The Dystopian Reading Challenge is hosted by Bart's Bookshelf
October 1, 2010 through December 19th 2010.
This is book 3/5 in the reading Dystopian challenge:
The Blending Time by Michael Kinch
Summary from Goodreads:
Congratulations on turning age seventeen. You are now ready for placement by the Council government.
For kids in the year 2054, turning seventeen means they’re ripe for Global Alliance work assignments that range from backbreaking drudgery to deadly canal labor. Trying to survive in a desiccated world that’s been ravaged by plagues, AIDS III, and environmental disasters, three “s’teeners” from very different backgrounds think they’ve gotten lucky. Jaym, Reya, and D’Shay are chosen to be among thousands of blenders whose task is to help repopulate Africa after a solar flare left its people sterile.
But the continent itself—roiling with civil war and mercenaries intent on crushing the blending program at any cost—poses the gravest danger of all. Separated, the three friends struggle to escape horrific situations, somehow reunite, and reach a camp in the mountains that promises salvation from the harsh and threatening world.
We are introduced to the three main characters; Jaym, Reya, and D’Shay and their diverse backgrounds. At the age of seventeen, known as s’teeners, they are issued mandatory work assignments. They meet and become friends as they travel by cargo boat to Africa to blend (breed) with the population that were left sterile from a chromosomal difficulty due to a solar flare. Naturally, this does not go over well with many of the local people. They are separated and left to fend for themselves until they escape and can get back together.
Although the premise sounds promising I found it a little flat but interesting.
The Blending Time is Michael Kinch's debut novel and it ended so abruptly that I checked to see if there would be a sequel at his website and yes, he is currently working on the next book, with a possibly for a trilogy.
His website also has photos from the time the author lived in Africa and where the idea for The Blending Time originated, including a photo of people making watering cans like the ones D'Shay works on.