Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lens and the Looker - Lory S. Kaufman

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.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: The Lens and the Looker (Book #1 of the Verona Trilogy)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Historical
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
Publication Date: March 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Tracee from Pump Up Your Books for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository
My rating: 4/5

Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln are three trouble-making, and spoiled teens from the year 2347. They couldn't be bothered to learn about history, and have all been relegated to spend time in "History Camps" to get a hands-on learning experience. What they don't expect, is to actually be sent back in time to the actual Verona, Italy. There are no actors here, and the three teens will have to learn to adapt to their new reality, or die. They will also have to take care that they don't do anything that would alter history. In 1347, Verona was rife with turmoil, and disease, and the trio will have to take care not to become a casualty of the times.
With these illustrious main characters, it is easy to see why Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln were sent back in time to "History Camps." They may gain an appreciation for their lives if they knew how good they had it. Coming from a dystopian world, where everything is seemingly perfect, the three are shocked when they realize how grungy their new accommodations are. Will they be able to acclimate to their new reality and the hard work needed to survive?
Filled with historical references, political intrigue, and an in-depth look at the trade of a lens-maker, this is a rich reading experience. The three teens will have to prove their mettle if they are going to survive, and it is especially fortuitous that they are able to work with, and for, the lens-maker, Agistino. 
All in all, The Lens and the Looker is a remarkable read that gives us a fresh look at Verona in 1347. With danger lurking, as well as disease, this one will keep you at the edge of your seat wondering if the three teens will survive their learning experience, and new reality without altering history. I'm looking forward to reading what will happen next in The Bronze and the Brimstone.

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