In 2033, every senior citizen is offered a second chance and a second career. At 65, John Sinclair, a life-long teacher, faces two choices—a second career or permanent retirement and early death. The state will pay for his genetic rehabilitation, university education, and an extended life span of 160 years. It’s guaranteed! All Sinclair has to do is to mentor his young apprentice, commit to a new career, and avoid any dealings with a daft and spiteful school janitor, Fernando Smith. Like all incredible offers, Sinclair’s new career comes with a toxic price tag. The question is—is he willing to pay? (taken from the back of the book)
This is DAmato's second book. The first, The Last Seminarian, was released last year and he's currently working on a book of poetry to be published this fall.
Though I loved the premise of this story, I wasn't as fulfilled as I'd hoped to be. Most of the characters are lackluster and lifeless. To be honest, I didn't care for any of the main characters. A little depth would have gone a long way. Although we know a lot about them, we don't really get to know any of them, except the janitor and his love, Helen. While reading, I kept trying to figure out why the book wasn't written about them. I figured out the reasoning, eventually, but it really bothered me. It felt like these wonderful characters were created and then a science fiction story was set up to go around their 5 seconds of fame.
As for the story itself, if you don't read the back cover and know what's going on before you begin, you could have some small issues. The timeline kept throwing me off. I think the main reason for that is that it actually begins in the past and goes through into the year 2033. It's difficult to be in 'the now' and see how that fits into a futuristic story.
What I loved most about this story is that I'm not told everything. It took me the entire book to find out what the 'three things' are. Though I wanted more depth to the characters, the amount of information handed to me about the story line was perfectly handled. I had to think, but I wasn't left with unanswered questions.
What could have been an intense character study turned out to be a decently entertaining read. It's mostly easy to follow and will keep your mind busy while you're in Damato's world. Everyone should be able to identify with at least one of the characters. It is an excellent look at what could be in the future. Though it's definitely different than the world we currently live in, it has a plausible ring to it and forces you to realize the possibilities.
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