I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I could imagine The Artful being made into a black and white movie like a Frank Miller graphic novel. Think Sin City, which is really fitting here because that's what NYC has become with the Tower Babies living their lavish lifestyles with out of the ordinary sex practices. NYC has become gritty and unrecognizable - there are no crowds, no hustle and bustle. It is, essentially, a ghost town. There are scavengers out and about once in a while, but not while the sun's out.
Half the world's population has been wiped out by a virus, and those who survived are now allergic to the sun. Tower Babies are known as the wealthy, those who were born in tall buildings and have lived in them their entire lives. They can afford to stay out of the sun in luxury compared to people like Dodger and Twist. Tower Babies have all the medication they want, including the kind to make them forget about how shitty the world has become.
Dodger and Twist are the two main characters known as Gutter Punks. They're the Robin Hood of stealing meds from the rich to give to the poor. I really enjoy Dodger's no apologies attitude - he's authentic and doesn't try to pretend he's something he's not. Twist is the narrator of this novel, and while he's a good fit with Dodger, Twist is more of a "good guy" in my eyes. He talks Dodger into helping people if it doesn't immediately benefit them.
Once again wealth divides the classes, and those who are poor suffer. Listen, man, if I didn't happen to be born wealthy, I'd want to hang out with Dodger and Twist's friend Red's group. She leads the group of hippies known as The Tribe. They seem to be better off than where the Gutter Punks were living. If I'm going to die of an illness because I don't have medication, then I'd rather be with the Tribe than anywhere else.
The Artful took a great idea of mixing a dystopian story with economic class division. The execution of the story was a bit lacking for me, but I enjoyed reading it and will read the next one.