Sunday, February 27, 2011
GRACE is not necessarily a dystopian - in fact, when I spoke to the author about it last May, she confirmed that it wasn't written as a dystopian. It's a story that could very well happen today in one of the many oppressive societies around the world.
The basic premise is this: Grace has been raised to be a suicide bomber and to die showing despot Keran Berj that the People will never be ruled by him. Once she is given her assignment however, she chooses to live instead and has to go on the run. The story takes place mainly in a dilapidated train car with Grace sitting next to "her brother" Kerr, a young man also trying to escape. During the train ride, Grace forms an uneasy bond with Kerr as they recall the horrors that brought them both to this point.
GRACE is a very dark story. Both Grace and Kerr are killers, their minds warped by propaganda from both sides. They've lived through sexual abuse, ostracism, starvation, cruelty. They've be programmed to live for others ideals, and they've both decided to be selfish, to live for themselves and to stay alive no matter the cost.
Scott limits her scope to these two broken souls and the barest of pertinent details. It's an effective choice - by not diluting Grace's story, it hits harder. Still, I did find myself wishing for a bit more (especially towards the end). Similiar to LIVING DEAD GIRL (Scott's spare novel about a kidnap victim), GRACE is not going to appeal to the squeamish. But those who don't shy away from the darker, deeper questions of the human condition will find much to think about and discuss here.
GRACE is available in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author's website.
See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore