I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
What would happen to the human race if a plague killed over half of the world's population? None of the possibilities I've thought of before compare to what happens in Mirror X. I was surprised and even shocked at how creative this novel is in mixing light science fiction with a dystopian theme. I'm a little jealous, too, but the great news is, I got an awesome book to read.
First of all, I must confess I'm never going to get tired of reading dystopian novels. I love how this genre jump starts my thinking about society, human nature, and social and political issues. Mirror X reminds me of 1984 with the heavy surveillance and monitoring of the citizens - in what I felt to be a nod to the classic novel, Cassie, the main character, mentions it when she finds out more about the society she's woken up in.
When Cassie wakes up from her frozen state, it's the 31st century, over a thousand years after an accident that caused her to be brain dead. She finds out her grandfather had her cryogenically frozen in case future technology developed to regenerate brain function.
I felt her intense frustration at waking up in a society vastly different from the one she lived in. I felt her loneliness at the realization she's the only one who has survived from her time - everyone she knew and loved have been long dead. I felt her longing for her family and her intense sadness knowing she would never see them again. I think I'd be angry, at least at first.
Society has changed in many ways from the one she remembers. After a plague swept the planet and killed over half the population, the survivors rebuilt as best they could. But no one studies history any longer, space exploration has been abandoned, the phrase "life is precious" is constantly repeated, and everyone is expected to wear a bracelet that pretty much does everything, including allowing the government to track your every movement.
I don't want to tell you what it is the geneticists want from Cassie in case you don't already have an idea. In my opinion, it would give away too much of the shock value once you do find out. I will say that Mirror X had me thinking about the lengths people will go to in order to avoid death and how scary it would be if the human race died out. Some think death is the end of everything, others see it as one of many stages, and yet others believe it's only the beginning.
Deep down, I think we all fear the end of our species. It's why we keep reproducing and doing our best to make the world a better place for our offspring. Mirror X is engaging, thought provoking, and relevant to the society we live in. Mirror X could very well end up being a novel listed as a choice to read in high school classrooms right alongside classics such as 1984 and Brave New World.