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One of the most breathlessly engaging but disturbing novels I have ever read.

 

 

In a fictional dystopian 1984, there are two types of people: "normals," ordinary human beings just like us, and; "the plague generation," the result of a genetic mutation passed on in the act of sexual intercourse by a pathogen much like a bizarre form of HIV. Children of the plague generation are born partly human, partly something else. Some––like Enoch (Dog) Davis Bryant––are gentle teenage souls dreaming of a normal human existence––possible only after being granted life beyond the "homes," facilities set up by the American government to house and teach the plague generation. Reality is, however, these are nothing more than enforced labor camps to subjugate and keep the "creepers," as these children are called, in line. Others, like Dog's friend George, a.k.a. Brain, are planning a revolution in secret, hiding their secret abilities until the time is right to unleash their hidden talents upon an unsuspecting human population. And then, a bizarre murder occurs, shedding suspicion upon the creepers at the local home. After Dog's newly developing friendship with a human female, ends in her death, both crimes get pinned on him, leading to the very conditions that will start a bloody, violent revolution that may see the extermination of all humankind. A disturbing and oftentimes shattering read, DiLouie's dark vision of an America that never existed will haunt and perhaps even anger you, indeed, it is such a disparaging vision of what our society could be in such a circumstance as this that, as I read, I was at times incredulous that an author could envision the Reagan generation, and also Christians, as being so unloving and abusive towards others who are, granted, VERY different. In the end, I would like to think that we, as Americans, would be MUCH more charitable and caring, but, of course, we then wouldn't have much of a story, and this story, despite its perhaps overwrought view of human effrontery, is engaging, emotional, and compelling. I read this with white knuckles throughout.

~Donald Richard, TopShelf Reviews