Chosen Twelve – book review

The Chosen Twelve
by James Breakwell
Science Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

22 children are all that’s left of the human race. They’re being trained by robots (Edubot is their main instructor) and other AIs using simulations to colonize a planet that’s basically antithetical to human life. Previous colonists managed to create a species of intelligent, but extremely hostile kangaroos that kill anyone they encounter, and the world wasn’t exactly welcoming to begin with. Things on their ship/space station are not so great either – robots and programming are starting to glitch in ways that lead to unpredictably dangerous behavior (they’re as likely to murder the children they’re supposed to be caring for). The kids themselves are in a weird limbo – held in perpetuity at the age of 12 by some mysterious technology – so that they don’t age (and won’t until they touch down on the planet’s surface), and in effect are 60 years old even if they haven’t been allowed to mature. Things come to a head when a more dominant AI (with its own agenda) decides to speed things up and reveals that the landing ship only has room for 12 of the children. They will have to compete for spaces and only the best will survive. Weirdly and occasionally hilariously entertaining amidst the tension and violence. Our species is down to its final gasp. Published for adults. Older teens may also enjoy.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

Print Friendly, PDF & Email