Reviewed by: Sooz
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words
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Fiona Faith Ross is an English teacher with an interest in science and technology. She lives in the UK.
Saffron has to figure out how to live in the Seawood Slum without going crazy. She takes care of her father and friends. But when her father stays out longer than he intends on one of his mysterious trips, he misses the patrol check-in, which sets in motion a life Saffron never imagined.
The future never looks bright. There is a huge gap between the have and have-nots, life is a struggle with a constant surveillance to ensure you're following the rules.
But ... but there is always some semblance of hope.
Far Out is another book that takes place in a dystopian future. Problems arose from issues with genetically modified food and overpopulation where the world’s economy collapsed. Now, herbal studies is one of the great careers as the earth slowly becomes sustainable again.
Saffron is the main character. She worries about her father who seems to leave for days at a time while on a secret mission. She doesn't ask too many questions because she wants to have plausible deniability if the patrol ever finds out.
Saffron soon learns there is whole world out there that is working against the machines -- oh, I forgot to mention that machines tend to rule with humans following their whims. Man vs. machine -- another common theme found in Far Out.
The book, however, focuses on Saffron's growth. She's 17 years old and at a crossroads in life. She has spent her life taking care of her father and those around her without giving much thought to herself. It's apparent early on when she gets a dog and would sooner give the puppy the last of the food without eating anything for herself.
But like many teenagers, she suffers from rash and impulsive feelings. As Saffron realizes the world is bigger and badder than the slum she is living in, her views tend to change. Life isn't just about her anymore, but finding people who might make the world a bit brighter, including friends and lovers.
Even in a dystopian world, Saffron can find some joy as she learns about life and love through family and new friends.
Rating: ****Four Stars