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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Lens and the Looker by Lory Kaufman

Publication Date: 3/16/2011
Publisher: The Fiction Studio
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Book Tour

Goodreads Summary:
There's hope for the future, but what about the past?

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.


After reading that summary, how could you not want to read this book?  It is a perfect mix of a post-dystopian society and historical fiction.  On top of the great mix, I felt like I was learning more about history as I read it.

Hansum, Shamira, and Lincoln are spoiled teenagers who have all been transported back in time further than they think.  Usually these students would participate in a History Camp to learn more about the society of the past, but these three have found themselves actually transporting to the past because of their consistent feeling that history is not important.  They need to learn how to live in this new life so they can survive and make it back to the present time.  

The characters were very dynamic.  Hansum is the oldest and I would say the most mature out of the group.  He seems to step up and take his role as the protector of them all.  Shamira is very artistic and great at what she does.  She almost seems like a mother to Lincoln.  Lincoln would have to be the worse of them all.  I couldn't stand his constant whining and complaining.  He didn't seem to understand that he needed to play along to make it.  He kept questioning authority and getting himself in much more trouble than he needed.  The three reminded me a lot of typical teenagers.  Not all teenagers are the same, and these three definitely represented that idea.  I had a lot of hope for them to make it and succeed in their crazy life.

The storyline was intriguing and well-written.  I was kept at the edge of my seat wondering what would happen to these three teens.  There were dangers and diseases lurking everywhere.  Would they make it back?  Would they all die in 1347 Verona?  I loved the historical references and the inside look into the lens-maker trade.  These three teens were put into a difficult situation and had to make the decision whether to try to survive this experience and learn from it or try their hardest to get back to the present time sooner.  This was a gripping and thrilling novel.  I don't typically read a lot of historical fiction, but mixing it with a post-dystopian society was an amazing accomplishment.  I can't wait to start The Bronze and the Brimstone.

**I was provided with this novel free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion and review.**

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