A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first one I am reading in The Age of Amy series by Bruce Edwards. I was very impressed with the way Edwards has woven in political and social realities and views together and has beaded them into a young adult setting. It's hard to classify this book as merely "young adult" as this deals strongly with the author's socio-political stance, political realism, existentialism and science fiction. Amy, the 16-year-old precocious protagonist doesn't attempt to veil her disdain at anything flamboyant, extravagant or showy. Completely fed up with the lifestyle that her parents adore, replete with a full mansion-like house, innumerable gadgets (reminds one of the Richie Rich animated episodes) and an almost-nil human interaction. Amy yearns for the kind of life from the 1960s, when she believes people actually had time for others. She stumbles upon a channel -- Channel '63 that promises to take people right back to the 1960s. The theme park attraction, Theme Farm, lets people watch and interact with people from back then. Amy finds herself falling for Clifford from 1963. Theme Farm is run by genetically engineered creatures called Fritterz. These creatures are humans, morphed with animal heads, infused with the intellect of humans and the instincts of the animals whose heads they are morphed with.
The plot is complicated and touches upon many plot lines at once. It's clear that the author has tried to steer away from making this a scientifically driven book - science fiction plays a minimal part, although the idea of the channel, the theme park and the genetic engineering are all elements of science. The author has tried to not lose focus from the political scenarios under the scanner in the book and has succeeded at it. The pace is at times pretty fast, the narration talks of completely incredible situations - the reality show called "The Itch Factor" for instance - but they all seem to go with the deliberate impact the author aims to have. This is certainly an interesting book and refreshingly original. I recommend this to lovers of books with bigger-than-reality themes.
My rating for this book: 3.5 stars