Friday, January 16, 2009

Truancy by Fukui

This book was written by Fukui when he was just fifteen. He isn't much more than that now.
As a creative writing assignment in an advanced high school or a college class this gets an A +. As a novel released to the public, it has problems. Ok so it has a little more depth than a violent video game so maybe young gamers are the ones doing the five star reviews and appreciate that depth. And the writing is well done, vivid. But, it has no noble cause that I know of, no reason for the huge amount of escalating violence that is killing upwards of 40 people a day, many of them kids except apparently to smash flat the tyrannical education system in the dystopic city . On page 395 of the book we are told that Truancy leader Zyid had a noble cause which simply got out of control - huh. Zyid has some unrevealed issue with the school system which angers him to the point of establishing a terrorist group of underage teens who have been expelled from school. There is a zero tolerance policy in the school and even passing notes can get you carried out of school bound and gagged by armed enforcers. Zyid is independently wealthy and financing most of the groups needs - he's under aged and there are no adults on his horizon - huh. The group is well armed with rocket propelled grenades, flammable liquids, guns, knives and swords. Zyid and other leaders of truancy have training in sword fighting perhaps samurai? The school system is indeed in need of reform but Zyid's plan seems to leave nothing to reform and a lot of kids accustomed to a lot of violence.
The other main characters are Takan who joined to kill Zyid who bombed an enforcer car where his sister had been taken when expelled and been burned alive, Edward, a kid without conscience and with a need for self aggrandizing who forms a kid militia to go against truancy for the enforcers, Umasi who is Zyid's pacifist brother and the one who trained the others in sword fighting and Noni, a girl who has suffered terribly in the past and has an ugly scar ( could it have been caused by abuse, cancer, car accident? no idea) and I guess a love interest but that is only very lightly touched upon. Most of the book is just violent battle, killing after violent battle, killing so -um- the reviewer that said teens write like they're playing video games but this one doesn't - how so? Fukui, what did you do -take all the terrorism in the middle east, Gaza, Afghanistan, Iraq and turn it into a book about endless senseless violence? But they at least have a stated noble cause no matter how flawed their methods. That is what it feels like to me and frankly I am so weary of reading about violence and killing I won't be reading or buying the next in the series not even in the hope that all the puzzling stuff will be explained - oh and where are the parents, the caring adults? Are all adults evil? Really?
JDW 1/16/09

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