Review - Hidden Faults

My rating:

Hidden Faults

Hidden Faults
by Ann Somerville

Tagged: Speculative Fiction

‘Jodi’ is a doctor trying to find a “cure” for one of his society's greatest problems: paranormal abilities. ‘Paras’ are considered a threat, and once discovered they are marked with tattoos as well as forced to take a drug that inhibits their abilities. The problem is, the drug makes them almost useless for anything else, so they have become outcasts from the world in more ways than one.

The government of Jodi's country has used the “paranormal threat” to justify all sorts of restrictions, which the largely conservative society goes along with. Jodi must walk a very fine line, watching everything he says or does, especially since he is a homosexual, something that, while not illegal, is still heavily frowned on and could indirectly get him dismissed from his government job and made virtually unemployable.

But Jodi has an even darker secret, one that even he doesn't know about. When that suppressed history rears its head, the tables are turned. The man is ultimately faced with a very real question about who he can trust, including himself.

“Hidden Faults” is a very interesting story, which can be interpreted in many different ways as a parable on our modern world. The story has governments, and individuals, doing objectionable things under the guise of saving a country from some kind of terrorist threat. Then there is a class of people who are looked down on, despised, and even criminalized because they are born different from ‘normal’ people. The book takes place on the same world, but in a much later era, as Kei's Gift. Like that story, and much of the author's work, the two main characters are drawn to each other, yet events and circumstances pull them apart. It's hard to see how the men can overcome all that separates them to come together, but if you read enough of the author's work, you know they always do.

The story is told from Jodi's point of view, and he isn't the most likable character. He isn't exactly bad, but he is full of very human faults. Between that and the heavy political commentary, it was much harder to get as emotionally involved in this book as some of the writer's other stories, at least for me. However, while the characters weren't as engaging, the plot is still engrossing enough to keep you reading to find out how it all resolves itself.

“Hidden Faults” is available from Smashwords and Amazon.

Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 21, 2013

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