Today, it’s my pleasure to talk to you about Elected, a post-apocolyptical YA novel. I’ve long been a fan of sci-fi novels and movies. I grew up during the Cold War when we had regular drills to protect ourselves in the event the enemy dropped an atomic bomb on us. People built shelters in their yards, most of which have now turned into storage areas. Is iut because we believe we’re safe and no one will bomb us? Probably not. Many probably feel like I do–if there is a nuclear war, I don’t want to be one of the ones left to pick up the pieces.
Elected is about those who survive the near destruction of the world.
It’s the year 2185, and in two weeks, Aloy will turn eighteen and take her father’s place as president of the country. But to do so, she must masquerade as a boy to avoid violating the Eco-Accords, four treaties designed to bring the world back from the brink of environmental extinction. Aloy hopes to govern like her father, but she is inheriting a different country. The long concealed Technology Faction is stepping out of the shadows, and as turmoil grows within her country, cryptic threats also arrive from beyond their borders.
As she struggles to lead, Aloy maintains her cover by marrying a woman, meanwhile battling feelings for the boy who knows her secret—the boy who is somehow connected to her country’s recent upheaval. When assassination attempts add to the turmoil, Aloy doesn’t know whom to trust. She understood leadership required sacrifice. She just didn’t realize the sacrifice might be her life.
This is not a world I’d want my grand-daughters to live in. Unlike the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek, the planet has become one of isolationism rather than brotherhood. In some ways, the political foreign policy reminds me of the 1823 Monroe Doctrine in the United States.: It stated that efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression. In Ms. Shay’s world, trying to move from one country to another is a crime punishable by death.
People live the way our pioneer ancestors did, but without any kind of technology. Transportation is limited to horses for the ruling class and its protectors, and bicycles which are state-owned and must be treated with respect since no new ones can be made– that would require technology and all technology is banned. Many of the things we consider basic rights are denied its citizens. Women have one sole purpose, to have babies and repopulate the world.
In the midst of this social nightmare, an accord was signed giving power to one family for 100 years–a way to provide stability. Power passes from the father to the eldest son on the boy’s 18th birthday. But what happens if there’s no son?
Aloy must deny who she is for the sake of her people, but at what cost? The story is well-written and thought provoking. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Selected, which will be available this spring.