Book Review: Gem X

Gem X by Nicky Singer

SUMMARY: 16-year-old Maxo is accustomed to perfection. He is a GemX genotype--preposterously intelligent and physically exquisite. He and his parents have an ultracomfortable apartment in the Polis, where only flawless, enhanced humans are allowed to live. But something goes very wrong. A small but noticable indentation appears on Maxo's perfect face. He knows he must find a cure immediately. As his search takes him into the violent and ugly world of the Dreggies--unenhanced humans who are not allowed to live in the Polis--he meets Gala and Stretch. Although he should be repulsed, Maxo is powerfully drawn to Gala. On a quest of their own, the siblings believe Maxo could be useful. What none of the teens understand is that they are pawns in a much bigger game--one that could have dire consequences for them all.

OPINION: This story follows a typical dystopian structure. On one side, enhanced humans with beauty, brains, and power. On the other, oppressed average humans who struggle for their day-to-day existence. While this story had some potentially interesting elements, such as its exploration of genetic enhancement and parent-child relationships, it ultimately failed to capture my attention. Singer's imagining of the future was fairly uninspired and involved a lot of capital letters. Better examples of this genre include The Last Book in the Universe by Rodman Philbrick and the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

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