Street Freaks

Terry Brooks. Grim Oak, $28 (376p) ISBN 978-1-944145-20-0
After his extremely popular (and massive) Shannara series of heroic fantasy novels, Brooks takes an unexpected turn to a smooth standalone near-future dystopia. Teenage Ash Collins runs from the authorities after his scientist father is murdered. Though his treacherous uncle, Cyrus, has control of all the manpower and gadgets that should be able to capture Ash, the boy manages to reach the outlaw enclave Red Zone and connect with the kids who live there. In particular, he makes it to Street Freaks, a combination of custom street racer machine shop and criminal hacker den—and a refuge for “ ’tweeners,” young people who have been mechanically or biologically twisted and augmented by uncaring adults until they are no longer considered quite human. Ash is relieved to have found a new, genuine family, but he still isn’t safe from the people who are hunting a secret that he doesn’t even know he has. Brooks efficiently mixes teen angst with fast, cinematic action, but the result is neither new nor exciting. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/06/2018
Release date: 10/01/2018
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