The Visitor by Louvie G. Tucker is the first in a new dystopian sci-fi series, the Corrupted Genes series.
Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to take part in this book tour and giving me a free Advanced Review Copy in return for an honest review.
The Visitor is set in the year 2109, and America has now split into two — North USA (Nusa) and South USA (Susa). The story follows Peter Weekly, a genmod technician living in Nusan. His job is to tell expectant parents what their unborn children will look like, and modify the baby’s genes to their specifications. He is a good Nusan — he follows all of the rules, and hasn’t had so much as a parking ticket. His best friend, Sasha, regularly tries to set him up with blind dates. But all that changes when Susa gets over the border and breaks into Sasha’s apartment.
You can buy a copy of The Visitor on Amazon in Kindle and in paperback.
This is a fantastic first novel! The dystopian world that Louvie has created was incredibly realistic and believable, particularly in today’s political climate. Peter questions the vanity of the world he lives in, with parents able to change all aspects of their children before they are born. One set of parents changes everything about their child to make them fit the image they want — female, light-skinned, attractive, intelligent and charming. Parents can even change their future son’s penis size! (All changes are for a fee, of course.)
And, of course, racism is a huge issue in this story. All Nusans are light-skinned, with a minimum regulation of the lightness of skin. Films portray dark-skinned Susans as sub-human animals; violent and barely able to talk. When Peter meets a dark-skinned man for the first time, he is shocked that they are intelligent, well-spoken and charming. This was written really well — hearing characters describe Susans as ‘things’ was incredibly shocking.
The social commentary is fantastically written and incredibly important — and the futuristic, dystopian setting ensures that while it’s an important part of the story, it doesn’t feel overpowering. The story moves along quickly as well, keeping the story engaging and interesting. The Visitor is only 179 pages making it a short but engaging read.
I really liked seeing Peter’s character develop throughout the book. At the beginning he is a good Nusan, following all of society’s rules. However, throughout the book he begins to question society and the rules set — and whether having some flaws really is so bad. Meeting a Nusan also makes him question his own beliefs and values. The friendship between Peter and Sasha was great too. It’s not often that books have friends of the opposite sex who are good friends and don’t end up dating at the end of the book!
The Visitor ends on a cliffhanger, and I was left desperate to find out what happens next — the story had just began to heat up. I hope there won’t be a long wait until the next book in the series!
This is a fantastic debut novel and I really look forward to learning more about Nusan and Susan society in the next book! If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, then The Visitor and the Corrupted Genes series will be a great addition to your library.
The blurb for The Visitor
Nusans don’t cause trouble. Peter is a good Nusan. Single, annoyed with his best friend’s constant blind dates, and comfortably provided for with his job as a genmod technician, he spends his days telling expectant parents what their unborn children will look like. For a fee, he can modify physical and mental traits.
To ensure Nusa’s perfect society, however, it is law that all babies must be born with white skin, an IQ 120 or above, and without any illnesses or disabilities. These modifications are free of charge. It’s the law. And good Nusans obey the law. The people of Susa, however, are known to be troublemakers.
Thank goodness the dark-skinned Susans all live south of the border, in Susa. The closest Peter ever has to come to a dangerous Susan is either on the silver screen being vanquished by a heroic Nusan hero or on the news as deporters — the force charged to keep Nusa safe — prepare to send them south to Susa.
That is, until a dark-skinned visitor is suddenly inside the four walls of Peter’s quiet existence. Snarky. Irreverent and without any regard for the rules, the stranger should be a Susan but is he? Why is he claiming to have fallen from the stars?
Everything Peter knows is suddenly in question and even his status as a good Nusan is under threat as deporters seek him out on suspicion of a capital crime. Has Peter caused trouble?
Life as Peter has known it is fragile. Can he survive long enough to learn the truth? And will he even want to believe it once he finds it?
About the author, Louvie G. Tucker
Louvie G. Tucker lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with his wife. Born in Buffalo, New York, he’s called various U.S. states, Japan, and China home at points in his life. When he’s not working in cyber security, he enjoys rock climbing, staying up to date on current events, keeping up with his Japanese language skills, and riding his bicycle. He is currently working on the second book in the Corrupted Genes series.