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4 Small Stars

This book was interesting, but not my kind of book. Oh, it is science fiction and there is a lot of fighting, but some of the stuff is just dumb.

Meritropolis is a walled city. The people stay inside because there are dangerous animals on the outside. These are not your normal run-of-the-mill wild animals. No, they have been genetically altered during the “Event” which has made them hybrids of animals we normally would know. Now, here’s the dumb part. The naming of the new species of animal sounds like the author talked to a bunch of 1st Graders to get the names. I’m not going to repeat them here; they sounded dumb in the book and they’d sound just as dumb in my review.

The story goes that people in Meritropolis are given a “score” rating from the day they are born. This shows up somehow on the right forearm (could be left, I can’t remember) and that’s how you’re standing within the community is determined. Now, all the kids are grown in underground bunkers below the city and only come up when they come of age which I believe is about 17.

So, Charley has just recently arrived on the surface in Meritropolis and he’s considered an adult. He, like everyone else, has to put up with Assessment Day every week, where all the people have to stand in line and have their score read. Charley’s score reads 118. That’s an amazingly high score for someone so young. Anyone with a score 100 and above are considered High Scores and are privileged. They eat better than the Low Scores, live in better accommodations and don’t have to worry about being Zeroed!

Charley is smart, but he’s also a typical teenager, in that he’s mad at the “System”. The reason he’s mad is pretty understandable, but doesn’t matter unless he does something about it. Charley is going to change the system for the better, if he can.

The storyline is interesting if somewhat juvenile. I can see this book in the Young Adult category. The writing is just fine as is the editing. It does seem kind of slow at the beginning, but does pick up a little as it goes along. We don’t get a lot of background on “Meritropolis” or even if we’re on Earth, which I think we are. We don’t know why “Metropolis” exists, although there are hints that there is something beyond just this city.

I also think the author ended the book way too suddenly. l hate that. I might read the next book, but I had no indication this was a series to begin with. If you like reading about angry teenagers making their way to change society, then you’ll like this book.

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