Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mergers by Steven L. Layne

Dirk Tyrone awakes groggily, unable to recognize where he is, knowing only that he's bound and unable to move. He's also unable to concentrate. His ability to enter another's mind is being blocked as he tries to telepathically discern the source of the cries of pain he hears. Apparently others are captive too! Mentally struggling against this barrier, Dirk breaks free and travels - his mind travels - to Dr. Lisa Tyrone who has been tortured to the point of death.

Soon we learn about Dirk's friends, and the only family he has, Nicci , Mateo, and Keiko. Like Dirk each has a unique ability. Nicci can travel through time, Mateo can physically change forms, and Keiko can heal, both herself and others. Together they free one another and attempt to free Dr. Lisa Tyrone, who's secretly raised them all from birth. Unfortunately the rescue plays right into the hands of Senator Broogue.

Senator Broogue, the leader of the Legion for World Alliance, has manipulated world leaders and events to bring a world-wide society in which Dr. Tyrone and the four friends are a risk. A serious risk. Dirk is Caucasian. Nicci is African. Keiko is Asian. Matteo is Hispanic. The world as Senator Broogue has crafted it has been merged into a society with no racial differences and no memory of them. He envisions a world with no racial conflict, and by eliminating separate races, Senator Broogue has (in his mind) succeeded...until these children arrived, each displaying the distinct physical characteristics of four races eliminated by the Merger. Dr. Tyrone knew the children would be murdered at birth in order to protect the Merger, so she took them into hiding and secretly raised them.

The four kids are rescued at the last minute by Madam Moment, Mrs. Morph, and Dr. Panacea, three adults who share the kids' abilities but whose talents are much more highly developed. Dirk, Nicci, Keiko, and Matteo learn quite a history lesson from them about Senator Broogue, the beginnings of the Merger, and what life would be like without the Merger. Then they receive training to use their abilities more skillfully, knowing that only through reliance upon one another will the four of them be able to reverse the Merger, defeat Senator Broogue, and restore Earth to it's rightful, diverse self.

Readers will enjoy the fast paced story, especially the escape attempt at the beginning and the thrilling climax. Even Dirk, Nicci, Keiko, and Matteo's history lessons move along quickly. The flashbacks to Madam Moment, Mrs. Morph, and Dr. Panacea's (and Senator Broogue's) childhoods are filled with enough intrigue to hold reader interest, but the descriptions of Senator Broogue's calculating and manipulating actions will have readers hoping he won't succeed, knowing all the while that he does. Readers, along with characters, are faced with questions throughout the book about diversity, life, conflict, power, and the cost of each.

4 comments:

Kelsie said...

I just finished reading this book and I absolutely LOVE it. I did not want to put it down (but i had to because i was in class). If you like adventure and super powers this is the book for you. It made me feel like I was watching it first hand and sometimes I felt like I was one of the characters. The imagery in this book is AMAZING. It's like I you're a part of the book. I recommend this book to anyone!

Brian said...

You know, there's nothing like class to ruin a good book. (Teachers, I'm just kidding!) I'm glad we agree on the recommendation. Have you read This Side of Paradise yet?

Anonymous said...

Terrible book it was a drag.

Brian said...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just wish there was a way to entitle the rest of us to the reasons for that opinion. Care to share, Mr./Ms./Mrs. Anonymous?

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