Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Price: £ 16.99
This is the story of a group of VERY different people who, once they arrive in Seoul, in the not too distant future, become involved in a story that questions the idea of utopia, science, evolution and what role should the human race play in manipulating the future. SS is emotional, very emotional. It makes you question everything from your moral values to where you stand with regards to genetic modification, cloning and science's role in the realms of evolution.
When it comes to the characters, they are VERY diverse. From the Canadian wannabe model to the English dude with very few aims to the run away girl from North Korea. All characters have a very different purpose but all are integral to the events of the novel. Johnny and Sydney are two characters that have some very powerful scenes. Not only are they hugely unnerving and unsettling on occasion but they are also highly charged with tension, aggression and sexuality. I developed a soft spot for Damien as, old excellent boy assistant now lives in Seoul and teaches English. There is something of Damien about him which made this character and his part in the novel very personal and poignant!
The phonetic spellings used for when the Korean characters were speaking English was wonderful and provided a slight amount of humour to what is a very challenging and charged read. The research that must have gone in to creating this novel was also incredibly impressive. Not only research in to Korea, its cultures, people and history, but in to science, genetics and what could be feasible in the not too distant future.
This is a glorious but rather overwhelming read. It's far more powerful and charged than you expect from the blurb, cover and first few chapters. This book will indeed take you by surprise.