Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Age Of The Conglomerates-

The Age Of The Conglomerates
Thomas Nevins
Ballantine, Aug 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9780375503917

In 2048, the Conglomerates political party led by the mythical "Chairman" runs the country based on one commandment: strict enforcement of economic law using force. The country has been divided into zones of sorts; the octogenarian "Coots" live in Cootsland enforced retirement camps in the southwest out of sight and not draining society while out of control young runaway "Dyscards" live in the New York City subways.

New York Medical Center, director of genetic contouring Dr. Christine Salter feels strongly that she and her team provide an important public service when they assist people in trouble by recreating them or their children using genetic manipulation. However, her perfectly balanced world collapses starting with her top aide Gabriel Cruz vanishing after being accused of seditious crimes against the state. Her grandparents turning eighty are deported from the mainland to "Cootsland," and her sister runs away becoming a Dyscard. All this makes Christine reexamine what she does at the same time she begins to uncover a nefarious disturbing conspiracy to tighten the Conglomerates control of society starting with “youthenizing” the Chairman.

Combining the premises of 1984, Logan’s Run and Soylent Green, Thomas Nevins provides a grim future of a genetic contoured world. The story line is fast-paced, but owned by Christine who had always thought her work as valuable to people until recent societal events shake her to her core. Although the Conglomerates comes across sort of like an extremely evil Maoist Communist Party, readers will enjoy this fine thriller starring a reformed David-ette battling Goliath.

Harriet Klausner