The lens and the looker by Lory S. Kaufman
What's it about?
It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History camps, full sized recreations of cities from earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.
In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum, almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.
These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History camp teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices: adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but for Hansum, that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.
This is not a regular genre I read, although I do tend to dip in and out of it, I must say this book took me a few chapters to get into but once there I really got into it. I loved the characters and all their differences. This book is split into three parts (although they do follow on from one another), the first part gives the reader a really good back story for Hansum and the way he lives in his modern life, and the reasons he ends up having to go to History camp. Once there he meets the other two main characters and the fun begins, with the three of them hitting it off quite well. This part also covers the time they spend in history camp and what they get up to, and also explains some of the back story behind the camps and behind the year they have been sent back too. The next part of the book concentrates on everything that happens after they are kidnapped from History camp and actually sent back to Verona for real, this section gives you loads of information on the area and what it was like living in that time period, as well as the struggles that Hansum and co face by being left in Verona to fend for themselves. How will they cope with it all and make a living, as well as survive in a completely different time. The third section of the book deals with a whole new twist to the story when something happens that will change all of their lives forever. They all come to terms with this in very different ways. And with Hansum also falling for his master’s daughter everything is at stake for the young trio, there is the underlying story of Hansum, and how he can win his love, and live in Verona all at the same time.
I found there were some really funny times as well as some very sad times in this book, with some great one liners from Lincoln.
In all I really enjoyed reading this book and will be picking the next in this trilogy up in the next couple of months, as I really want to know what is going to happen to the trio now, and what adventures they are going to go on.