Verdict: Characters, plot, and prose ring frighteningly true in this clever sci fi work that weaves romance, mystery, and suspense with what’s for dinner.
The year is 2063 and 40-year-old Angela Anselm is a reporter who writes a nutrition column for a publication called “The Well.”
In search of a hot topic to revive her flagging column she stumbles across a mysterious death ostensibly linked to “Cheating.” Food is now provided by the NArc (Nutritional Architecture System), which delivers personalized prescriptions (aka food) to fit each individual’s specific nutritional and health needs. Following the breakdown of agricultural farming, folks live longer, healthier lives (ending in planned “termination” when they are no longer of use).
While searching for the cause of cheater Martine Sinsky’s death, Angela discovers an underground world of “Foodies” who love the taste, texture and camaraderie of food and are willing to trade longevity for culinary freedom.
In this fascinating sci-fi novel, Dougherty tackles a range of issues, including climate change, agribusiness, food safety, corporate greed, and the struggle between heart and mind. As Angela gets closer and closer to the truth (and begins “cheating” herself, with the help of an attractive Foodie named Josh), she finds that her own life is in danger–but not from indulging in bacon or fries. Dougherty paints a chilling picture of the possibilities that may result when the food supply is contaminated or threatened. Characters, plot, and prose ring frighteningly true in this clever sci fi work that weaves romance, mystery, and suspense with what’s for dinner.
Reviewed by Kathryn Livingston for IndieReader