This piece of dystopic fiction takes a cool bent on the constraints of freedom. While Bradbury went after censorship and Orwell addressed disinformation (among other things), Rabinowitz tackles the hoarding and selling of genes.
The main character is a Milano, which is to say, he is from the Milano line. He is a descendant of the Milano line. He has been bred to protect. Other’s have been bred to rule. People of the Wu line, for instance, have unnaturally large eyes and exquisitely expressive features. They have these traits as they were bred to rule and so they are best at social interactions. The Families are part of what is called The Way. No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Taoism. In this story, it’s an impressive structure and hierarchy that keeps the “Feral” people–people who are not bred for a purpose, who live outside the cultural rules of The Way, oppressed.
This story hits on similar issues as most dystopic literature. Brainwashing, oppression, subjugation, illumination, waking up. . .etc. Where this piece thrives, however, is its unique language and world. It’s certainly worth picking up, even if it doesn’t reinvent a somewhat limited genre. (C)