The Blending Time, Michael Kinch
Genre: Dystopian
Fantastical Element: Dystopian, futuristic
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Review copy from Flux Books

This review took me a long time write, because at first I put this book down. I love the Dystopian genre, it can be a wonderful outlet, but can be rather depressing at times. This one was on the very depressing end of the spectrum and while superbly written and intense in story I found myself being overwhelmed by the sheer hopelessness of the situation, especially where young adults are involved. Did I like it? Yes. Did it overwhelm me to the point where I had to actually stop reading it? Yes.

The Dystopian world that Kinch created is a world of complete global government control. On turning 17 kids are expected to be placed in their jobs. They really have no control of their outcome. Placement is based on testing and aptitude. Jobs are for the Alliance and can be anything the Alliance deems fit. Deadly jobs, laborious jobs. The world of 2054 has been ravaged by plagues, environmental disasters and an overbearing global government.

Three “s’teeners”, Jaym, Reya and D’Shay are chosen to be blenders. They’re task: repopulate Africa, a hostile, deadly continent.

Fast friends, the bond during the rough trip to Africa, but are quickly separated on arrival. Each one goes in different directions and each one has to deal with horrific and challenging events – always hopping that they can be reunited with their friends and make it out of the horror that they are living in.

Once again, brilliant book, just so bleak that I found myself not being able to read it for extended periods of time. The one thing I like about certain dystopians is that there is an amount of hope there. You can see an end to the madness. I just couldn’t see an escape for these three s’teeners.

There are some heady topics that would not be appropriate for immature teens.