Title: Adaptive Consequences
Author: Lucy L. Austin
Length: 470 pages
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Book was found and reviewed on Reedsy Discovery.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery and KDP for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Austin’s debut novel is a disturbing dystopian thriller that gives a premise to the idea of what the world would be like if microchips embedded in the human body by the government was standard across the board. In addition to an environmental crisis, main character Dr. Jun Xie is studying about pre-emptive perception – something that deals with “knowing” things before they happen. This could be compared to today’s concept of premonition in the paranormal/supernatural world. Dr. Xie is trying to see if this has a biological component that could be measured and repeated in other test subjects in a woman that shows this ability. While she is on the verge of a breakthrough with her study, the woman in question ends up committing suicide, and Dr. Xie’s study abruptly ends.
This turn of events ends Dr. Xie’s study and her career in ways that she didn’t anticipate, and twenty five years later, Jun is trying to forget her time as a neuroscientist and live her life as a lecturer and mother. However, with the emergence of the woman’s daughter in Jun’s life trying to figure out why her mother committed suicide, all of these suppressed thoughts come to the forefront of Jun’s mind and she must learn how to deal with them again.
The environmental component of this novel is prevalent in how the setting of the novel is laid out for the characters. Since the government has a tight control of the population and the infrastructure of their area, from the temperature of the city to alleviate the increased heat of the surface of the Earth, to the population control, the government has processes in place to keep watch on everything going on with their citizens. This was reminiscent of Big Brother on a grand scale, and was just as disturbing.
Austin did a great job with her debut novel, and the first novel in this series has a promising start to gain interest in what could be a strong fanbase.