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Posted July 11, 2011
I found the general premise of this book quite intriguing. Set in the future, the United States has experienced a great decline (which started right around our present time) and is now a crumbling society looked down upon with disdain by other nations. The UN has control over the various nations, prostitution and most drugs have been legalized, and Worldfarm One is the UN's attempt to ensure enough food for the population of the world. The author has created a fertile backdrop with a lot of potential to host any number of conspiracies.
In spite of a potential for greatness, the story never really becomes all that it could be. It almost reads like a teenage boy's fantasy in some places. Keith, who has been unwillingly celibate for years, manages to find some "action" with just about every female he comes across. These prominent sexual exploits seemed a major theme of the story, but I didn't feel it provided much growth for Keith's character. I'm not entirely sure what purpose it did serve. The character themselves were interesting, but they felt flat. I'm honestly not sure if that's a reflection on the muddled plot or the actual way the characters were defined.
The plot felt undefined to me. It almost felt like a hodgepodge of ideas pushed together to make one story, without a clear theme to pull it all together. It felt more like several different subplots taking place one after that other, resulting in a lack of definition. I was anticipating (and would have preferred) some sort of conspiracy within the Worldfarm One organization, perhaps to do with the development of the potato meant to feed the world. The author includes a lot of fascinating information revolving around the world of genetics and botany, providing a solid background and giving the feel of a creative conspiracy plot.
Interesting and readable, this is a clever concept that just didn't go far enough.
GraceKrispy's MotherLode blog