The Blending Time (Blending Time Series #1) by Michael Kinch, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Blending Time (Blending Time Series #1)
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The Blending Time (Blending Time Series #1)

4.5 2
by Michael Kinch
     
 

In the year 2069, turning seventeen means mandatory Global Alliance work assignments that range from backbreaking drudgery to deadly canal labor. Trying to survive in a world that's been ravaged by plagues and environmental disasters, three "s'teeners" from the harshest backgrounds think they've gotten lucky. Jaym, Reya, and D'Shay are chosen to be among thousands

Overview

In the year 2069, turning seventeen means mandatory Global Alliance work assignments that range from backbreaking drudgery to deadly canal labor. Trying to survive in a world that's been ravaged by plagues and environmental disasters, three "s'teeners" from the harshest backgrounds think they've gotten lucky. Jaym, Reya, and D'Shay are chosen to be among thousands of blenders, whose task is to help repopulate and rebuild Africa after a devastating solar flare.

But the continent itself—roiling with civil war and mercenaries intent on crushing the blending program at any cost—poses the gravest danger. Separated, the three friends struggle to escape the violence and chaos, and somehow reunite. But will following rumors of a mountain hideout lead them to sanctuary, or cost them their lives?

Praise:

"Shocking and unrelenting—Kinch delivers a blistering, no-holds-barred tale of a dystopian future that feels all too real."—Arthur Slade, Governor General Award-winning author of The Hunchback Assignments

Kirkus Reviews

Booklist

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Florence Munat
By 2069, wars, plagues, pollution, global warming, and corruption have ravaged the earth. Global Alliance oversees all activities in this dystopian world, including assigning permanent jobs to all seventeen-year-olds ("s'teeners"). The most dangerous duties are infantry and canal work. So when s'teeners Jaym Johansen, Reya Delacruz, and D'Shay Green are chosen to be SUN (Society to Unify Nationalities) "blenders" in Africa, they think they are fortunate. Once in southern Africa, however, they learn their primary job is to repopulate that war-torn continent because Africans who survived a recent solar flare are sterile. The three are unprepared for what dangers await them. Global Alliance has outsourced African operations to a corporation who has allowed mercenaries and renegades to run rampant, killing blenders and villagers who accept them. Jaym is sent to a village where he performs backbreaking labor in a jade quarry. A jungle renegade kidnaps Reya and makes her his slave and prostitute. D'Shay stays in the city where his "assigned woman" puts out a contract on him. Their only hope is to find a mountainous area rumored to be New SUN Colony where hope for a better world is possible. Each chapter begins with a short statement, memo, or press release regarding the world order. Tension builds as each s'teener's situation becomes more desperate. As the narrative shifts among their three stories, that tension escalates. Despite scenes of brutality, degradation, and despair, the three s'teeners are stalwart and courageous, and the book ends on a hopeful note. The writing is edgy and filled with descriptions of futuristic technology and a world spinning out of control. The book is entertaining, credible, scary, and memorable. Reviewer: Florence Munat
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—It is the year 2054, and the world has been decimated by environmental changes, plagues, and war. Opportunities for decent jobs and living conditions are limited, particularly for those with little schooling or influential connections. When Jaym, D'Shay, and Reya each turn 17, the mandatory age at which all children of the NorthAm Sector receive their work assignments, the choices are the military, Canal work, street patrol, or blender. Knowing the short life-expectancy statistics of workers in the first three choices, each "s'teener" opts for the unknown fourth choice. Together they travel to Africa along with thousands of other blenders whose mission is to intermarry and live with the African people and help to repopulate the continent after a solar pulse left the population unable to produce viable children. All is not well on this continent, and the three find themselves in a fight for their lives against powers both large and small who want the blender project to fail. Myriad postapocalyptic novels are on the market this year, and at first glance, this seems to be just another one of many. However, Kinch's novel is a frighteningly clear vision of a very possible future where government is in the hands of the few and powerful, and everyone else can expect little from life but deprivation and violence. Graphic scenes of warfare and rape help to build the unrelenting pace of the novel. Readers who enjoyed Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games (Scholastic, 2008) and Joëlle Anthony's Restoring Harmony (Putnam, 2010) may also appreciate this debut novel.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews

A well-realized, harsh dystopia provides the setting for this exciting debut. Sometime in the late 21st century, three 17-year-olds face a future dictated by their corrupt global government. All might be sent to work on the "canal," a death sentence, so they take measures to get any other job possible. The three wind up in Africa, where they are supposed to marry local people and produce offspring—the entire population of the continent has been sterilized by an intense solar flare. One finds herself captured by the "gades" (presumably short for "renegades"), bandits who raid the back country and keep captured women as sex slaves. After some hair-raising adventures, the other two boys find themselves battling the "gades" as well. Kinch invents a plethora of abbreviated jargon that heightens the credibility of his awful future world. His three main characters will easily convince readers that they're real, distinct people. Full of action, this is a compelling, realistic and exciting thriller for more mature young readers. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738720678
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Publication date:
10/28/2010
Series:
Blending Time Series, #1
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Michael Kinch spent his youth in Las Vegas, Hollywood, San Francisco and Portland before enlisting in the Army where he was stationed in Germany intercepting Russian intelligence. A former librarian at Oregon State University, Kinch traveled widely in Africa leading workshops on the library sciences. His Blending Time novels arose from the vivid memories and friendships gained during that time. He lives near Salem, Oregon, with his family.

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The Blending Time 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ParaBooks More than 1 year ago
Wow. Okay, I have to say, I can believe that this dystopian novel may be a very close description of our future world. Mr. Kinch has an amazing talent for world building. I was able to visualize clearly the haunting and disturbing world around me. This story follows three s'teeners (seventeen-year-olds) Jaym, D'Shay, and Reya, as they come together in a chance meeting, all heading to help rebuild Africa. I was really drawn into their stories, their lives, and how the interacted, bonded, and came to depend on one another. As they go their separate ways to their predetermined job posts, all hell breaks loose as 'gades' threaten the new, foreign world around them. I was really torn by this book. Now, for all those who read my reviews regularly, you know that abuse, rape-- things of that nature-- just don't settle well with me. So, with that being said, Kinch does have some harsh scenes where Reya is involved. And I felt for her the most. Reya had suffered the hardest background among her friends. So when things just got worse for her, I was angry. Although I'm relieved to say that she did exact some much deserved vengeance, and I cheered her on all the way, I would have liked to have seen more happiness for her there at the end to balance her struggles. I was excited to see D'Shay and Jaym really evolve over the course of the book. They became strong, heroic characters in the face of adversity. But Reya's strength really stood out to me above all. Overall, I found Kinch's writing enjoyable and clear and utterly realistic. I was left with a feeling of hope and promise and of a better future for these characters. With rich description and thought-provoking scenes, I give The Blending Time 1/2 Flames! From my blog at YA Bound