The Human Son by Adrian J. Walker
Rating: 5/5 stars Pages: 380 Genre: Science Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic Publisher: Solaris Release Date: April 28, 2020
500 years in the future, humanity is extinct, and instead, the genetically enhanced Ehrta have taken their place. The Ehrta have completed their purpose—return the planet to its natural state. But then they’re faced with one final question: do they dare reintroduce humans to the environment? To answer this question, they decide to raise one human child. As Ima takes on this task, she feels prepared: she’s clinical and professional. But as she raises the child, she learns theres more to being a parent than she thought, and there’s far more to the history of the Ehrta than she ever knew.
** Thanks to NetGalley and Solaris for providing me with an eARC of this book**
Y’all. I’m gonna have a hell of a time picking a favourite book of the year because this is another absolutely fantastic one. Honestly, when I finished this book, I just sat there for a moment because it wrecked me a little. It’s one of those books that asks big important questions (for instance: what does it mean to be human? What about to be a parent? Or a child?) And then manages to answer them in ways that are humorous, poignant and frankly thought-provoking. One of my favourite parts of this book was the use of the Ehrta as foils to humanity. Ima is an interesting main character, she’s calculating, scientific, tries to be impartial in her experiment, and the result is frankly hilarious at moments and something that is just so akin to a human response. You know, those moments when you’re taking care of a child, and it’s just so ridiculous it can’t be real, but it is and the next thing you know you’re sitting on the floor covered in vomit and food and well, fuck that’s life. This book captures that level of childcare so well. And frankly, I just loved watching Reed grow up. I think, there’s a level of growing up different, and not knowing why that’s captured in this book, that’s so poignant. Moreover, I loved the layers of the story, there’s so much more going on than just “yeah, Ima’s gonna raise a child and that’s gonna answer this big scientific question.” The book examines radicalism, the nature of creativity, and asks important questions about the extent of logical thought and the pitfalls therein. And of course, it examines Frick, I would love to sit here and rant about all the things that I loved about this book, but I don’t have time. It’s definitely going on my to be read again list. So there it is, I think this is a great read for anyone who’s looking for something that oscillates between heart-warming and heart-breaking. Emotional, hopeful and poignant sci fi at its best.
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