Friday, January 10, 2020
The Bookwyrm's Review of Predestiny by C.T. Phipps and Frank Martin
Authors: C.T. Phipps and Frank Martin
Length: 198 Pages
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Release Date: September 14, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
As a fan of both C.T. Phipps and Frank Martin, I was more than happy to give Predestiny a read and review. It definitely pushed some interesting buttons, having a sci-fi and older YA feel, with a touch of dystopia creeping about.
In a near future, in which corporations have gained so much power they control government policy, the Monarch Corporation is the biggest of the ten megacorporations that run things. They have lobbied for special powers to do what was necessary to get through the Great Recession. Now, they are untouchable by the law, and abuse their privileges. This is where H.O.P. E. (Heroes for Occupying the Public Economy) comes in, peacefully protesting the corporations abuses, especially Monarch.
Robbie is a member of H.O.P.E, a lot of the reason being his girlfriend, who is a big supporter of the peaceful protest movement. The story starts with Robbie and Anna on their way to a protest in New Detroit at the Monarch headquarters. While at the protest, they witness the protest get out of control as someone tries to shoot Robbie, causing the Monarch guards to start to brutally break up the protest. While running from the protest, someone tries to kill Robbie again as he helps Christine, the movements leader, to try and get away. He is saved by a mysterious woman, who gets him away from the people who are trying to kill him.
The woman, named Jane, protects Robbie from some guards trying to kill them, and then hides them as her associates show up, since Robbie is on their hit list. Throwing them off the trail, Jane gets them to safety and enters Robbie's life as his "cousin", explaining she is from a future time when what he will become will decide the fate of the world, and that elements of that time will do anything to see him dead. What follows is a high stakes game of cat and mouse, and Jane has to protect Robbie from people just as good as she is, to ensure Robbie can fulfill his future role. The question is, is that role something Robbie wants to be part of, because things start unrolling before Robbie that seem to point to a darker future than he could have imagined!
CHARACTERS AND WORLDBUILDING
Like anything written by C.T. Phipps, character development is a hugely important element to the story. Robbie really blossoms as the story develops, showing a lot of different facets to his personality. He is forced way out of his comfort zone, and he really grows with having to respond to the various crises. Jane is also given a lot of attention, and her mysterious past/future is revealed, and explains why she is the hardened warrior she is. The secondary characters are not spectacularly fleshed out, but are given enough attention to let them fulfill their roles. The villain in the present is a bit of a stereotype, being the underhanded corporate robber baron, but in a dystopian megacorp future, its kind of expected. Theres more to the characters, but it would spoile the story arc to reveal too much.
The worldbuilding is definitely solid, as I've come to expect from both authors. Its very much the dystopian corporate future so many expect. A police state with curtailed civil rights and corporate overlords who don't have to fear the government, instead controlling what it does. While not particularly new, its still well done with little creative touches of their own,
This book could have easily gone wrong. It could have gone the over the top YA route of Hunger Games, or gone the other way and gone bleak adult Blade Runner. Instead, what we get is a nuanced story that straddles the genre line, taking elements from several to create an engaging story for teens and adults that will leave both satisfied and wanting more from these characters and the universe they're in.