Friday, May 28, 2021

Review: Court of the Grandchildren by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

Today's book is sold as an adult novel appropriate for ages sixteen and over. So, I'm letting it slide as a possible young adult one. The content itself is definitely fine for the age since it doesn't hit upon intimate or violent scenes, and the main character, Lily, does come across young enough to grab upper teen readers. 

This is a book for thought, so get ready to dive deep into several current topics as they explore how things might evolve to affect future generations.

But take a look for yourself.




COURT OF THE GRANDCHILDREN
by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson
Speculative Fiction
307 pages









A man from today and a woman from tomorrow. How will she judge him?

Lily Miyashiro lives much as any twenty-nine-year-old in 2050’s America. Her job is busy, resettling climate refugees from the coastal cities. Then she gets a call. She has family she never knew about. And they want something from her she doesn’t want to give.

Lily is one of the young, reliant on artificial intelligence and facing an uncertain future.

David Moreland was a bigwig during the world’s golden age. He is old and almost forgotten…until he is drawn into the realm of the Climate Court. Now a whole generation seeks to condemn him.

When Lily meets David, she is forced to confront events from her past that she would prefer to forget. Feeling trapped, she hires a young lawyer. Is it to defend David, or to deny the past?

In a world that seems comfortably like the present, hints of sinister differences begin to emerge, and the stakes are raised beyond David’s fate. 


http://mybook.to/CourtoftheGranchildren



MY TIDBITS

A jump into a possible future brings interesting twists, which not only highlight environmental and AI issues but tackles the question of how the actions of past generations should be judged.

It's 2050 in the US, and thanks to climate change, the coastal land is disappearing. This has caused all sorts of problems on immigration issues as people from states like Florida try to relocate to inner states. The situation is dire and tensions run high. Here Lily lives her normal life, trying to help those she can through her job. She's more than surprised to learn that she still has a distant uncle, and even more shocked when he contacts her for the sole purpose of getting her signature so he can meet the current laws and die with dignity. She's not ready to sign away on anyone's life, but when she discovers that he's also been called to Climate Court, her decision not to sign is made. In Climate Court, those from the earlier generation are called to testify about their earlier decisions and held responsible for the climate damage they've caused. And it appears her uncle played an important role, but whether it was good or bad is yet to be determined.

This is a book packed full of topics and themes, which encourage thought, while weaving an intriguing tale along the way. David, Lily's uncle, is a very intriguing old man, and we find him wishing he could enter death's door. The first clash comes with Lily and David's wish to die, and the entire debate surrounding euthanasia. This already draws sympathy as Lily, due to her own past, values life more than David...and we, as the reader, slowly discover David's thoughts and views. Then, the book pulls into the area of technology, its integration into daily life, and AI intelligence (as it controls almost every aspect of life) Next, comes the environmental side with Earth suffering the results of climate change and polar melt, and this also brings in the problems of immigration, and, in a very different way, prejudice hate. On top of it, comes the Climate Court and the younger generation's hunt on early generation in order to hold them responsible for their part in the climate chaos. So, there are tons and tons and tons of crumbs as food for thought, and this book does a great job at opening the doors for differing viewpoints, possible new considerations, and ways of looking at the world.

As to the read itself, it's well done and flows nicely. Each scene grabs in its own way, which makes it hard to put down. Something is always happening, and everything leaves an impact. The court scenes are well done as they take the view of the transcript, and the other chapters seamlessly slide between the characters and make each thought and action clear as well as interesting. 

This book is not boring, and it does take a very original twist with some intriguing questions. Still, there's too much. While thoughts and points are well made (without ever feeling preachy), the needed background and world building aren't there. We catch glimpses at normal life but never get a full feel for it. We're given the background information to certain events and circumstances, but other aspects are left with holes. Sometimes less is more, and I had that feeling in this one more than once. Plus, the characters, while we learn about their personal issues and such, missed a little depth.

This is an intriguing read which opens up all sorts of themes and makes the reader think. And it does this with a pretty interesting story, which leaves an impression.


And here they are...

Michael Muntisov

Mike’s professional expertise was in making drinking water safe. He was the editor of a non-fiction book on water treatment, sales proceeds of which were donated to Water Aid. After a global consulting career spanning 35 years, Mike finally got around to writing his first work of fiction. Before he knew it, he was a playwright as well.

Greg Finlayson 

Having played in a rock band during his University days, Greg has recently returned to the music scene, where with his teenage daughter he does improv Jazz sets at local clubs. During the day, Greg consults for water authorities around Australia and the USA in fields such as desalination, integrated water management and climate change planning.


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