Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Truesight Truesight by David Stahler Jr.

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars

David Stahler Jr.'s Truesight is like George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm meets Lois Lowry's The Giver. Only with blind people. The premise is that about a hundred years in our future, parents are choosing their unborn children's genetics, and a blind couple decides they want their child to be blind like they are, so they tinker with the DNA. It becomes a big media thing, a whole community of blind people grows around them, and eventually they get persecuted by the "seers" (i.e. people who can see) and ask for and get protected status for their Foundation. Part of the group's doctrine is about how much better it is to be sightless because you're not distracted by appearances, are more pure & selfless, blah blah blah. People who can see are vilified and held up as examples of corruption and war, etc.

Fast forward an unknown length of time to when the book is set--on a colony on a planet somewhere outside our solar system. Our hero, Jacob, is a 12-almost-13-year-old-boy who is struggling with adolescence in a society that preaches the good of the group over the good of the individual. Only it turns out that everything isn't quite so perfect in their community--the physical blindness is also sometimes a metaphorical blindness. The "Gatherings" remind me an awful lot of Animal Farm & the "blind" (pardon the pun) bleating of the sheep. Jacob struggles to adjust to his changing awareness of his world, learning some difficult lessons about human frailty and deceit.

The story can be a bit heavy-handed at times, but it's still pretty interesting. Not quite up to Lowry standards, but OK. I'd be interested to know what teenagers thought of it--whether they relate to Jacob's angst, etc. Truesight is the first in a trilogy, apparently, the second book of which is The Seer.

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