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Future Perfect by Katrina Mountfort
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really liked it

Originally published at Risingshadow.

Katrina Mountfort's Future Perfect was a pleasant surprise for me. It's one of the most entertaining and intriguing young adult science fiction novels I've read during the last couple of years. The story was so entertaining that it kept me glued to the novel until I reached the last page (this seldom happens when I read this YA science fiction).

Future Perfect is one of those rare sci-fi novels that can be recommended to both adults and young adults alike. It has the ability to attract both readerships, because there's something in it for everybody. In my opinion this novel is mostly YA science fiction, but it also contains adult elements.

I have to confess that I normally avoid reading young adult science fiction novels, because there have been many occasions when I've been frustrated and annoyed with the low quality of YA science fiction. YA science fiction has become so popular that many authors dish out bad and mediocre novels and expect people to read them, although there's very little to enjoy in them. Fortunately, Future Perfect was a good novel that lacked the annoying elements that can be found in way too many similar kind of novels. It was nice to read a good and well written novel for a change (the only other similar kind of a YA sci-fi novel that has managed to impress me as much as this novel is John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard's Conquest).

I think that everybody who has read young adult science fiction will be impressed by Future Perfect, because it has the best possible YA science fiction elements in it. The story contains many well-known and popular YA and sci-fi elements and Katrina Mountfort uses them well. She doesn't annoy her readers with these elements, but keeps the story intriguing. She has managed to create a story that's full of life, excitement and real human emotions.

Future Perfect is basically a story about change and acceptance, but there's also more to it, because the author addresses such difficult issues as intimacy, sex, relationships and changes in the society in an interesting way. There's an amazing amount of emotional depth in this novel that is lacking from other similar kind of novels. I found it refreshing that the author was able to write about feelings in a believable way.

Here's a bit of information about the story:

- A virus has affected many people and the ones that have been Marked by it have been ejected from the Citidomes and detained in correction centres. Some of the affected people have escaped...

- Caia has just graduated from the academic centre and will be working as a researcher at the Ministry of Biotechnology. When Caia goes to work, she meets Mac and is attracted to him. She's warned about him and his possible subversive thinking, but she likes him. Mac tells Caia about forbidden things and she becomes fascinated by the truth. Caia finds herself questioning the values and the rules that she was taught to live by. Her life begins to change...

- When Caia and Mac go on an outdoor mission for a couple of days, Caia's life changes even more as she learns new things of what it is like to live outside the Citidome...

The story is told from Caia's point of view. I think it's good that the author writes about the happenings from Caia's perspective, because readers can easily relate to her problems and feelings.

Here's a bit of information about the main characters:

- Caia is an intelligent young woman who has different kind of looks than everybody else. She doesn't quite understand why people want to be part of the BodyPerfect cult. She doesn't like parties and doesn't enjoy the same things as others. She loves to learn new things and is interested in different things than her resmates. Caia is puzzled about many things, including skin colour, because young people look more homogeneous than older people.

- Mac is Caia's colleague. He differs from other persons, because he's not interested in the same kind of things as others. He's a bit similar kind of a person as Caia. Mac helps Caia at work and he talks to her about many things related to the society etc.

The minor characters are also interesting. It was especially interesting to read about Uma who was into beauty, fashion and parties. The author wrote well about Uma's passion for shallow life, good looks and parties.

It was fascinating to read about how Caia had to struggle with her feelings, because getting close to somebody and being intimate with another person were not allowed in the society. She had to accept her feelings, because she was attracted to Mac and wanted to spend time with him.

The romance between Caia and Mac is handled exceptionally well, because they gradually begin to develop feelings for each other. Although they liked each other from the first time they saw each other, it wasn't easy for them to tell what kind of feelings they had, because the society didn't approve of intimate relationships. In my opinion the author writes fluently about what's going on between Caia and Mac and how they begin to fall in love with each other.

Katrina Mountfort has created an intriguing future world, because she writes about what kind of life people have in the Citidomes and what happens outside the Citidomes. Everything is clean, neat and healthy inside the domes, but the outside world is totally different from the almost sterile life inside the Citidomes, because such diseases as influenza and bronchitis can be found there. The Citidomes have sheltered people from weather, sun, humidity, coldness and diseases and humankind has gradually adapted to a new way of living.

Life inside the Citidomes is controlled, sheltered and peaceful, but it's a life full of fear and loneliness, because if you happen to be different, you have to be careful not to get caught or you'll be taken to the correction centres. If you think differently about what life should be like and you are too loud about your opinions, your life may suddenly change and you may lose your work and will be forced to work and live elsewhere, or you may find yourself in a correction centre (one wrong move could cause you many problems).

In my opinion the author's descriptions of life outside the Citidomes were captivating, because she wrote beautifully about what it is like to be free and what kind of difficulties and pleasures free people experience in their everyday life. She wrote lovingly about farm life and the simple pleasures that life has to offer for all of us.

It was intriguing to read about the Mind Values and what kind of effect they had on the characters' lives. The Mind Values have eradicated negative thoughts, hatred, dissatisfaction, greed, envy and jealousy, because they caused problems, crimes and wars. Attachment and feelings towards other people are unhealthy and they make people unhappy. Close relationships are not couraged and a person could be transfered to another city sector or even another Citidome for being too close to somebody. The society has become peaceful, but humanity has lost a lot - including compassion and love - over the years. There's also hypocrisy, because obese and short people are not offered good jobs and they can't provide stem cells.

Issues related to sex and sexuality are handled well in this novel. I think that readers will appreciate it that the author writes surpriginly boldly about sexuality and feelings related to sex, because when you fall in love you develop sexual feelings towards your partner and you have to deal with them.

Katrina Mountfort writes well about how people worship beauty and want to look elegant and stylish. The society has changed a lot and the BodyPerfect cult encourages an androgynous appearance and beauty is respected. Many people have similar kind of looks and people want to be beautiful.

The society has interesting views about coupling, because coupling is considered to be gross and indecent. Coupling is also considered to cause Marks on the persons who do it. The society has replaced sex by exercise, because exercise subjugates sexual urges. The society has changed so much that having babies has also become a bit different and mothers can't grow their own children.

One of the most important things that makes this novel work well is that there's humour and satirical elements in it that are seldom found in this kind of fiction. The references to BodyPerfects are often funny and delightfully sharp. The worship of beauty has become so popular in the society that it has risen to almost grotesque and unhealthy heights. The author's descriptions of certain characters and their actions are wonderfully satirical and sharp, because they seem to respect only beauty and good health and they're narcissistic.

Katrina Mountfort is a talented author who writes intriguing science fiction that has both depth and style in it. In my opinion it's rare that an author who writes science fiction with young adults elements is capable of writing this well, because many authors seem to have problems with this kind of fiction. I respect the author for not underestimating the intelligence of her target audience. I look forward to reading the second instalment in this series, because this novel was good entertainment.

This novel can be recommended to readers who have read novels written by Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth and John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard. It stands proudly side by side with them as one of the best modern YA sci-fi novels ever written, because the story is good and the author's passion for storytelling shines through it.

I give Future Perfect 4.5 stars on the scale from 1 to 5 stars, because it's a well written and fascinatingly satirical look at the future of mankind (I was impressed by the author's dark vision of the future where being different was considered to be bad and asking too many questions could cause problems).

Future Perfect is a satisfying and well-told science fiction story for readers who enjoy reading young adult science fiction and who want to read good stories that have depth in them. This novel is not annoying fluff like most YA sci-fi novels, but pure quality full of depth, feelings and excitement. I'm sure that this sci-fi novel will appeal to many readers regardless of their gender and age.

Entertaining and thought-provoking science fiction for young adults and adults!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 19, 2015 – Shelved

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