Beggars Ride by Nancy Kress

 

Science Fiction

Beggars Ride (Beggars Trilogy (also known as Sleepless Trilogy)) Beggars RideNancy Kress; Tor Science Fiction 1997WorldCatNancy Kress returns the reader to her world of genetic engineering begun in the novel Beggars from Spain. Humans have been split into four distinct groups or classes. Miranda Shafiri and the SuperSleepless have moved to a base on the Moon. Jennifer Shafiri and the original Sleepless live on their orbiting Sanctuary ship. The genemod “donkeys” live in luxury cities inside shielded energy walls. The Livers live in the unprotected areas of the country. Miranda Shafiri’s Cell Cleaner has been distributed to all and now anyone who has taken it cannot get sick or ill.

Unfortunately the Change syringes (Cell Cleaner) are no longer available. As new babies are born they cannot be given the genetic miracle and instead get sicker because their immunity system no longer works properly. Jackson Aranow is a donkey doctor that has nothing to do now that everyone has been Changed. When he realizes what is happening, he gets pulled into a Liver group, helping Lizzie Francy as she tries to help her people.

This is a dark tale as humans dig into the quagmire they have made for themselves. Yet it is a tale of hope as they once more learn how to cope, overcome, and realize their potential. It will be a difficult way – dealing with class structure, dealing with medical problems, and the new neurovirus that has affected much of the population.

Although not as good as the first book, this is a worthy successor to the first two. It explores what can happen when there is a huge, unassailable difference between the haves and the have-nots. It explores how some people only care for themselves and not the others in the world. It explores how others, both haves and have-nots still care for their fellow souls and try to help the human condition. It explores both the dark and positive sides of genetic engineering.

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