Author: Kate Blair
Release Date: October 24, 2015
Publisher: Dancing Cat Books
London, England, present day. This is the world as we know it, but with one key difference: medical science has found a way to remove diseases from the sick. The catch? They can only transfer the diseases into other living humans. The government now uses the technology to cure the innocent by infecting criminals.
It is into this world that Talia Hale is born. Now sixteen and the daughter of a prime ministerial candidate, she discovers that the effort to ensure that bad things happen only to bad people has turned a once-thriving community into a slum, and has made life perilous for two new friends.
When Talia’s father makes an election promise to send in the police to crack down on this community, Talia can only think of how much worse things will be for her friends. Will she defy her father to protect them, even if it means costing him the election? (Dancing Cat Books)
The kitchen is crowded, as usual. I swallow a cough as I enter. I don’t want to disgust them.
* I received an advanced ebook from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion or my review *
The premise of Transferral had me from the getgo. A society that transfers illness from law-abiding citizens to those convicted of various crimes? I’M THERE. I knew immediately that the social commentary to come would be incredible. Just after receiving the book, I had the pleasure of getting to hear Kate speak at the Toronto Word on the Street festival about the book and I was even more hooked.
Talia is a character that means well. She recognizes that there are injustices in the world and wants desperately to right them and be a ‘force of good’. Unfortunately, she’s also a little bit hasty and often misguided. Her heart is in such a good place that she doesn’t always think her plans to better the world all the way through and sometimes ends up making things worse for those she intends to help. She is very used to simple solutions and doesn’t realize that, more often than not, things don’t work out that easily. What I love about Talia is her willingness to accept when she’s been wrong and to learn the other side(s) of the story.
As I mentioned, I was also very excited about the moral issues that were dealt with in Transferral. On the surface, transferring illnesses (from the common cold to something much more severe) to criminals in accordance with their convictions seems like a great idea. As the story progresses, we see where things can become a little murky and how, both in the political landscape of the book and our actual world, sometimes things aren’t what they seem. Talia learns that not all convicted criminals are as bad and dangerous as she’s been told her whole life and that things desperately need to change because, in their current state, they are hindering the advancement of people who have done nothing wrong.
The story was also constructed incredibly well. It flowed very smoothly and I never felt myself getting bored. I also loved the descriptions given throughout. I was able to build what I think was a very strong mental image of the city and how the different classes lived. To be totally honest, based on what I was imagining while reading, I want this made into a movie. Kate built such a captivating world because she made it so similar to the one in which we live but it’s vastly different at the same time.
This was a great read. The synopsis promised an interesting concept and the delivery was spot on. It beautifully captured the messiness of politics and social justice without being preachy or dry. I was kept on my toes and entertained the whole time while reading and it definitely got me thinking which I love. I wholeheartedly recommend this book and I cannot wait to see what other stories Kate has to tell.