Surrogate Colony, by Boshra Rasti
Surrogate Colony, by Boshra Rasti
I hope you’re having a pleasant week.
Today, I’m excited to share my review for Surrogate Colony, a suspenseful sci-fi / dystopian novel by Boshra Rasti.
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.
Miscroscrep controls the lives of all humans who live within their colonies, with ‘Harmony’, a system based on data compatibility, deciding people’s futures. People are matched romantically according to such data and babies are grown within surrogates and assigned to their perfect family match.
Within one such colony lives Adriana, a curious young woman who suspects that something isn’t quite right when her brother’s fiancé allows a large dog to attack a young girl. Oddly enough, the more Adriana looks into things, the more people try to convince her that everything is fine.
With Adriana and her best friend Zach soon to receive their callings (life roles), each fears being separated from the other in a world which makes little sense.
Will they uncover the secrets being hidden from the citizens of Microscrep?
And can they do anything to change their lives in a system where everything is pre-determined?
Firstly, I’d like to discuss Adriana, a young woman whose curiosity is far from valued in a society where asking questions is deemed wildly inappropriate. She often speaks her mind, much to the dismay of others, and has heterochromia, marking her out in the colony by her mismatched coloured eyes. In a world where genetic perfection is supposed to be assured, she is a surreal blip on the colony’s radar. In addition, Adriana is naively idealistic, hoping for a better future than the one that has been predicted for her. She also proves to be strong willed and brave, doing whatever she can to protect the man she loves, Zach, as well as herself.
Secondly, I’d like to talk about Zach, Adriana’s best friend and crush. He also has a curious mind and is deeply caring and empathetic. He seeks to protect Adriana wherever he can, fearing any harm coming to her. As a particularly sensitive young man, I felt myself drawn to his character, admiring his courage and loyalty, even in the face of great danger to himself.
Finally, I’d like to discuss Laura, Zach’s sister as chosen by the Harmony system. She represented Microscrep on a micro-level, symbolizing all they stand for: strict adherence to the rules, apparent genetic perfection, and deception. Laura proved to be an insensitive and selfish individual from the start, something we are made privy to when she allows a dog to inflict great harm on an innocent child. Laura works for Microscrep’s government as a state scientist and will do absolutely anything to get what she wants. As such, she was easy to hate, having no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
There was much to like when it came to Surrogate Colony, details of which are included below.
- I liked the book’s opening dedication: ‘For every innocent questioner, for every faultless outcast.’
- I also liked how the story switches back and forth between Adriana and Zach’s main point of views, allowing us to view the story’s events through each of their eyes.
- The first person, present tense narration was well executed, a form of narration which is usually quite hard to pull off.
- The world-building is done well, giving us a little bit of detail at a time. The world itself was intriguing and prompted numerous questions in my mind about its inner workings, while successfully painting the picture of a corrupt, controlling authoritarian society.
- The characters felt real and have clear goals, which are expressed throughout the story.
- There’s a deep sense of the need for survival within this story’s pages. The very essence of what it means to be human, or inhumane is explored, contrasting those who seek answers and aim to do good with those who deceive and aim to constrict people’s free will.
- The plot was clear and exciting. There wasn’t too much going on and everything was causally-linked, making it easy to understand the character’s motivations.
- The story was deeply, emotionally moving, tugging on my heartstrings at every opportunity. The author made me empathize deeply with the character’s plights, enabling me to better root for their success.
- I especially loved the author’s style of writing as it was clear and simple, emotional yet concise.
- Finally, the tension-building was gradual and well-executed, making me eager to find out what would come next.
Five quotes stood out to me while reading Surrogate Colony.
1) ‘Everybody belongs to everyone-else. Blood does not matter. Love- pure, clean love- for all of society is idealized.’
2) ‘Just as it is natural to have pain, it is natural to adapt once conditions are different.’
3) ‘It’s interesting how one can emotionally shut off when it’s necessary for survival.’
4) ‘Control and power in the wrong hands are as dangerous as the most pestilent disease that can be created.’
5) ‘The ones who question; they get rid of us.’
Overall, I found Surrogate Colony to be a wonderful and gripping thriller experience. It explores natural aspects of humanity such as romantic relationships and how authorities attempt to control them. It also provided a close up look at how government propaganda can enslave people, shaping their views and daily lives in a way that defies free will.
Themes included: power and control, technology, survival, and deception.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of suspenseful, gut-wrenching dystopian novels.
Would you like more information?
To learn more about Surrogate Colony, you can visit its Goodreads page, HERE.
Or, to find out more about Boshra Rasti, simply visit her website, HERE.
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Have a wonderful week,