Title: The Lens and the Looker
Author: Lory S. Kaufman
Series: The Verona Trilogy #1
Genre: YA, Sci Fi
THERE'S HOPE FOR THE FUTURE,
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PAST?
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 Camps 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 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.
I thought that this book was very interesting. From the premise right down to the characters. I'm very glad that I was approached about this book as well as the second book in the trilogy as well.
The story takes place in 2347 where humans have been able to create a utopian type society after a massive disaster nearly wiped out humanity and the world as a whole. This is where we meet our main characters Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln. Three privileged teens who have never known any other society besides this "perfect" society. In their world they are babied by artificial intelligences that were created with the absolute sole purpose of keeping the kids safe and happy. Which has led to this particular trio to be so spoiled I felt the need to slap them a couple times. But in the book, this particular problem is solved by their schools and parents agreeing to send them to History Camp. Which to me sounded like a futuristic version of Boot Camp.
Then these three kids are kidnapped by a rogue time traveler who transports and drops them in the middle of "real time" medieval Italy.
Which is where things get interesting...Really interesting. Overall, I thought that the world and the characters that Mr. Kaufman created were very original and very realistic. Personally, I was extremely fascinated by the A.Is. They too were written in a very realistic and believeable manner. I was very impressed by all the descriptions of 12th century Italy. It had to be a blast to research all that history?! (I'm a little bit of a history buff) Though I did think that the futuristic world that was created was a little bit bland. Because of the blandness of the beginning I did have a little trouble getting into the book but once I go into it I was really happy with the results.
If you are interested in this book, Mr. Kaufman’s website is here: http://www.history-camp.com/.