Leviticusby Daniel Seltzer
What if you didn't want to?
Levi Clayton Furstman's decision not to be inoculated with technology designed to bestow youth and immortality leads him on a journey that forces
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Science has created a world where anything is possible and everything is affordable. A world where illness and disease have been eradicated.What if you could be young forever?
What if you didn't want to?
Levi Clayton Furstman's decision not to be inoculated with technology designed to bestow youth and immortality leads him on a journey that forces him to reexamine his relationships, his purpose in life, and, ultimately, what it means to be human.
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This is the second book I’ve read recently about people rebelling against technology that’s supposed to make life more convenient (if much less private). The protagonists in these novels rebel against the status quo, questioning instead of blindly accepting the intrusive technology that everyone else just simply allows. In this dystopian/sci fi novel, Daniel Seltzer shows the reader a near future in which medical technology has made wonderful advances… but one man, Clay, stops to consider that maybe all these ”improvements” aren’t so great after all. Clay was one of the last iMeme holdouts , but his family finally wears him down. A man out of time, Clay struggles to adapt to the rapidly advancing technology, and then he made an even stranger choice in the eyes of society – given the option to avail himself of medical technology that prevents aging, he declines. Seltzer alternates between past and future, touching on moments in the recent past that relate to Clay’s present and the world he lives in. The beginning of the book is difficult to read (or it was for me, at least). I don’t mean that it was difficult in terms of bad writing or poor grammar, or that it was difficult in a way that means you shouldn’t bother reading it – because you SHOULD read it. It was difficult because of the subject matter. The horrible ways in which people can sometimes treat other people is much scarier to me than zombies and vampires, and Seltzer’s account of inhumanity against one’s fellow man is based on real events. Horrifying, but in such a way that it SHOULD be read, because it opens your eyes to just how severe and terrible the consequences of judging others based on race or religion can be. As the book progresses, you start to realize also the critical role that one evil person who’s not even at the top of the hierarchy can have in changing the world – on the surface for the better, but in reality quite the opposite. As a fan of dystopian fiction, I greatly enjoyed this book. Seltzer’s characters are well thought out, and he does a great job integrating future technology into the story in a believable way. As a person who waited until 2004 to get her first cell phone, who prefers paper books to e-books, and who still enjoys playing 8-bit video games, I can understand Clay’s reluctance to accept new technology as soon as it appears, and his desire to live a simpler, less on-the-grid life. Dark to begin with, the novel turns even darker as it proceeds and explores the evolving technology that Clay is trying to cope with, and ends on a pessimistic note (but a note that also promises a sequel). “Leviticus” is the first book in the “When We Were Gods” trilogy, and I’ll definitely be picking up the rest of the series as they become available. *I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Technology, scientific research, medical advancements, we see it grow and become more “futuristic” every day. Haven’t you commented on nothing being private anymore? I have. Technology is costing jobs, when it performs better than a human; lives are lengthened with new medical technology, where will it take us? How will it change us? Will we lose our humanity, our ability to take risks, rationalize or think for ourselves? One man, Clay, refuses to bow to all of the techno improvements; all around him people stay young while he ages. He questions if this is right, if his every move needs to be recorded, but is he alone or is there an underground movement, off the grid that is seeking to right the wrongs of technology? Take a frightening and bleak look at the possibilities in Daniel Seltzer’s Leviticus. In the very near future, all of the technological advances have come to fruition; people are implanted with a microchip that connects them to nearly limitless information. Nanobots make even a tear in a shirt repair itself immediately. Will people buy less? Will the consumer market fall the way of other, once viable areas of life? Will people have jobs at all? Will governments collapse? Daniel Seltzer combines present day issues and places them in the near future, the most heinous of war crimes, the small-mindedness of the masses, and fact that cancer has not been eradicated as yet, but people have become puppets to the powerful “Big Brother.” His writing is crisply detailed and many of his characters come to life intentionally as almost being two dimensional, save for the main character and those who impact his life. The story doesn’t stop with the last page, as your mind is left reeling with the “what-ifs” and the fear that this is, although a well written piece of fiction, a possible mirror into the future. How far, you ask? Ten years. Leviticus is not for the faint of heart, it is dark, feels ominous, but for those who love an intriguing look into an overpowering and dystopian world, you will be more than satisfied. A powerful, thought-provoking read. My rating reflects the author's ability to make me ponder the future possibilities. I received a copy of Leviticus from the author as part of the Leviticus Tour & Giveaway currently at Tome Tender.
Leviticus by Daniel Seltzer, the first book of the When We Were Gods trilogy, is the mental autobiography of behind-the-times Levi Clayton “Clay” Furstman, an individual with a solitary streak to his existence that causes him to examine everything about himself and the world in an increasingly “outsider” perspective as he ages, and the world moves in directions he finds questionable – and often saddening – as technology overcomes what he believes to be common sense and the very essence of what it means to be human and to enjoy a fulfilling and social existence. A plot dwells behind this about a revolutionary scientific nano-machinistic discovery that comes to change everything that Clay thought he knew, and gradually descends into the start of a new take on life as we know it. The book contains long drawls of introspection on both real events and the fictional future extrapolated from those events into Clay’s plodding mid-to-later life as one of the few remaining employed – and to him, reasonable – citizens, walking about from his law firm, home life, work life and around the city in general. The main issue with the book presents itself slowly but surely during the first half of the book, as the author uses introspection and soliloquy to describe how technology has made life abhorrent as it streamlines the human experience. Libraries are being seen as outdated, the government embraces changes in technology after finding it becoming integral to a modern life, and jobs become more difficult, not just due to modernization but calamity. How all of this is so terrible relies entirely on the “back in my day” lectures of Clay, littered with snide remarks and references, such as the new trend of “twerping” (rather than “tweeting”) and the domination of the Apple corporation inside a user’s brain itself. The pace becomes bogged down regularly by this and very little seems to actually happen until well into the last third of the book, no doubt to lead into the second part of this trilogy. The plot does pick up into almost a new book at this point, but readers of the first section who enjoyed the arguments and ideas of Clay – and not that there isn’t something to enjoy in this at all – will likely be scratching their heads as the mild sci-fi erupts into a much more futuristic sci-fi. This is in part to the author’s credit as maintaining Clay’s viewpoint well, but it may easily leave readers confused. The book does have some interesting ideas and details – a bleaker but very realistic vision of the near future, painting it beautifully in the way a walk around a new city or a bus ride in a new part of town can do. It’s a relaxed pace, for the most part, and is an enjoyable break to read through if the subject matter is of any interest to you, especially if the quasi-Luddite ideals of the lead resonates with you on some level. Where the remaining books may go is a question I’d like answered and I hope to see them soon.