When transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.
Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
Review 5 of 5 Stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I had hoped to read this by the March 2nd release date, but that certainly didn’t happen with my schedule. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book a great deal. I’m not generally into young adult books, but Ms. Quinn is extremely talented. Her stories are thought-provoking, her characters come alive on the page and her writing style is easy to enjoy. This was a great story. The author did a fantastic job of exploring the possibility of storing the essence of what makes us human in an artificial body. Although the ascenders consider themselves to be superior to the legacy humans that they keep in the legacy cities, they have not let go of the petty squabbles of human life. This story also explores feelings about religion and how it would be affected by such a society.
The driving force in this book is Eli. As a character, he is easy to become involved with. Eli is an artist with an unusual creative process that he cannot control. His ascender patron, Lenora, does her best throughout their early association to help Eli to come into his own as an artist. Once Eli is in the Olympic village though, things take an unexpected turn. There are several good characters in this book aside from Eli. His friend Cyrus is there from the beginning and is an equally likable character, as are some of the others that the reader meets along the way. Despite the technology in this story, Lenora and the other ascenders are every bit as human (if not more so) than Eli and the friends he makes along the way. Both the legacy humans and the ascenders in this story are searching for the answer to the Question of how the individual spark that makes us individuals could be transferred to a machine and whether it really exists as something separate from our consciousness. The answer to the Question is something you’ll have to find out about for yourself should you choose to read this very well-crafted story. I couldn’t find any detracting points in the story and it was an easy read that kept my attention without effort.
I haven’t picked what the next book will be, yet. I guess it’ll be a surprise for all of us.