Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful
Booklist Reviews 2018 October #2
*Starred Review* Six stories meld perfectly together into one complex, eerily plausible narrative in Dayton's newest novel. The book thoroughly integrates scientific advancements of the present and explores the achievements—and horrors—possible in the future if these advancements are built upon. In this sf world, humans are obsessed with perfection and becoming more of everything: stronger, faster, more intelligent, longer-lived, more beautiful, more resilient. Dayton allows humanity to accomplish such feats in her collection of stories, but the results aren't the picture-perfect image most would imagine. Just as the pursuit of power can lead to malfeasance, the pursuit of perfection can foster corruption. Dhonielle Clayton explores similar themes in her fantasy novel The Belles (2018), looking at the importance of perfection through the lens of beauty in a world where people have unchecked means of remaking their physical selves. Dayton takes this a step further as she paints a gut-wrenching future where people use unlimited power to alter literally any and everything about themselves. This speculative, thought-provoking novel will take readers on a frightening, remarkable journey through humanity's past, present, and possible future. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
PW Reviews 2018 October #3
These six linked tales delve into the question of ethics in scientific and medical human modification. Along the way, they loosely follow the life, career, and afterlife of Tad Tadd, a reverend who popularizes a movement against changing corporeal forms and then, after a family tragedy, wholeheartedly embraces people's right to modify their bodies as they choose. The book begins with semi-identical twins Julia and Evan, whose organs are not growing fast enough to keep either alive; when Julia goes into a vegetative state, doctors advise the twins' parents to harvest Julia's organs for Evan, and Tadd pays a visit to the family in the hospital, calling the boy "a life-devouring creature." Another section follows a teen, significantly modified following a car accident, who hears Tadd's message on the radio. As the stories move further into the future, Dayton (