June 6, 2014

iRead Book Tours: The Verona Trilogy by Lory S. Kaufman

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All students had been taught that as the human-engineered population decrease took effect several hundred years earlier, it was only logical that cities would shrink and disappear. And with no need for growth economy anymore, most cities' reason for existence, that of an economic engine, disappeared, too. As for transportation, roads and rails were replaced by levitation technology, making physical connections between cities obsolete.
-from The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
Book One of The Verona Trilogy

Publisher's Synopsis: 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.

My Review: I was really excited to get the opportunity to read and review this series because the premise is unlike anything I had heard of. I'm a huge fan of dystopian books, but in Lory S. Kaufman's Verona Trilogy readers get the rare opportunity to find out what happens much later after society has collapsed and rebuilt itself. Expertly blending an idea of the future with the facts of history, Kaufman constructs an adventure you won't soon forget in a world unlike anything you've read before. In order to avoid spoilers, I'm not going to expound upon details of each book that spoil the previous installment, but overall my review can extends throughout all three books in the series.

My favorite part of this entire series is how Kaufman was able to blend the future (his idea of a post-dystopian 2347) with the past (1347 Verona, Italy). With culture and values so strikingly different, readers are able to consider their own values which, for the target teen audience, is something important for them to consider. Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln all experience the past in different ways and cope with their culture shock. I especially enjoyed that Kaufman addressed how they were able to understand Italian in 1347 because it probably would have been easy to just gloss over that. There is a lot of attention in the details and I think that's what sets this story apart.

One thing I think readers need to keep in mind when reading The Verona Trilogy is that this is a young adult series that I think caters most closely to middle-grade readers. While I enjoyed the series as an adult, there were things such as dialogue and character growth that seemed somewhat reserved because of the intended audience. At some points I really wished these were adult novels because the content might have been more gripping. But if you can suspend your taste as an adult reader, I think the overall story is excellent for the young adult audience. In fact, this would make a great series to read alongside your teenaged child.

That said, I was a little bit disappointed by the lack of depth to the characters. I do feel like they experienced growth throughout the series, but their lack of depth made it difficult for me to identify with them for quite some time. Similarly, the initial introduction was slow for me. I understand the need to explain everything for the foundation of the story, but readers with a shorter attention span than mine might need some time to dive into this story. I think if these things would have been repaired, I would have had a much better reading experience as an adult.

Bottom Line: With time travel, adventure, and romance there's definitely something for everyone in Lory S. Kaufman's post-dystopian series The Verona Trilogy. Just keep in mind this is a YA/Teen series and shows the restraint of such an audience. 3.5/5 stars.

 photo LoryKaufman_zpsa11a0ae4.jpgAbout the Author"I write Post-Dystopian fiction. After society’s collapse, which is imagined in so many great dystopian stories, humans will either fade into history, with the dinosaurs, or, if it learns the right lessons, society will go on to construct a civilization to last tens of thousands of years. History Camp stories are the exciting adventures of young people doing the latter." -Lory Kaufman

On the artistic side of my career, I've written, acted and directed children’s theatre and musical theatre. I enjoy art, especially sculpture. I love science fiction and historical fiction and have been deeply involved in the green movement all across North America. I think all these thing show through when you read my work. I have three grown children and work and live in Kingston, Canada.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Danielle, thanks so much for your great review! I'm glad you enjoyed this trilogy. And thanks for being a part of this tour.


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