4 out of 4 stars
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The Unborn by Tayma Tameem is a sci-fi novel that explores the negative effects of climate change on the world, including a scarcity of resources and complications with birthing.
It is a few decades into the future, and there is a shortage of water due to environmental changes. Amidst the chaos that ensues as a result of this, there is only one hope for the masses: Forge Corporation, which has complete control over the water available. Therefore, everyone must now live according to their rules, in several created compounds, to access their resources. Anyone who will not live by Forge's rules is forced to take their chances in the desert. A group of rebels, called The Outliers, now present the biggest threat to Forge Corporation and its wicked ways.
The story focuses on Jake Hurst, a director in Forge Corporation's "Compound 17," and his wife, Summer Hurst. Jake is one of the brightest directors and hopes to advance to the highest rank working for Forge. Summer is a lab technician and struggles with accepting the artificial birthing program started by Forge. Complications arise when Summer, who already has a child, gets pregnant with twins. Will she abide by Forge's one-child policy by terminating the pregnancy? How will this affect Jake's hopes of progressing through Forge's ranks?
The author does a brilliant job in the execution of the plot that explores a relevant theme in modern society. A lot of effort is put into world-building, including explaining the concepts behind how the world gets to that point of chaos. Readers will also be engrossed in the numerous uncertainties that surround how the characters react to this world that they find themselves. The book is a slow-paced read, but there is no dull moment. The pace also provides sufficient time for the author to develop the plot properly.
My favorite feature of the book has to be character development. Tayma Tameem has created characters that are very easy to connect to and fully pull the readers into the pages of the book. The self-centered nature of man is explored through these characters, as most of the characters selfishly fight for their interests without considering the consequences for others, which is what got them into the chaos, through climate change, in the first place. However, the reasons for their actions are well explained, and we get to understand why they act the way they do. Also, this trait in the characters ensures that there are a lot of clashes that will keep readers rooting for their favorite characters and on the edge of their seats throughout.
The Unborn is also professionally edited. I came across a few minor errors, but none of them affected the flow of my reading, as they were few and far between. The only thing I did not like about the book was that the author was repetitive about a character's story on two occasions, and this was not difficult to cope with. Besides that, the book is perfect. On that note, The Unborn deserves the maximum rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The book ends with a few unanswered questions that indicate that there could be a sequel. I am delightfully looking forward to reading the next book. I would recommend this novel to sci-fi lovers.
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