Tor, Mar 2008, $17.95
The Mayor rules the city through the subtle use of the Bureaucracy starting with students whose minds and behavior are shaped to the mayor’s ideal of perfection. Every pupil is brainwashed until as adults they do the same things to their offspring who are students. This has led to a totalitarian society in which the Enforcers make sure the students follow the rules; those who fail to conform are expelled to live as homeless waifs.
One former student saw the Mayor, his Educators and the Enforcers as tyrants. He and other disenfranchised and disenchanted students formed the Truancy who chose to live in a free world. Fifteen years old Tack is stunned when the Truancy Leader Zyid kills his sister in what he calls “collateral damage”; he vows to kill Zyid. He joins the Truancy in order to accomplish his quest and though he has chances he hesitates because without Zyid the Truancy, who is family to him, dies. Tack, Zyid and their enemy will soon confront each other with no telling who if any will walk away.
Mindful of Huxley’s Big Brother and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”, Isamu Fukui shows what happens to a society when a dictatorship centrally controls the entire education process especially what is learned. Zyid may be a young teen, but he is a pragmatist who believes bloodshed must occur to bring fear into the hearts of the Mayor, the Educator and their inner circle in order to incite a rebellion. Tack is his opposite as an idealist willing to die for his beliefs, but preferring change without bloodshed.. Readers will be enthralled by this meaningful story focusing on the impact of corrupt leaders controlling all communication starting when the citizens are young pupils.