This book is a fantastic evocation of a future world, coupled with a strong message about the fate of our environment. Set 100 years from now after ecological collapse, the story starts inside a world of drought, electric storms, and flooding. A race of people have been genetically engineered into physically perfect and strong specimens who feel no pain in order to withstand the terrible climate. Living in the huge city of Genopolis ('city of genes') these Citizens have lost their feelings, emotions and their humanity...until a dangerous experiment is launched to bring them back from the Naturals, a passionate but dispossed people, remnants of the humans who caused the 'Apocalypse' (as global warming is known) and who live in the cracks of the land outside the city.
Based around an adventure escape story, told from the alternating points of view of Arlo, a Natural boy, and Usha, a cloned servant-girl, the pace is fast, exciting, and packs a lot in, so you get a lot of bang for your buck! Unusually for a kid's book, the story throws up many thorny issues that tackle genetic enginerring, ethics, consumerism, capitalism and racism.
Like the best fiction for children that also appeals to adults, this book is both funny and exciting as well as sad and scary at times. It is recommended to children and adults who enjoy a well-written, well-crafted thought-provoking and exciting read, and who enjoy opening doors into facinating new worlds.