Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Summer Prince

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Disclaimer: This reminded me a bit of Adolf Huxley's A Brave New World for the society's view on sex/love. That's where the comparison ends. It's a very future dystopia science fiction book that does have sexual implications but no explicit sex scenes. There are some very 'progressive' notions in this book in regards to sex, love, freedom, etc so if that makes you uncomfortable, this book is probably not for you. Also, with the sex scenes in it; it only admits to the sex without showing anything. Just describes the emotions that come with it.


An amazon summary to just get AWAY from that disclaimer, "A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Tres shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that's sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June's best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Tres will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government's strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.
Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

Alright, so the set up was really confusing to me.

Things I have gathered about the world:

  1. A huge war happened that was started by men. The eventually women leaders of future Brazil (Palmares Tres) created the city and set up a government ruled by women. They are referred to as Queen and Aunties. There are various kings that are allowed through, but they have power revoked from them after a while.
  2. The city itself is in a giant structure that sits above an ocean. There are many rails that run through the city that seem to be similar to subways (they're referred to as pods in this book).
  3. The city is broken up into different tiers, so I assume that this refers to an actual height that people live in so it's a pyramid like structure (maybe) that sits over the ocean.
  4. Money isn't arbitrary but it doesn't seem to be important either.
  5. There are lots of technological advances, but the rulers of the city ban most of them to preserve the sanctity of the city.
  6. They carry around little devices that seem to function as a tablet and they can talk to the city itself (the user interface which seemed a lot like Siri to me).
....I think that's good enough for now.

So the book is mostly about politics, love, and the expression of being a human. There's a ton of stuff that goes with that, but I'm going to make it bland for me so I don't get too caught up in trying to tell you about the book.

The narrator, June, is a young waka (youth, I think; they seem to hit an age where they're referred to as grande's at one point, but then they never get anywhere else with age). She declares herself as the best artist in all of Palmares Tres and frequently does graffitti art with her best friend (Gil).

This is the year of the summer king though; the summer king dies by the hand of the queen and declares the next queen to rule Palmares Tres for the next five years at the end of his year.

...yeah, it's kind of whack.

June and Gil are excited for the elections of the Summer King, and as Enki is chosen, they attend a party of sorts for it. June and Gil are dancing when Enki spots them and courts Gil. June is hurt that Enki didn't chose her, but went for Gil.

However, June takes off with her art to win the Queen's choice award (think of it as a full ride scholarship to college) and the book begins to spiral with political struggles and heartache and strife.

This is another one of those convoluted books that the smallest detail in the beginning comes back to play, but it does it with all the details. It's not annoying or subtle, it just happens.

I kind of liked it. I mean the political structure and the premise were a little weird, but how everything unfolded was pretty good.

Happy reading!

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