THE CHOSEN OF GAIAby M. Mariz
Publication Date: September 28, 2012
Pages/Format: 230; Paperback
Source: ARC/Blog Tour
Fifteen-year-old Albert has just received an invitation that could transform his disappointing life completely – a chance to belong to an advanced and hidden society that only reveals itself to a select few.
Immersed in a new world of mind-boggling technology and intriguing peers, Albert will overcome his fears enough to ignore a few suspicious details. But soon he'll find his family dragged to the center of a scandal that threatens to tear them apart and erase their very identities.
A conflicted Albert must find the strength to challenge authority by relying on his newfound allies and gift for Revelation.
Prepare for adventure, humor and suspense in this fast-paced tale of a “normal” family striving for their place in a “perfect” world.
The Chosen of Gaia is the perfect choice for light reading and entertainment. M. Mariz presents a perfect society with immense technological advancements and little worry about crime or disease.
Albert and his family are introduced to this new world, Gaia, as a family of Chosen. They'll have to adjust to their new life or return to Earth with no memory of their experience. Albert, his twin sister Ruth, and their mother Sophia wholeheartedly agree to the journey, but their father, Victor, hesitates. The very opening of the novel presents to this normal family a life-altering decision that changes their perspective of themselves and the worlds around them.
Within this story, Mariz doesn't let everything proceed smoothly. The characters face opposition and uncertainty. The Chosen of Gaia is truly a story that readers of any age can enjoy because of the lessons both the parents and children learn. Albert and Ruth's journey is the most impressive because they come to blossom on Gaia, especially when their peaceful stay on the small, green planet turns violent. Even when separated from their parents they learn to rely on each other and stand alone against the people who would dare try to force them from their new home.
The Chosen of Gaia has light elements of mystery and science-fiction. Light, because there isn't a lot of complicated jargon and the story doesn't get more complicated than exploring life on a hidden planet with futuristic technology. M. Mariz's debut young adult novel comes highly recommended!*Copy of book provided for honest review and blog tour purposes*
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Top 5 Utopian Elements
The perfect world. For centuries we have discussed the directives that would lead us there. Philosophers had tried to define the elements of a utopian society and whether it could even be achieved. When I started writing my YA sci-fi novel about a seemingly perfect other world, “The Chosen of Gaia,” I tried to picture what a technologically advanced “utopia” would look like. This led to some profound analysis of what I consider needs to be changed in our current society:
- The end of egoistical thought and the prevalence of what is best for everyone. Those who ignore the importance of uniting to solve issues such as poverty, hunger, corruption, and global warming hold us back from achieving an advanced society. Guess what? My neighbor who thinks he’s an “opera singer” and practices before sunrise wouldn’t be in my dream-world either. The perfect world is what is best for society and not just for the individual. That would mean the end of corruption at all levels of society and the rise of social awareness. Oops… I guess that friend of mine who tried to get out of a traffic ticket wouldn’t be chosen to go to Gaia either…
- Preservation of natural resources. Unfortunately our natural resources aren’t inexhaustible, requiring strong laws and collective struggles to protect and respect the environment. I know, your 30 minute shower helps you relax and you need that to forget about your moron boss, but perhaps you can take a quick shower and relax reading a book instead? Preferably an e-book version to save trees, while drinking fair trade coffee on your organic bike.
- Holistic education. A society needs to value and pursue knowledge as the base of its progress and enhancement. Education could produce more qualified individuals not only for the job market, but for life, teaching respect for cultural diversity and the wise use of freedom so as not to crush others’ rights. A well educated person treats others and the environment with respect and not like hired help on an episode of “The Real Housewives”.
- Scientific and technological progress. We need to stop treating the environment like the set of a Michael Bay movie, and instead find means to protect the natural world while also increasing human life expectancy and quality of life. Science can help us achieve the perfect body: a stronger immune-system, healthier habits, and more resilient to injury, age and disease.
- A government that respects individual rights while still promoting the general welfare. Every society needs order to ensure that needs will be met and to promote harmony among competing groups. The government should be responsible for promoting the previous four elements. A government should always be democratic, respecting human rights, combating social oppression and granting equal rights, regardless of race, gender, and personal preferences.
Those were the thoughts that led me to create the utopian society named Gaia in my novel. But would it really be possible to have a utopian society as defined above? Would it be possible to one day have a perfect society with absolutely no problems or crimes? Humans are humans… we make mistakes, some are driven by ambition, others by malice and jealously… Can we erase our animal instincts and live in endless harmony?
If you want to dive into the subject through the eyes of fifteen year old Albert, check out my YA fiction “The Chosen of Gaia” and find out if Gaia is in fact an immaculate place.