two are set on a collision course that could bring everyone together - or tear everything apart.
THE SOWING, the first book in The SEEDS Trilogy, is set in a post-apocalyptic world. In the wake of environmental destruction and a devastating population crash, the Okarian Sector was forced to fight to establish a civil society in a chaotic world. After the loss of seed biodiversity in the destruction of the Old World, genetic modification and artificial agricultural techniques are the Sector’s only choice. Science reigns supreme. The Okarian Agricultural Consortium, a corporation dedicated to perfecting these modified seeds and providing only the best food and medicine to its citizens, becomes the government’s most important arm. But even the purest gold is tarnished over time, and the Sector’s noble goals devolve into manipulation, control, and oppression.
Written by the mother-daughter writing team of Kristy, Amira, and Elena Makansi, this debut post-apocalyptic thriller features romance, enduring friendships, edge-of-your-seat action, and heart-wrenching betrayal.
A smaller novel not much heard of, The Sowing would likely appeal to fans of the popular dystopian-ish novels like the Hunger Games, or Divergent. It focuses on young adult (at the end of their teens/early twenties) struggling against a system that not everyone is aware is corrupt. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? It should, because it is. And while The Sowing is certainly readable and does a few things of its own invention, it remains reminiscent of a hundred YA novels before it and a hundred more to come after it.
Like a lot of YA that focuses on a new or different version of the world, The Sowing's version of worldbuilding is scarce. There are some details revealed about the world before; things like the "Religious Wars" and the "Famine Years" are brought up but never explained. We know there are such countries as the Russian European Federation, or the Chinese Collective or the South American Alliance, but that's all we really are told. Where is The Sector? What exactly happened that lead to such a drastic restructuring of the world? Your guess is as good as mine and I just finished the novel.
There are mentions of a few things that seem truly creative and tech-ish -- the personal airships being one and the C-Link Valerian uses being the other. Unfortunately, the airships play a negligible part in anything that happens and the C-Link ("Demeter") isn't used for anything revelatory. There is some potential to the world and ideas that these authors have created, there's just not enough information supplied to make it seem like a viable system. The science in involved at the heart of the plot feels similarly flimsy. I was half-buying what the authors are trying to sell, but at the end of the day, it's just not enough.
Character-wise, there's not much to speak of. Remy is the main character, a girl who has essentially lost her family to the Sector and who is reasonable intelligent and able to take care of herself. There's Valerian, her former boyfriend, whose mom may be implicated in the death of Remy's older sister and a teacher who had knowledge the Sector didn't like. The supporting cast -- from Jahnu to Soren -- fill out the bare bones of personality. No one is particularly well-drawn, but they do well as a group. The lines between good guy and bad guy can get blurred and that is the highlight as far as people are concerned.
I'm not sure if I would choose to pursue this series, but that's mostly because I am over and done with dystopias. People who are less burned out on this type of thriller would find a lot to enjoy in The Sowing. It's a madcap rush of action and conspiracies, and it can be pretty smart. It's just not a book for me right now.