The Legacy Human by Susan Kaye Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It's hard to write a review of this book without drawing a little comparison to The Hunger Games. Except that the goal of the annual creative Olympics is to choose the next four legacy humans to ascend - to become a human/machine hybrid that can live forever.
Elijah Brighton (Eli) desperately wants to ascend - just so that his mother can ascend with him and have access to the cure she needs for the illness that is ravaging her. Three problems stand in his way: his mother hates ascenders, his Ascender Patron won't sponsor him to the games, and he can't actually paint anything spectacular unless he falls into a fugue state - but he can't figure out how to do that at will.
When Eli miraculously finds a sponsor and makes it to Agon just a few days before the Games, he soon finds that the Ascenders themselves are playing games of their own - games that he may not survive.
In The Legacy Human, Quinn takes you into a world of dichotomies. It's hard to decide whether the post-Singularity world is a dystopian or a utopian one:
Those who have Ascended, embracing the gift of a nanotech-enhanced brain, have evolved into something better - infinitely more intelligent, enlightened, compassionate, empathetic, beautiful - just perfect in every way. And with all the tech at their disposal, they're more capable of taking care of Earth than ever.
The Legacy Humans, however, descendants of those who refused to ascend four generations ago, have lost the right to choose. They're preserved - cared for, fed, treasured - as the origins of the Ascenders, but the cities are ghetto-like and resources are severely limited.
And in the midst of this futuristic backdrop, Quinn draws her young adult readers to ask this age-old question: the question of your soul. Matthew 16:26 asks: "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" And whilst The Legacy Human doesn't answer that in spiritual terms, it places you in a world where you understand its relevance.
View all my reviews