Descendant by Jeffrey A. Levin

Title: Descendant

Author: Jeffrey A. Levin

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

The year is 2378, and the world knows sixteen-year-old Michael Eisenstein as someone who comes from a long line of mass murderers that spans more than three centuries. Yes, he is the most unlikely person to begin fighting for the survival of the human race.

The planet has experienced eight additional world wars since the dawn of the twenty-first century, and extraterrestrials are living in the ocean, beneath a world devastated by the effects of climate change. Michael’s mother, Monica, lives in fear, and his father, Benjamin, is the most recent Eisenstein responsible for creating ever larger and more efficient weapons of mass destruction.

Michael, meanwhile, fears becoming his father and struggles with suicidal depression–that is, until he meets Maya and immediately falls in love. But when Ben takes Michael to Giza on a mission to find new energy sources, the boy accidentally falls into a tunnel and encounters a time traveler by the name of Ezekial. From there, the pair set out on the adventure of a lifetime, and Michael learns the truth about the fate of the earth and its people.

In this science fiction novel, a sixteen-year-old boy living in 2378 on a devastated earth meets a time traveler and sets out to save humanity.

Review:

Descendant by Jeffrey A. Levin is an interesting science fiction take on what might become of our world in the very near future.  Right from the beginning, he addresses today’s environmental and governmental issues, and how they have affected the world in the future.  I enjoyed reading about his ideas and exploring a world that could very well become our own.

However, I was often distracted from the genius of the world that Levin created by the snarky tone of the narrator.  It seemed to me that Michael Eisenstein, our main character, was trying too hard to come off as witty and endearing when he was coming off as a bit superficial.  He also would think to himself too much, and it seemed that he was trying to force too much unnecessary information into the reader.  I am a big fan of the saying “show me, don’t tell me” and that is something that could improve the writing in this novel.  It was because of this that I had a hard time relating to Michael Eisenstein or caring for him, and I ended up not being interested in his storyline.  But I do think that Levin’s idea for having a descendant of a line of mass murderers is intriguing, and if the main character were reimagined, the story would shine.

With that being said, it is clear to me that Levin has great storytelling skills in terms of creating a science fiction world that is inviting and terrifying all at once.  He took our current events and progressed them into the future in a way that should be a wake-up call for us all.  I enjoyed his world building skills and his take on the world today, and I think that many science fiction fans would enjoy this brilliantly created world.  If Michael Eisenstein had been given a more natural voice, this novel would expand and his story would fly off of the page.  But overall, I enjoyed Levin’s world and I look forward to what he creates in the future.

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