Beyond the pale on Amazon.com
Senan Gil Senan has created in Beyond the Pale a very believable world, were two sets of humans have evolved in two very different ways. The character of River; a young Native American or outlander who lives a hidden existence outside of the city bounds and its controls; is the embodiment of the group that have re-embraced a more tribal way of life. He seems to be in tune with his environment and his own body. The differences between the groups become clear when River saves Nathan Carlson; a security officer from the fortified city of New Denver. Even though Nathan is grateful for River saving his life, he can’t avoid him being taken captive by the cities forces. He does however succeed in taking custody of River and he brings him home to live with his family. Here the differences become even clearer when we see how the somewhat dysfunctional Carlson offspring deals with life. Both children had their intelligence artificially enhanced at birth, but in their society social skills seem less important. Anton the son is so involved with all his gadgets that he rather deals with a virtual woman than a real girl. Audrina is the epitome of a hedonistic society that needs technology, drugs and sex for entertainment. River falls in love with Audrina and a relationship develops. It doesn’t make for comfortable reading, when Audrina plays games and pushes River into her dysfunctional world. Here our hero shows his moral fibre and stands up to her.
There is plenty of action in this book and I found it hard to put down. I wanted to rush to the end to find out how River ended up. The descriptions of the new ‘advanced’ world are vivid without overwhelming the reader with techno-babble. The writer also brought the Colorado landscape (or the outlands) to life for me. There are plenty more questions to be answered at the end of the book and I’m pleased that there is already a follow up to this book; The Fifth Seed.