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{November 8, 2012}   {ARC Review} The Future We Left Behind by Mike A. Lancaster

From Goodreads: Thousands of years in the future the divide between humanity and technology has become nearly unrecognizable. Each thought, each action is logged, coded, backed up. Data is as easily exchanged through the fiber-optic-like cables that extend from fingertips as it might be through ordinary conversation. It’s a brave new world: A world that the Straker Tapes say is a result of many human “upgrades.” But no one is sure whether the Straker Tapes are a work of fiction or an eerie peek into an unimaginable past.

Nearly sixteen-year-old Peter Vincent has been raised to believe that everything that the backward Strakerites cling to is insane–an utter waste of time and potential. Since his father is David Vincent, genius inventor of the artificial bees that saved the world’s crops and prevented massive famine, how could Peter believe anything else?

But when Peter meets Alpha, a Strakerite his own age, suddenly the theories about society-upgrades don’t sound quite so crazy, especially when she shows him evidence that another upgrade is imminent. And worse, there may be a conspiracy by the leaders of the establishment to cover it up. A conspiracy spearheaded by Peter’s own father.

Gripping and full of unexpected twists, The Future We Left Behind takes the unsettling questions raised in Human.4, and flips them entirely. What if we knew that the very way we live was about to be changed in an instant, and we could stop it? And what if everything we are sure we know is entirely wrong?

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This novel had a very interesting premise and I liked that, though it’s a series novel, I didn’t have to read the first book to understand what was happening.  I find that most novels in a series, nowadays, demand knowledge of the previous books in order to make any sense of the plot, and it was nice to be able to just pick up a book in a series and not have to backtrack to follow the story.

This is like an alien/dystopian/romance/sci-fi kind of read, and that was a little weird to get used to at first, especially as I found the beginning to be a bit on the slow side.  But, the novel quickly picked up and I enjoyed getting to know Peter and Alpha, as well as the mystery surrounding the Straker Tapes.  Peter’s world isn’t one I’d like to live in, with technology taking the forefront and “frivolous” literature being looked down upon (I’d be out of a job in this future realm).  The fact that technology has such a huge hold over humanity, and their lack of thought concerning this, was really somewhat creepy in the sense that they didn’t seem to have any thoughts of their own.  Of course, this is where the upgrades and alien/scifi information comes into play, but even so, it’s definitely not the world for me, though I did enjoy reading about it.

Peter has some pretty big shoes to fill as his father believes Peter will take over the lab and continue his great work as a scientist, but Peter isn’t like all the other kids, which is why I liked him so much.  While others tend to walk around in a daze, allowing their memories to be wiped, Peter fights back upon stumbling onto the truth.  And, I found this really enjoyable… to a point.  Then I sort of lost my way in the book, as it were.  Things began happening very quickly and I just couldn’t follow everything, especially with all the technical terms.  My imagination isn’t too vivid, you see, and so I can read a book and really enjoy it, but if it’s something I can’t imagine in my head, sometimes I get confused, and I think that’s what happened in this novel.  Everything was great until about the last twenty percent of the novel where I wasn’t sure exactly what the characters were discussing anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I got the main gist, but it was hard for me to understand what was happening to Peter as he ran around the lab trying to stop the “evil” coming towards earth.  I don’t know; it’s probably just me, but I couldn’t wrap my head around the ending, either.  Hopefully you’ll have an easier time understanding the terminology and visualizing it.  Three stars.

Egmont USA has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on November 13, 2012.

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I liked Peter a lot better than the main character ‘Kyle’ in the first book. To be honest I thought that this was quite a bit better than the first one. The technology in this one was a bit more advanced though. You’re totally right about not needing to read the first one to read this one though, which is good.



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