Fragile Mind By Maria Ingrande Mora
My Rating: 5/5
Sixteen-year-old Nate is a Gem—a Genetically Engineered Medical Surrogate—created by Gathos City scientists as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, Nate was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. He manages to survive by becoming a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.
But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their Gems—a flaw in their DNA that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. When violence erupts across the Withers, Nate’s illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay—and die—with the boy he loves.
Warnings: extreme depictions of torture, drug abuse, physical abuse
Thanks to North Stars edition, Flux, and Netgalley for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
Science Fiction and LGBT representation is not a new thing. It’s probably the most popular genre for new writers to tackle on because it’s so easy to craft an intriguing new worlds with different societies and complex laws and whatnot. Fragile Remedy is no different but it grows up and above from that mold. It’s really surprising that this is a debut, because Maria Ingrande Mora written a book that feels like a she’s been writing for ages and this is her 5th or 6th book in her career.
The story is set in the future, where things are bad at Gathos City and living in it is just as terrible. People are addicted to drugs, vandalized or pillage due to no jobs, security, food or a home and it’s every man for himself out there, unless you got a gang to relay on. Nate belongs to one and he’s pretty inviolable thanks to his tinkering but he also has to keep his identity as a GEM, an genetically engineered medi-tissue (man made to be used to replace badly damaged failed organs and other terrifying purposes). Things get a turn to the worse when Nate’s gang are pulled into the spotlight when the police are searching for a runaway GEM and they are in the middle of that chaos.
I cannot begin how refreshing the story was. Everyone was so multi layered and gray, from the main character, to the love interest and the secondary characters. Each one wasn’t shoved aside or wasn’t touched upon and it was so nice to see that they are all flawed but yet willing to do everything to survive in this world and not give up on their values. The romance was fluffy and didn’t take too much from the plot or felt too rushed either. The representations of queer characters, disabled and POC and biracial was so great.
Maria writes such a beautifully and yet tragic words that tug on your heart strings. Sometimes it hurt and yet you can’t withdraw your attention away because you can’t abandon Nate and the gang. You want them to succeed, even if the means don’t justified the end. You want Nate and Reed to be together and yet even if the world keeps bringing all the reasons why which makes sense you know it won’t stop those two dolts to fulfill whats in their hearts.
If you looking for a good read for 2020 that will exceed your exceptions of the YOUNG ADULT SCI-FI genre then this is the book for you. Please purchase the book, I highly recommending it ❤
Is it Diverse? Biracial Main protagonist, POC love interest, supporting cast queer and other racial representations.