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jenryland

jenryland

The Glimpse - Claire Merle Source: e-ARC from NetGalley. In the world of the Glimpse, every British citizen is genetically tested, and anyone with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, depression or anxiety is forced to live as a so-called "Crazy" in overcrowded central London, or, if they're truly mentally ill, in a "Loony Bin." Citizens who don't exhibit any genetic tendency for any of those conditions are considered "Pure" and are cloistered, forced to "bind" and "join" to each other, i.e. reproduce and have "Pure" children. The Glimpse seems to be, in part, a kind of what-if based on the Human Genome project, a real-life 2003 endeavor that mapped the human genome. I do think the topic of genetic information and how it could be used against us is a fascinating one. But I'm not sure that the political system described in the book made any sense, even in a dystopic society. [Total random aside: given the fact that the book takes place only a few decades in the future, I also wondered about the royal family. As Princess Diana publicly battled depression, her children would presumably be labeled "Carriers" in the world of this story. I got all distracted picturing William and Harry and their children cast out of the palace as "Crazies."]Ana, the main character, is the daughter of the geneticist who designed the "Crazy" test. Thus, he is able to fake Ana's test results and pretend she's "Pure" even though her mother was depressed and committed suicide. Ana is supposed to be bound to Jasper, the son of the CEO of a Big Pharma company. Binding to him is her last chance to lead a "Pure" life rather than a "Crazy" one. But Jasper disappears, and Ana becomes involved with Cole, a resistance fighter. Ana was a mass of contradictions. I'm all for books where the main character starts out shy or uncertain and then grows strong and confident. Ana sort of veers between the two. One minute, she's a sheltered Pure, watching the "Crazies" out of the window of her chauffeured car. Then, she's sneaking into the "Crazy" part of the city, where she's like a Navy SEAL as she dives to the bottom of a murky river and rescues a suicidal child. Next, she's successfully impersonating a lawyer in court. After that, she literally passes out like a wilting Victorian maiden upon receiving some shocking news. Jasper isn't in the book enough to give the love triangle much viability; I don't feel I really got to know him as a character. Cole has shamanistic powers that I didn't quite understand and which didn't seemed to have much to do with the plot, except to tell him that he should be in love with Ana. I thought some of the ideas in this book definitely had the potential to be interesting and thought-provoking. If you're a die-hard fan of the dystopian genre, give The Glimpse a try -- and let me know what you thought!