CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 18. . . .May 2, 2008
The setting is the future. Disease has swept the planet, reducing mankind to surviving in a small number of closed societies living in cities. Icaria, the largest city in North America, is located on the shores of what was once Lake Ontario. Julie Crane, her husband Daniel and their 11-year-old daughter Angel live in exile out on the heath, a desolate area. Their only friend and neighbour in this wilderness is Aard, a survivalist. The family fled the city of Icaria after Julie was accused of several crimes, including murder, but also as being the source of Darwin's disease. Darwin is an artificially created virus that was designed as a boon for mankind. Instead, it turned into a curse. Julie's father was Darwin's creator. Julie was the first carrier of the disease, deliberately infected at age five. Julie survived the disease and is a veemeld, one of the persons whose genetic make-up allows them to communicate directly with the city's A.I. network through a retinal scan. One of her best friends in Icaria was SAM, her A.I. mentor. Once she fled the city, she lost contact with SAM. Julie learns that her family is now in danger because someone from Icaria has discovered their hiding place. In order to keep her husband and daughter safe, she has decided to run off into the wilderness on her own to lure the danger away from the family. When her husband and daughter discover her missing, Angel convinces Daniel they should set off in pursuit. Julie is captured and taken to Icaria. Daniel and Angel make their own way to the city where they become separated. Icaria is torn between several factions. There is a power struggle for control among the ruling inhabitants, an underground rebellion against the machines that run the city, and the dangerous virus that may have become intelligent. All the factions consider Julie a suitable pawn; failing that, they would use the members of her family as bait.
The story revolves around this power struggle. There is conflict between the various characters and their motives, and passions, including a rape scene. The writer covers issues from marital problems to teenage rebels. The city of Icaria is described in detail. Beyond the struggle for the control of the city is the background of the disease, Darwin, and its potential impact on the evolution of humankind. Julie Crane is the key to both situations.
Ronald Hore, involved with writer's groups and workshops for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.