REVIEW - Killer T by Robert Muchamore
- Published 6th September 2018
by Robert Muchmore
Harry Smirnov, a Brit now living in Las Vegas with his auntie, wants to follow in his late-mother's footsteps and become a journalistic photographer and after a bombing at his school he gets the chance of a life time to follow his dreams.
Charlie is only a year younger than Harry but a hug science geek known for making an explosive at the science festival. When a footballer is blown up the police immediately believe it was Charlie's plan all along and there is no way she can get out of going to prison which ultimately ends of dictating her life.
Both Harry and Charlie are mixed up in a world when gene-editing is used by almost everyone but some people believe they can make more money by creating a virus. In order to stop the virus, the government must pay a hefty sum to be given the antidote.
Firstly, I just want to say how beautiful the cover and illustrations are. When the book arrived I was in awe at the designs. They are so creative and colourful. The actually story could have been rubbish and I would have still treasured the book.
Secondly, I could probably talk about this book forever. I am already dropping it into conversations. The biggest thing that I took away from it is that it is so thought provoking. Being set in this near-future world where science has advance almost beyond belief. I say almost, because it is something that is discussed in the science world but perhaps not at the forefront of news. I remember being in science classes in high school learning about DNA and the possibilities of gene-editing. The idea of designer babies and altering your own DNA is overall thought of to be a bed thing but this book creates a world in which this happens, and it happens a lot. You essentially can't look anywhere and not see someone or something that has had it's genes altered. It becomes a completely normal thing to suddenly have more of a tan and to have grown taller. It creates a world where this sounds idyllic. Not going to lie, I would like to be a bit taller, muscular, and more tanned is it seemed simple enough and it was possible. This ability to be in a world where even though there is hyperinflation, most people seem to be able to live. But the book also highlights the negative affects of this advancement in scientific technology - the viruses that can be created. Billions of people die because of man-made viruses and it has an affect on everybody across the world. Rich or poor. Quarantine becomes a completely normal thing and if you wish to fly to and from America then you have to account for up to two weeks in quarantine in each airport you land in.
Robert Muchamore has clearly thoroughly thought through all the possible outcomes of having such viruses created. I've been asked if I'd consider the book to be a dystopian novel as it is advertised as but though it probably fits into that description, I can't see it as that. Typically young adult dystopians are like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, or Divergent, all of which see a world far in the future where the world has crumbled and certain people of a higher authority believe they have a way of putting an end to it, usually by sectioning large groups of people. This book, however, is much more like it could be set in a few years time. The descriptions of phones, cameras, television, media, the casinos, etc. all root it in a very realistic setting which can only be the world as we know it now. I found it very difficult to believe the book was fictional at all sometimes. Not only was I engrossed in it, I often felt like I was reading an actual news story. Everything in this book is entirely possible.
Onto more about the actual writing, story and characters. I really appreciated how there aren't too many characters and the ones you get to know all have realistic personalities and attributes. Being from the UK, it is very easy to empathise with Harry being a Brit himself. At first it is difficult to empathise with Charlie as it's not very often you come across a thirteen year old science enthusiast but as she grows up, she becomes more of the person you could recognise at college or university. The writing style is simple and plenty easy to read, so much so that I found it very easy to speed read. It is very casual in its manner. The story hops from different time periods and at first it felt quite jarring as it often happened after a major event but after thinking about it, it made the story more realistic. Not was dwelled on for too long like in many books where you just want to know what happens next. The snippets of news headlines at the start of each part were a lovely touch to quickly move the story on and let you know what has happened in the time gap. I felt myself wanting to click on the headlines to find out more, but obviously that wasn't possible. Also, I couldn't believe what happened to Harry at all, but I suppose that is one of the troubles of the world. Eventually, when I let myself believe what happened actually happened, it made me realise just how life-like this book really is. There are no stereotypical fictional plots, instead it's all based off actual possibilities.
You can probably tell how much I enjoyed it just by how much I've wrote about this book. It is truly remarkable. I wouldn't exactly say it's a children's book or even mid teens, instead I'd suggest you read this if you are interested in possible futures of human life, science, or you are just particularly intellectual inclined. I've seen some bad reviews but when I've read them, it seems there wasn't much thought gone into the plot and messages created in the book as a whole. I suppose some people read things differently. Personally, I believe you should read this book with all eyes open, and your brain read to take it in. It definitely needs some time to gather all the information. Particularly because of how truthful it seems.
Until the next book...
* I received this pre-release book from Readers First and Hot Key Books in return for a review. All opinions are my own.