‘The sweep of time took me away. I saw myself in a distant place. In a cavernous room. My face was wrinkled, my breath rapid, my muscles tense. I sat waiting … waiting for the assembled to come to order … waiting as the vaguely familiar faces prepared to speak … waiting for the judgment from my own grandchildren.’
I was holding my breath till the last second! A truly gripping, enthralling, and powerful novel…
The court of the grandchildren Is set in the futuristic world of 2059, one in which chaos and damage caused by climate change are rampant. But while the story might concern the future It is actually a poignant critique of the present. The story begins when Lily gets a call from her great uncle David, whom she has never met before. Interestingly both our main characters are brought together by David’s wish to die, for which he needs Lily’s permission. But before Lily can grant his wish David needs to appear in the climate court where the present will judge him for his past mistakes. Then ensues a dynamic court drama with new revelations and twists at the turn of every page. Relationships develop and old wounds are reopened. The plot is moved along with an ample and accurate helping of AI and futuristic technology.
Lily’s character carries a distinct childlike persona and youthful bashfulness. She breathes life and fire into this book. Her emotions seem heightened, her sadness compelling, her love binding, her anger raging.
The portrayal of her character is powerfully and impressively carried out throughout the story.
I would love to say that David was my favorite character in this book because of his heroism and countless virtues. But that would be a lie because David isn’t a knight in shining armor. Quite the contrary in fact because he’s not perfect, no He’s human. This book gives us a deep insight into the constant pain suffered by him and how he deals with it. His reactions to his medications as well as the grasp of AI over humans are accurate and believable. The authors make us feel sympathy for a man left behind and penalized for a past he tries to forget. But they also make you feel frustrated and angry every time David acts unreasonable and defensive. But that’s how we know that a complex and realistic character has been crafted. And don’t even get me started on his character arc and development both in terms of his personality and his relationship with lily. David Is hardly a storybook character, he’s as real as you and I.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and a few of my many highlights are:
- Some books set in the future, don’t make sense to me, aren’t rational. Their themes are exasperatingly injudicious and illogical. Thus, what impressed me about this book was its sheer reality. The backdrop of this novel, in a world dominated by AI and devoured by climate change is factual, highly viable, and realistic.
- It carries a profound message and startingly encompasses what the future holds. Reading statistical reports on climate change, factual evidence on the declination of the environment, and the concerning future sovereignty of AI is one thing. Living in that world, which the power of the writing in this book enables you to do, is another. Another influential, horrifying, eye-opening, and revealing experience.
- Another aspect I admired was that the authors tackled the issue of climate change head-on instead of trying to disguise it as a hidden message. It was refreshing to read a book that so clearly knew what it wanted to say.
- The relationship between David and Lily developed gradually and was completely heartwarming. It was a pleasure to watch them go from being strangers to opening up to each other and making sacrifices – to becoming a family.
All in all, this was a deeply engrossing and informative read. It conveys a significant message that must be heard and is a definite recommendation from my side. The court of the grandchildren took us on a journey into the future and it will do the same for you.
A big thanks to Odyssey books for giving us the opportunity to read and review this book!
-S and R