Friday, 30 December 2016

The Gaia Effect, by Claire Buss - a review

The Blurb
In City 42 Corporation look after you from cradle to grave. They protect you from the radiation outside the wall. They control the food, the water, the technology and most important of all, the continuation of the human race. Kira and Jed Jenkins were lucky enough to win Collection but when their friends start falling pregnant naturally, everything changes. How long has Corporation been lying to them? Is it really toxic outside the wall? As the group comes to terms with the changes in their lives they discover there is a much more powerful and ancient force at work, trying to bridge the gap between man and nature.

The Review
The Gaia Effect is not my normal kind of reading, but a thoroughly enjoyable read, nonetheless. Set in a dystopian future where the surviving population live in domed cities protecting them from the radiation outside, a company called Corporation exists to provide the people with everything they desire. Arguably the most important contribution from Corporation is providing a population made sterile by the radiation in the water with lab-grown babies (Corporation provides the people with clean water too). The creativity Buss shows in this regard is brilliant, and terrifying at the same time - a sort of modern day Brave New World. 

Now, no business likes competition. Corporation are no different. So, when three friends all become pregnant by natural means, they are in immediate danger. When the friends begin to speak together of their fears and wonder how this natural conception occurred when everyone is supposed to be sterile, they discover all of them have recently seen a vision of a shimmering blue lady. Once the identity of this blue lady is confirmed, it becomes clear something is happening far more profound than any of them realise.

The Gaia Effect is Buss’ first novel, and speaks of the ancient and the modern, what it is to be dependent upon an overarching, largely anonymous, overseer, and, most of all, what it is to be a woman. The novel chimes with many modern day concerns, and is, I believe, a fascinating debut from an author to look out for in the years to come.

The Gaia Effect is available from Amazon UK on Kindle here and in paperback here, and from Amazon US on Kindle here

Claire Buss is a science fiction/fantasy writer currently based in Barking, Essex. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with The Gaia Effect and set her writing career in motion.

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