I may have stopped wearing my Garmin after reading Ms. Watson’s futuristic novel and after reading it yourself, you may also turn in all of your electronics that monitor your steps, food intake, sleep and heart rates!
Ms. Watson’s novel takes place in Britain in 2078. I was captivated by the descriptive way in which the reader is taken back in time to understand how the people of Britain became brainwashed into believing that “Health is Wealth” using a televised anniversary program. People were prohibited from eating or drinking unhealthy foods and monitored by implanted chips that basically do everything and more that our step counters do now. In addition to monitoring your health, the implanted chips are available for government purposes, prospective employers, and dating matches. Since everyone is monitored, crime is at an all-time low. For those who cannot conform to the new rules or fall ill with no hope of recovery (LOSERS), they are sent to Health Farms for treatment or rehabilitation free of charge.
As perfect as this new world seems, it is not. Starla Carr is a young woman taking care of her former rebel father who did not conform to the rules. As a former chef, he felt that the people had a right to eat what they wanted without the government imposing taxes or rules for eating unhealthy foods. He led a fight against the government and when he was caught he was imprisoned for a few years. When he was released, he was punished by not being awarded any “points”, the new currency which are obtained by living a healthy lifestyle. Starla meets Jo, an affluent journalist who doesn’t need to follow any rules due to his wealth. His doctor father and architect mother have purchased “LIFE” for him so he can eat anything he wants without falling ill. Even though Jo’s life could not lack anything, he needs Starla’s help to uncover murders that have been happening under government control, including Starla’s mother’s death.
Even though the book was a bit long, 460 pages, it was a fast read. I gave it a rating of ⅘ because there were some grammatical errors and because it could have been shortened a bit towards the end, and most importantly because it ended in a cliffhanger and now I have to read 2079 to see how the story really ends. Futuristic novels are not my first choice when it comes to my reading material, but I really am glad I came across this book and now look forward to reading Ms. Watson’s next book.