Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: The Lens and the Looker by Lory S. Kaufman

Title: The Lens and the Looker
Author: Lory S. Kaufman
Publisher: Fiction Studio
Series: The Verona Trilogy, Book 1
Paperback: 336 pages
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s), have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan. 
In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities. 
These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

The Lens and the Looker is a very interesting, creatively written and detail-oriented story. The author delivers a wonderful, well thought-out original storyline about three trouble-making youths in the 24th century who are sent to History Camp for rehabilitation. These youths, who are known as hard cases, are ultimately sent to 14th century Italy, where they learn to live without the luxuries they always took for granted.

In the beginning of the book, I struggled to understand the behavior of the three protagonists since there was very little background to glean from. Yet, as the story evolved, I grew to appreciate and love what each character offered. I have to say, my favorite character is Shamira because she is quiet, observes the world around her, and transforms it onto paper as a portrait.

I was mesmerized with the author’s description of Verona in 1347. I felt as though I were transported back in time. This book was so carefully crafted that it was easy to engulf oneself into the characters. When the family ate rations, I felt their hunger. When the family ate plenty, I felt their joy. I really thought this was a wonderful book. I had a hard time putting the book down once I got invested in the storyline.

*I received this book free from the Fiction Studio as a part of the Pump Up Your Book tour, for my honest review.*