Off the Shelf 0708-8
By Pete Hautman
It is 2076 and Bo Marsten is in trouble - not a surprise, given his family history - but in the United Safer States of America, when you commit a crime you are sentenced to a labor camp! In Bo's case, he is sent to the artic wilds to make pizza! Say what? On top of that, the prison guard recruits him to play football in exchange for early release and his robotic creation is getting out of control! And did I mention that he got into trouble, in part, by creating a contagious rash that spread through the school?
Entertaining on one level and thought-provoking on another level, Rash is a bit confusing. Its basic story is straightforward, but the satire is evident when one examines the elements of the "safer" USSA. Hautman helps us consider if our current focus on safety doesn't offset the process of weighing risks and evaluating situations for balance - especially in terms of safety. He threads this theme almost invisibly throughout the storyline and it will likely escape some readers, but all will appreciate the page-turning adventures.
So put on your 'virtual reality' glasses for a view into our rather humorous dystopian future, if Hautman sees it right. It will make you think twice about some of our current day-to-day activities as well as how we can impact the years ahead.
My recommendation: 4 out of 5 stars
Submitted by M. Coleman, Media Specialist