Monday, June 1, 2015

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Davy has the next few years planned to perfection, as a musical prodigy she will finish out her school years at Everton and then go on to study at Julliard and her boyfriend Zac will study nearby.  It is a simple plan but with her acceptance to Julliard already assured Davy has no reason to think it is a future that won't happen - until she gets the news she never saw coming.  Scientists have discovered the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS for short) and have found a clear correlation between carriers of HTS and murderers.  It seems a pretty clear cut case that anyone with HTS has the potential, and are likely to, become homicidal maniacs.  Dr. Wainwright is leading the charge against HTS, bringing in screening tests that have identified thousands of carriers, including school students like Davy.

Suddenly Davy's world is tilted off its axis, she is uninvited (read expelled) from Everton and now has to attend the nearest local public high school that accepts HTS students.  Her world of music lessons and a future vanish with her diagnosis, and she is now assumed to be a criminal even though she has never committed a crime.  In her new world Davy is treated as barely human, caged and isolated from normal society - facing the risk of imprinting if she steps out of line.  Sheltered and protected by her parents and their money, Davy has never really had to figure out how the real world works, but now she has to learn how to survive in a world that sees her as a killer just waiting to happen.  The only other HTS carriers she has met seem to be exactly what people think she is - violent and on a hair trigger.  Davy has a lot to learn about her new world, and as events change the world around her she has to learn who to trust and how to protect herself.

There have been countless debates about nature versus nurture - are people violent because of the way they were raised or it violence in their DNA?  Uninvited takes you on a whirlwind ride in a world that has found a genetic cause for violence, a large proportion of violent offenders have HTS so therefore everyone with HTS must be violent - right?  Through the eyes of Davy we get to see a world that is slowly descending into chaos, a world where people with HTS are treated as less than human and where they have to be marked for everyone else's safety.  For sheltered and protected Davy this is a real shock, and ironically she is not violent or dangerous until she is confronted with harsh truths and treated like an animal that will attack with the least protection.

This is a bold choice of topic for Sophie Jordan, and there are echoes here of other times when people have been segregated or dealt with in a certain way because of their race, or for some other reason. Seeing the world through Davy's eyes makes the world more terrifying and unreal - how can she believe what the real world is like when she has only experienced life through the filter of her private school and her safe community.  I don't know if it was because of my life experiences and the topics I studied at school and university, but I saw a lot of what was coming before it happened, but rather than spoiling the story it actually made it more horrifying and intense.  It is no surprise that the American government of the future tries to turn HTS to their advantage, and it is also not surprising that the world Davy finds herself in is brutal and unforgiving - in a world where people are afraid that can quickly turn to hatred and attack, especially when the targets are so clearly labelled as dangerous by the State.  Again, I don't know if it was intended, but Davy's story made me wonder what would happen in a world where people with violent tendencies can be identified - would I push for them to be separated from society so the rest of the world can be safe?

I am now waiting to get my hands on the sequel Unleashed so I can see what happens next for Davy and the rest of her HTS brethren - it could go either way but I am sure the ride will be an adrenaline rush with Sophie Jordan behind the pen.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment