Genre: Science Fiction

Notes: Scary realistic.  Plus it makes cracks about the metro escalators never working, PG county, and Potomac.  I think it’s infinitely more enjoyable if you’re from the DC area and know about the general suckage of traffic, metro, and people.

Review: This book is AWESOME.

While the Fountain of Youth is an old concept and it’s probably been written about a bajillion times, Magary take a new twist.  It’s like Tuck Everlasting  without the good feelings.  And nice people.  And, well, I guess it’s not that much like Tuck Everlasting, but the general message is the same.

In this novel, scientists accidentally find a cure for aging (not everything else, just aging.  You can still die from cancer, disease, or murder or anything else.   Just not aging related complications) while messing around with genes for hair color.  Everyone rushes to get “the cure” because, really, who hasn’t fantasized about never getting old?  I can stay in my 23-year-old body forever?  With all of the people I love?  JACKPOT.

But, as usual in science fiction books, everything goes to shit.

The world population (obviously) booms.  No one is dying.  People are still reproducing.  Families have one set of children, watch them grow up, and then have another set of children.  Cycle marriages abound.  (I will only stay married to you for 40 years, then all bets are off) Scary “Peter Pan” cases rip across the headlines.  (I want my baby to stay a baby forever!)

Meanwhile, crazy “green” people (environmental terrorists who literally color themselves green) wage war against the uncontrollable population to preserve the earth’s natural resources and balance.  The US government targets populations for extinction, some countries bomb themselves to eliminate entire cities, and doctors brand babies at birth with their real birth dates.

Through all this chaos, we follow John Farrell (cure age 29) as he navigates this new postmortal world.  John’s not exactly the hero character, but he’s relate-able.  He does some pretty shitty things to people around him, but he still possesses a good heart.  He tries.

Bottom Line: I cannot stop thinking about this book.  I can’t recommend it enough.  I’m kind of a science fiction nerd, but this is less nerdy and more dystopic near future-type literature.