by Daniel Sweren-Becker
Published: September 6th 2016
Cody has always been proud of being a One. She and her boyfriend James were two of the lucky babies from the 1% of the U.S. population that were randomly selected to benefit from genetic engineering. Now, she and the rest of The Ones are excelling. They are healthy, beautiful, and talented. They aren't otherworldly, just perfect. And to some, that's not fair. The Equality Movement, capitalizing on the growing fear and jealousy, gains political traction and actually outlaws their existence. Society shows its darker side as The Ones are marginalized. The line between right and wrong blurs in the face of injustice and Cody becomes closer to a group of radical Ones intent on fighting back. James begins to fear just how far she is willing to go for the cause.
I moved this book to the top of my TBR because I love sci-fi and the concept of X-Men. I finished this book in a day because it's thought provoking and very well a possibility in our [not too distant] future.
It is not impossible to think of the day when we can genetically screen out and engineer embryos. A lot of people wish for this day when they think about all of the negative outcomes of genetics. But what if we not only eliminated the negative outcomes but also all the average ones, too? Right now we live in a world where we accept luck and fate and chance (and hard work, of course) when it comes to intelligence and physical abilities but if certain people were bred to be better? I've seen this show before and Dark Angel wasn't pretty (ok, the Jensen Ackles parts were).
Let’s be clear: while genetic engineering might one day become so common no one blinks at its use, the transition to that era is going to be fraught with controversy. The first generation of genetically engineered babies is going to have a tremendous advantage over their peers. Of course, there’s also the chance they will engender a tremendous amount of resentment.
Now imagine these were the people who got jobs before us average Janes and Joes. If they didn't really have to try at school or they got the guy/girl because they have the best of the physical traits. You can see how this would become a problem and how people might turn on them. There's been so much unrest with Dolly and anything related to genetics!
The author, Daniel Sweren-Becker, talks extensively about how he came to write such a book. "History tells us that when a powerless minority provokes fear in the majority there are usually tragic consequences," he points out. This subject is especially dear to me because I once majored in biology, with my intent to go into genetics counseling (aka the person you talk to when you're worried your genetics might produce an offspring with undesirable outcomes).
The Ones is a book that'll keep you guessing till the end, with a few twists in there. If you're looking for a sci-fi read this fall, I highly recommend this one!