Book Review: Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh
Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh
This is an original love story set a hundred years in the future, in a world where the dead can be revived, but only the extremely rich can afford the procedure. This is a world where you can pay insurance to be stored on ice at minus eighty, in the hope someone will bring you back. It’s a world where technology is king, where people prefer to interact with each other through floating screens and you can choose to live your life on full public view. It’s also a world where dead beautiful woman are put on ice in dating centres in the hope that billionaires will revive these ‘Bridesicles’, although the dating procedure is extremely cruel. Usually they only have five minutes with prospective grooms for each date in the centre – with only their faces activated – before being turned off again. Mira has been on ice in the dating centre for more than 80 years, and the reader feels her despair each time she is woken by another perverted old man. She misses her partner, but yearns to be ‘revived’ rather than the nothingness of being on ice. But then she is visited by Lycan, a young man who seems genuinely kind, and he may be her opportunity for living again... Meanwhile a tragic accident puts another young woman, Winter, in the dating centre. She was out jogging when she was hit by a car. Rob, the person who killed her, is filled with remorse. His girlfriend Lorelei had just broken up with him in front of hundreds of people on screen and he hadn’t been concentrating when he was driving. He vows to make things right and gives up his dream of being a musician to do manual work so he can earn the $9,000 required for a five minute session. He wants to apologise to her – and after that, he promises to come back. Meanwhile Vernika works as a dating coach, but secretly has a crush on another dating coach, Nathan. All of these lives – the dead and the living – are soon to collide in surprising and thought-provoking ways, against a backdrop of protest about the ‘Bridescicle’ programme. This is a riveting read. At first glance it’s a light book, but the further you delve into this world, the more interesting the themes that relate to our own time that question love, technology and mortality. Highly recommended for an innovative plot, a scarily imaginable world and wonderful characters.